why strike ?
W H Y S T R I K E
Ask any union member and they'll tell you, at its core, a strike is about solidarity. Going on strike always means taking risks. But it also means taking a stand with those nearest to you. It means having the backs of the most marginalized and vulnerable.
If one of us sticks their head out, we all need to join them. While there is currently a moratorium on the enforcement of eviction orders, landlords are still able to initiate eviction suits or bully tenants into paying them. This situation is totally unacceptable.
For many, participating in a rent strike may not be optional. If you can't work, you can't pay rent. No one should have to choose between food, health care, and quality housing. This is always true, but it is especially true right now. Far too many of us were already making those tough choices before the pandemic. This new situation only makes our lives that much more difficult.
If you can still afford your rent or mortgage payment, consider going on rent strike anyway. The more people participate, the safer we all will be. If you're a homeowner, your bank has been encouraged to be lenient by the federal government. No such effort has been made for tenants.
W H Y N O W
Some have said that now is not the time to be drawing lines in the sand. They suggest that we need to come together as a community. From our perspective, they are only partially correct.
Where they see a community, we see divisions that have been in place for decades if not centuries. From the "Delmar divide" to the income gap, our society is not built on a foundation of common interest. Appealing to this sentiment now, in the middle of an economic crisis, is a cynical manipulation of our better human qualities.
We do need to come together as a community, but not their community. We need a community of renters and workers, homeless and unemployed, students and high school dropouts. We need to stop drawing lines among ourselves, and draw a single line between our community and the community of landlords, bosses, politicians, banks and corporations. We need each other now more than ever, as a matter of survival.