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London’s Love Activists Are Heroes, Not Vandals.

Badass protesters insist London’s 1.5 million empty buildings are a waste.

Image via the Love Activists' Facebook page.

Last week, a group of 20 people calling themselves “Love Activists” occupied a five-story building in London’s Trafalgar Square. The building, which formerly housed a bank, had been sitting there empty for a year and a half. The Love Activists planned on using the buldings large kitchen facilities to cook a Christmas lunch, which they would then distribute to the homeless, along with donated clothing. But on Christmas Eve, before their plan could be realized, they were served an eviction notice and were arrested after staging a 10-hour protest on the building’s roof. The Christmas lunch was served cold on the pavement outside the bank building.

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Why Is New York City Knocking Down Public Schools to Build Luxury Housing?

Poor children's interests and needs, and those of their families, are being erased, allegedly for the "greater good."

If you want to know why I am speaking at a rally and march on Friday, June 7, at P.S. 191 near Lincoln Center to protest the closing of three schools to construct luxury housing, consider this statistic: there is a 13-year waiting list for public housing in New York City. That's right, 13 years! Given the budget cuts in the New York City Housing Authority and the generally bad reputation of "the projects" in mass media, that is a sobering comment on what kind of options poor and working class families have in New York City. Many are living doubled and tripled up, some are in rented rooms, some are boarders in other people's homes, sleeping on couches in their living rooms.

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Mark Horvath is an activist fighting to help homeless people tell their stories, posting videos with the men and women he meets to tens of thousands of followers on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. It’s a kind of grassroots activism, changing attitudes online to drive action on the ground. His work is based on the idea that change starts with an act as simple as listening to people tell their stories.

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Sustainable Development Makes Housing Affordable

Rent isn’t the only variable that determines how affordable a particular home is. Access to transit and amenities like groceries matters, too.

Between 2001 and 2008, the Illinois Housing Development Authority greenlit 248 affordable housing developments in the Chicago area. In Illinois, affordable housing operates on a simple principle: housing costs shouldn’t exceed 30 percent of a family’s annual budget. But rent isn’t the only variable that determines how affordable a particular home is. Sustainability matters, too.

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