By Laura Jedeed and Shane Burley

It started last June with squatting. Quietly and without fanfare, Philadelphia activists affiliated with OccupyPHL and the Black Renter’s Cooperative broke into long-vacant public housing buildings and supported houseless families moving in. Then came the massive, barricaded protest encampment on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a tree-lined oasis in the middle of the Pennsylvania city surrounded by some of Philadelphia’s most expensive housing.

“They totally could have used the cops to disperse the encampment,” activist Wiley Cunningham of Philadelphia Housing Action remarked. “But politically, it would have looked bad for them.”

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who…

Shane Burley

Filmmaker and author of Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It. His work is featured at Jacobin, In These Times, Salon, Truthout, etc. @Shane_Burley1

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