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Andrew Lee

Defying Displacement

Defying Displacement

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By Andrew Lee | AK Press (2024)

A revolutionary new study of gentrification . . . and how to stop it.

Cities around the world are in the midst of a profound transformation as the wealthy price out the remnants of the urban working class, especially people of color. Displacement is neither accidental or inevitable. It happens because a whole range of people and institutions profit handsomely. Defying Displacement , focused on the US but informed by global examples, investigates gentrification from the perspective of the people fighting it, members of communities whose survival is threatened by some of the most powerful institutions on the planet.Andrew Lee names the names and identifies the actual state and corporate forces that work together to enrich a very specific group of people:property developers and real estate investors who make a killing, politicians who watch their tax bases grow, banks that write profitable loans for new businesses and mortgages for new homeowners. Meanwhile, business districts are planned, tax abatements unveiled, redevelopment schemes dreamed up, corporate and university campuses expanded, and ordinary people are driven from their homes.

The city has long served as the stage for political life and popular revolt. As mass displacement alters the composition of gentrifying cities, the avenues available for social change become unsettled as well, forcing us to reimagine our strategies for building a better world. Around the world communities are pushing the struggle against forced displacement in new directions, shutting down developments and evictions and bringing cities to a halt, fighting militarized police and the most powerful companies in the world. Activists and residents in struggle-dozens of whom are interviewed by Lee to inform his work-are charting the way forward to affordable and sustainable cities run by the people who inhabit them.

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