The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Logan Square Activists Continue Push Against Rising Rents, Gentrification

By aaroncynic in News on Apr 11, 2016 8:22PM

Demonstrators shut down traffic near the intersection of Milwaukee and California avenues in Logan Square Saturday to protest skyrocketing rents and gentrification.

About 20 demonstrators filled the street, some locked to each other with PVC pipe and buckets filled with concrete, while dozens of others stood in solidarity with them on the sidewalk in front of the Twin Towers luxury development.

“We are taking this step to support our neighbors in Logan Square who are facing evictions now, and the hundreds more who will be displaced if this luxury development continues as planned,” said Paul Donnelly, a member of We are/Somos Logan Square, one of the groups who organized the demonstration, along with Lifted Voices and Grassroots Illinois Action. Many of the groups and activists present organized previous demonstrations in the area against M. Fishman and Co., a local developer that activists say has been responsible for pushing low and middle-income residents out of the area.

“We’re fighting for affordable housing for the community,” said Patricia Padilla of We are/Somos Logan Square. Padilla said presently, 10 percent of the devepment is slated to be affordable housing. Her group is asking for at least 30 percent.

As police cut the demonstrators from the blockade one by one using electric saws and bolt cutters, those on the sidewalk sang “we shall not be moved” and chanted “how high’s the rent, too damned high!” When police had to use a sledgehammer to break open the concrete filled buckets where some demonstrators had locked their arms into, a local pastor asked police to “please not hurt this child of God.”

“Everyone here was really brave to do it,” said Padilla. “It’s a wonderful thing as community to come together. It’s much more effective and we keep this going I’m very convinced we’ll win this fight for affordable housing.

Organizers say some residents have met with the developers of the project, but the community benefits agreement they proposed was rejected.