SOLIDARITY STATEMENT WITH CAMP JAMES TALIB DEAN
PHILADELPHIA -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
We stand in solidarity with the residents and organizers of Camp James Talib Dean, and Camp Teddy and fully support their demands and the encampment, for the following reasons:
- We believe that all people have the right to be treated with respect, compassion, and dignity, including the right to make decisions about their own health and well-being.
- We reject the notion that encampments are more dangerous than homeless shelters and lift up the experiences of residents that describe unhealthy conditions perpetuated by city policies and lack of oversight.
- We believe that direct action protest is a vital and often necessary tactic. In a city that has taken months to organize a meaningful response to COVID-19, and which still does not have universal opt-out testing in all shelters with clear plans for how residents awaiting results or testing positive will be safely housed, we reject any condemnation of the tactics of a protest encampment. People demanding that Philly’s Black, Brown, indigenous, queers, poor and working class have control of their land and safe housing have been too long ignored and if this is what it takes to be heard, this is what we will do.
- We support the demands of the encampment and, after long struggles with the city resulting in small funding increases to programs that benefit developers and landlords even more than they benefit residents, we know that only a demand that calls out PHA and the redevelopment authority, rejects seizing of, bundling, and selling land from Black and Brown, poor and working class neighborhoods to capitalist developers, and makes explicit the need to end all waiting lists and immediately move people into vacant homes will result in actually ending homelessness and housing instability in Philadelphia.
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