Wow, we did not think that this Ori Feibush story would grow such long and powerful legs- and we definitely didn’t think it would catch the attention of Anonymous, the infamous hacktivist team that has supported groups such as Occupy Wall Street and The Pirate Bay in the past.
Yesterday we reported on what happened to Feibush, the owner of OCF Realty and the Naked Philly blog. Essentially, Feibush was threatened for cleaning up a trash-filled lot that sat directly next to his new coffee shop in Point Breeze. His company had been trying to purchase the lot for about a decade, but his requests had always been denied. So, when Ori asked the city clean up the lot to no avail, he took matters into his own hands and rehabbed the damn thing himself.
Local authorities did not take kindly to Feibush’s initiative, and earlier this week, they demanded that he return the lot to its original state. Here’s Paul D. Chrystie, director of communications at the Office of Housing and Community Development, with some rather specious reasoning on the matter, ”Like any property owner, [the authority] does not permit unauthorized access to or alteration of its property. This is both on principle (no property owner knowingly allows trespassing) and to limit taxpayer liability.” (Apparently, a few wooden benches pose more potential liability than a heap of rusted, decayed garbage…)
OCF’s development of Point Breeze has been met with considerable backlash from residents who fear that Point Breeze could wind up being the next Northern Liberties, i.e. sandwiched between young, well-to-do yuppies who blast their property taxes through the roof. So while this issue may make for great media fodder, it will likely just serve to complicate the Point Breeze debate and increase Ori’s infamy in the neighborhood.
In the video, Anonymous states:
“Anonymous can only assume that a few government officials and contractors are butt-hurt, because they aren’t getting their kickbacks this year because of this benevolent trespasser. Not only has the city lost all reason and common sense by believing it is possible to put trash back in the lots without incurring littering charges, they are also a disgrace and a blight on the community for whom they should be working. This incompetence and abuse of power clearly shows that we, the people, need to take action and pay the City of Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson a visit. Anonymous demand that the city of Philadelphia immediately retract all claims of wrongdoing by Mr. Feibush and then seek to arrange amicable compensaation for his expenses incurred while doing the government of Philadelphia’s job.”
We’ll keep you posted on the fallout, assuming our internet is still working in a few days.