In the early morning hours of May 1st 2017, a gathering of about 30 to 50 people caused over $100,000 in damages to various luxury apartments and 20 high-end cars in South Kensington (Old Kensington) in North Philadelphia. A banner left near the scene of the attack read “Gentrification is Death. Revolt is Life.” That same night, in the South Philadelphia section of Point Breeze, many thousands more in damages were caused when two expensive, empty buildings (owned by OCF Realty) were set on fire.
The message behind these actions is clear: stop gentrifying the city, or else. Some people might argue that these people went too far, however, we believe they did not go far enough. We salute the brave efforts of these comrades, who have struck a small blow against gentrification in Philadelphia.
Gentrification is not possible without the residential displacement of the poor and working classes. Real estate capitalists buy the cheapest properties, demolish them, and then build high-end businesses and apartments for the wealthy. As a result, property taxes and the cost of living goes up for everyone in the neighborhood, including the original low-income residents. This leads to the economic displacement of poor and working class people from their neighborhoods, because if they are renters, they cannot afford the rising rent prices, and if they are property owners, they cannot afford the rising property taxes.
Economic displacement should be opposed by any means necessary, legal and illegal. It will take much more than a few sabotage actions to create a city that is more accessible to poor and working people, however, this is a step in the right direction. It is crucial that we build the capacity for class war so that we can directly defend the interests of the working class.
See video @ http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Kensington-Northern- Liberties-Philadelphia-Vandalism-Gentrification-Cars-Buildings-Damage-Spray- Paint-Anarchy-420966113.html