On The Recent Events In West Philly

Submission

It’s well known that West Philly is rapidly gentrifying. Developers and more moneyed renters and buyers continue to successfully take more space from poor and working-class Black people. In this process, one of the few negative consequences these newcomers might experience is getting robbed in the neighborhood. In January, the number of robberies in the heart of gentrifying West Philly shot up, in the area between 41st and 49th streets (from east to west) and between Ludlow and Cedar avenues (from north to south). At least eight robberies were reported during that month, according to a University City District (UCD) report. Four homes on Hazel and Larchwood avenues between 49th and 51st streets were also burglarized during this time.

In response, a few of the more unapologetic gentrifiers not only reported the incidents to the police, but also attended a “community meeting” hosted by the police. Following the meeting, the Philly police announced that they would have an increased police presence in the area, including foot patrols specifically in the area between 48th-52nd streets. Sure enough, residents have noticed a lot more cop cars as well as cops on foot in the area since.

On Wednesday, March 6, this increased cop presence and paranoia culminated in the cops shooting a young Black man who live near 49th and Hazel — exactly where gentrifiers had been complaining about burglaries and robberies taking place. Claiming that they had been called to the scene in response to a “stabbing incident” (no stabbing victim was found at the scene) and that he was holding a knife outside a house on the street, the cops shot 25 year old graduate student Kaleb Belay six times (three in the chest). As of this writing he is stable condition at Penn Presbyterian Hospital.

It’s never worth it to call the police over some lost property — and we personally won’t call them to deal with any of our problems. The high 40 and low 50 streets are undergoing intense gentrification. Know that the police’s role is to attract more gentrifiers and push people originally from the neighborhood out. That’s what happened when University of Pennsylvania cleared out an entire neighborhood (what was once called the Black Bottom) of West Philly in order to move the school there decades ago — that’s why UCD security roam the neighborhood.

The police are just looking for an excuse to roll in and further the dispossession and extermination of Black people from the neighborhood. Don’t give them one!

The night after the police shooting, a group of 20-30 people marched down Baltimore Ave with a banner reading “Fuck the Police.” At least two new buildings on the ave between 50th and 48th streets, all with gentrifying new architecture, had windows broken, and one had “Fuck Cops” written on it. The Mariposa Co-Op, which has been a beacon of gentrification in the neighborhood for a long time (known for calling the police on panhandlers), had red paint thrown at one of its surveillance cameras. Anti-police tags and stickers were put up. After the police arrived, things calmed and the march went to the hospital where Kaleb is recovering before dispersing. Throughout the march many passersby and drivers shouted “Yeah, fuck the police!” and other words of encouragement. There were no arrests.

As is usual, the police and media are trying to confuse and bury the story. Initially police reported responding to a call of a man with a weapon, then they said it was a stabbing, although no stabbing victim was found. News media have not been prioritizing the story, instead continuing to publish other stories that justify the further policing of West Philly.

The Eritrean and Ethiopian networks in Philadelphia have come together to support Kaleb. Fundraising efforts have begun to help with costs associated with surviving being shot by the police. A vigil has been organized, and other support meetings have already taken place.

The police and gentrification work together to displace, imprison, and eliminate black and brown people. Each reinforces the other. Gentrifiers encourage the police to do their job, and the police create a welcoming environment for gentrifiers. It’s not surprising that gentrifiers are inviting the police into the neighborhood through the rhetoric of crime and safety (being racist is passe). Despite what either group says, their goals align. It should come as no surprise that Kaleb was shot by the police after neighbors reached out to the police to be more present in the area.

It makes sense to us that people are attacking construction and new buildings in the wake of a gentrification-enabled shooting. Fuck the police! Fuck gentrification!

26 Indigo Bikes sabotaged for Black December

Submission

They had their tires slashed.

These vile blue beasts are a fine ride around town for the wealthy (unsurprisingly the most inept bike riders on the road), are consuming space and welcoming the rich into gentrifying neighborhoods; reminding us that leisure, technology and convenience are crafted for the elite, and always at our expense.

For a Black December and a rowdy new year!

Anti-Gentrification Direct Actions Zine

Submission

Anti-Gentrification Direct Actions
Philadelphia 2013-2018

Gentrification has been completely changing the city to cater to yuppies, while at the same time erasing the memory and culture of the poor and black and brown people that make up the majority of Philadelphia.

Some might say gentrification is an unstoppable force, a monster that is too far gone and is irreversible in its devastation. Although some of that may be true we don’t want people to forget the struggles of resistance to it or for those struggles to become invisible.

[web zine] [print zine]

“Out of the Way!” – The movie

from Combative Communication

Ruby Sanders moved to Philadelphia in the 1960s after escaping loansharks in the plantations of South Carolina with her husband and their first 7 kids. In 2016, after living in her home for 50 years, she was evicted from the house because of gentrification in her neighborhood.

Her, her grandson Speedy, another young man from the neighborhood, Yusuf, and several other neighbors tell us more about how rich white people moving to the neighborhood is transforming their community. They also explain how gentrification is part of all the racist violence their community has been suffering throughout history. From the so called “war on drugs” to police brutality and from mass incarceration to public schools being shut down, this community is being pushed “Out of the Way”.

We have uploaded this video directly to youtube because we want it to be screened and presented anywhere and everywhere people deem appropriate. We want this video to be used as a talking point, but more importantly as an organizational tool.

