University City

‘Shame on You': People Protest Removal of Philly Encampment in University City

NBC Universal, Inc.

Léelo en español aquí.

An encampment that was put in place to protest the evictions of residents from affordable housing in a complex in Philadelphia's University City neighborhood was dismantled Monday morning following a court order.

The Philadelphia Sheriff's office with assistance from Philadelphia police and other law enforcement cleared the makeshift camp at the University City Townhomes shortly after 9 a.m.

"All we doing... is enforcing the court order," Sheriff Rochelle Bilal told reporters Monday. "The court order said to take the tents down -- they have to take the tents down -- and we're just here to make sure that it's peacefully done."

Since the site at 40th and Market streets is private property, law enforcement could move swiftly in removing tents at the site, which the owners plan on selling.

As the camp, which spent several weeks at the site, was dismantled those gathered held signs and chanted "shame on you."

During the removal, at least one man could be seen being taken down by police and restrained. No word if he was charged with anything.

After about 30 minutes, the camp was gone.

After the encampment was taken down, protestors took the streets, marching and at points blocking traffic in the University City area, including at 38th and Chestnut where at least one driver could be seen begging for the demonstrators to move so he could move.

At the center of the protest is access to affordable housing and where longtime residents of the complex can go since they have to vacate their homes by early September.

Some of the residents have nowhere to go and claim they aren't getting the assistance building owners have promised to find new affordable housing.

"If nothing is done we could end up in tents, homeless," resident Maria Lyles told NBC10 Monday. "We're trying to prevent that."

This story is developing and will be updated.

Contact Us