The latest news from Point Breeze Lotgate is that developer and guerrilla gardener Ori Feibush, owner of OCF Realty, garnered enough attention for his cause that the Philadelphia Redevelpment Authority was forced to hold a press conference in its defense, Anonymous made another video (after the jump), and Feibush gets to keep the lot as is.
Background: The whole fracas began when Feibush, after unsuccessfully trying to buy the lot next to his coffee shop, did what many people in the city have done: he took over the space and cleaned it up. Our suddenly fleet-flooted city reacted against the trespasser swiftly and threatened legal action. What really got the national press involved was that the city was asking Feibush to return the lot to its original condition: trash-strewn and overgrown.
On the other side, Feibush is an extremely controversial presence in the neighborhood due to what some longtime residents see as an effort to gentrify. Community meetings debating his projects have been fraught, to say the least, and racial tension has defined many of the conversations.
The latest wrinkle was the involvement of hacktivist group Anonymous, releasing video and text content in support of Feibush. A new video from Anonymous (after the jump) goes on to make it clear that no threat has been made; these are simply messages of solidarity. The videos and statements could also be fakes. Like, very probably. After all, since when does Anonymous care deeply about local pols—in this case, Kenyatta Johnson?
As for the aforementioned longtime residents, here's what one of them, Joe Jackson, had to say on Curbed Philly's Facebook page:
I don't know what crawled up ori's ass and died but this Pt. Breeze area is not some shithole....to us it is a home that could use some luv but we could do w/o a developer that want's to destroy our black community. Meeting after meeting has shown the ppl of pt breeze are tired of these Romneyesque speculators and developers acting like they are doing our community a fucking favor. Food for thought.
· Lotgate Archives [CPHI]