We are Escalating to a Rent Strike
Mar 19, 2020 —
As many of you witnessed, yesterday Mayor Wheeler received our demands and promptly dismissed them (watch here). We said we needed a rent freeze, he gave us a very narrow eviction moratorium.
The Eviction Moratorium is Not Enough
Portland has been sold the "Eviction Moratorium" as a humane solution for renters pushed to the brink by the economic crisis following the COVID-19 outbreak. All workers and renters should know this is bogus.
Here's the difference:
- Prevents evictions only during state of emergency (as little as three months)*
- Rent must be paid back within 6 months, while rent continues to accrue
- Renters have to prove loss of work is due to virus
Rent accrues with other expenses, including testing and treatment
- Landlords can contest an application
Forces workers to continue working during the crisis, ignoring calls for social isolation**
- Prevents evictions due to COVID-19 long term***
Renters only start owing rent again after the crisis has passed
- Benefits all workers, including undocumented workers and sex workers
- Takes the burden off renters during medical crisis****
Saves renters effort, time, and money by not subjecting them to burden of proof
- Allows renters to comply with public health officials and stay home until the crisis has passed
* 200,000 households in Oregon spend 50%+ their income on housing
** Even if we "flatten the curve," the virus is expected to make a resurgence in fall
*** CNN predicts US unemployment could reach 50% due to virus
**** Just testing for the virus can cost $1,000
IF THEY DONT FREEZE, WE STRIKE.
Comrades with mortgages are urged to follow suit by paralleling us with a mortgage strike against the banks, who should not own homes in the first place.
Houseless comrades are urged to take refuge in empty houses and buildings owned by these greedy banks and landlords. The survival of many literally depends on it. Let us know how we can best support you.
WE CAN ARE WILLING TO ESCALATE.
Should a rent strike be disrupted we are prepared to escalate to a general strike. We have strong as a united people, and will not let Ted Wheeler or the local city government along with property developers and banks to continue to profit off our disenfranchised residents.
NO JOBS. NO WAGES. NO RENT. RENT STRIKE APRIL 1.
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