The Movement for Black Lives

TURN supports the national and international outcry against the racist system of state sanctioned violence against African-American people that has plagued this country since its very foundation. We are particularly concerned about the murder of African-American men under the color of law and the failure of the police to protect African-American women and their children. We are grateful for the courageous protesters who have taken to the streets in the face of this pandemic to challenge systems of oppression and demand fundamental change.

As tenant advocates, the current protests are forcing us to acknowledge that the eviction process in Philadelphia is another example of the structural racism that must now be addressed.

We can no longer pretend that involuntary displacement of low-income renters by the courts does not have a disparate impact on the health, safety and housing stability of African-American communities and African-American women with children in particular.

We can no longer condone the inadequate levels of rental assistance for those who have been forced by the government to stay home without an adequate means of support, while millions continue to be spent on the police protection of government offices and the property and inventory of wealthy businesses.

We can no longer pretend that the refusal of the criminal justice system to enforce or even document instances of illegal lockouts or other extrajudicial evictions by financially motivated property owners is not a basic denial of everyone’s human rights.

We at TURN believe that unless we act now, in this critical awakening moment, the continued use of brutal state sanctioned violence against unarmed citizens and the dehumanizing threat of incarceration to force low-income families into the streets during a global pandemic are likely to be historic stains on the human rights record of this country and on all of us who care in City of Brotherly Love.

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