In the 1960s and 70s New York City was going through an economic downturn and many people with means moved to the suburbs. By the 1980s there were empty buildings everywhere throughout the Lower East Side that squatters eventually took over. They set about fixing up their decrepit buildings, clearing rubble, building stairs, reinforcing walls, and replacing windows. These squatters would resist eviction by the city for almost two decades and in 2002 they finally achieved legalization and were allowed to stay.
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