There are many different factors involved in the gentrification of communities around the world that are all too often not included in discussions around why. This is not an academic or an intellectual perspective on the issue. This is a community based perspective on how communities of color in particular are being criminalized and displaced from their neighborhoods for profit.

Combative Communication along with the community members from Francisville interviewed in the film agreed to put “Out of the Way” online so that people could screen it and use it as a tool to share this experience, motivate communities to organize, and contribute to the fight against gentrification. Please let us know about screenings or organizing efforts in your community. We would love to support how ever we can.

[Watch Here]

PRISON STRIKE

Submission

23 Indego rental bikes in south philly had their tires slashed in solidarity with the upcoming prison strike. Burn all prisons! Fuck gentrifying transport. Fuck the world!

Update on Garden at 4224 Baltimore

from Instagram

If you’ve been wondering whats up with the guerilla garden at 4224 Baltimore Ave, it’s beginning to face its first pressures from developement (by the the same developers of Clarkville and with the support of Spruce Hill Community Association). We caught this flyer up that states “Real estate developers are trying to build fancy condos on this lot. Right now there is an autonomous gardrn here after years of vacancy. Before it was vacant, it was another community garden that was destroyed by the same developers in their first attempts at construction. This land is not ours. This land is not theirs either. It is the land of the Lenni Lenape and of the birds and worms and sun and rain who live here. We don’t want more condos, or concrete, No more gentrification and sterilization. When the earth is dead, we are all dead too.” We want to spread widely support for this project and of resistence to their developement and so-called “progress”.

Security Cameras Destroyed In Philly

Submission

Over the past two months in gentrifying neighborhoods in Philly, security cameras have gone flying into construction sites, been crushed under car tires, and thrown into gutters, never to be recovered. This included cameras on one particular house in Point Breeze that its occupants had tried to use to incriminate someone for an exciting crime last year. Watch out snitches!

We estimate that we took down around 20 regular security cameras and 20 doorbell cameras made by Ring, a company that Amazon recently bought in order to expand their hellish corporate hold on our dreams and purchasing habits into the delightful realm of home security and DIY policing.

Along the way, we learned that the Ring cameras come in different sizes & colors and to look for a blue ring around the doorbell button. We also learned that Amazon has a guarantee to replace stolen or broken Ring cameras for free, so stealing them costs the corporation directly, at a rate of $99-249 per camera depending on the model.

We noticed that tooling around the neighborhood looking for cameras came in really handy down the line when planning other actions, since it made us already familiar with which routes would be safest, and enhanced our ability to recognize surveillance on the spur of the moment.

Fuck yuppies…You can’t buy safety, this is social war! If you move into gentrifying neighborhoods, your shit will get fucked with!
Shoutout to all our friends helping tear down Amazon one Ring at a time!

locks sabotaged for may day

Submission

We decided to glue the locks of two gentrifying reality offices in philly. we got one, but at our second target there was a ucd cop posted up, so instead we went and glued the locks of the ucd police headquarters.

happy may day

Have a great summer!

Submission

Happy May Day y’all. Since public marches aren’t quite our thing, we decided to head out into the night to cause some trouble as soon as the clock struck 12 am, May 1st. We wandered throughout the side streets of brewery town, giving plenty of those nice new Resnik developer buildings some much needed paint jobs, smashing windows is always a good time, but for this little adventure, we felt that it would cause just as much damage and cost as much money to fix if we painted their windows a nice sleek shade of black. We also took the time to sabotage their locks in a bunch of fun, easy to reproduce ways. On the way, we also stumbled across the vehicle of a yuppie “clean energy” company. We figured this would look much better with some big black streaks on it so we gave it a sweet paint job (free of charge of course). Hope that’s a friendly reminder that we don’t give a fuck about your capitalist version of sustainable future and more importantly, stay the fuck outta our hoods with your ugly gentrified houses.

We went on this little adventure with the memories of the anarchists slain both in the labor struggles in Haymarket square, and for those murdered in the struggle against domination, the memory of their attacks  have warmed our hearts and fueled our mischievous deeds. We also took these actions in memory of David Jones who was murdered by the terrorist pig Ryan Pownell, and in solidarity with those struggling against Temple’s new stadium, and our comrades arrested on May Day last year.

The Summer of Rage has begun! Get your sun screen on because it’s gonna be a hot one! From May 1st-September 21st, every troublemaker, criminal, anti fascist, crime-doer, and anti-authoritarian is invited to join the Summer of Rage Anarchist Crew. Plan some free picnics for your community, paint some fun slogans and pictures on those boring city walls, break whatever you want, have a bonfire with whoever you want wherever you want and most importantly, remind our friends at OCF, Resnik Developers, and all their little gentrifying buddies that Philly belongs to us. Have a great summer
-SORAC

OCF Windows

Submission

Guess you didn’t get this PSA the first time around, but thanks for the pictures!

I opened the windows a crack to let in the night air…oh right, they were the windows of gentrifying OCF Realty’s main office ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Anyway, this got me thinking that lots of people may not feel comfortable or confident in their ability to throw, limiting the range and impact of some attacks. So I wanted to encourage folks to play catch with their friends, throw a ball against a wall, play fetch with their four-legged friends, etc. It’s fun and builds useful skills!

Shout out to those facing continued repression here and elsewhere.

Rest In Power Paul Z. Simons.