With shouts of “fight, fight, fight, housing is a human right,” hundreds of protestors gathered outside of City Hall in Philadelphia on Saturday morning.
The gathering was organized by grassroots Pennsylvania groups and the Center for Popular Democracy.
“We have millions of people across America who find themselves with unaffordable rent, couch surfing or homelessness and there are buildings that are empty. There are office buldings that are empty, homes that are empty. And, all we are claiming is dignity for all of our families,” Analilia Mejia, co-director Center for Popular Democracy, told NBC10’s Leah Uko.
Mejia said that the protest was intended to call for local elected officials to step up and take measures to address the country’s crisis.
“Investments from the federal government, state governments, can house all Americans and it’s time for us to do it,” she said.
She pointed out that there were members of the protest who have seen astronomical increases in rent payments — especially during the pandemic — and said that these practices were unfair.
Protestor Teresa Quintana, who attended the protest with Make the Road Connecticut said, she works with many immigrant families who are living in difficult conditions simply because the costs of rents across the country has made life difficult for many lower-income residents.
“They are living with cockroaches, rats, horrible conditions that their landlords are not taking care of,” she said.
The day’s protest effort was the closing event of the Center for Public Democracy’s 2023 People’s Convention.