After unrelenting abuse from management, tenants from a low-income, HUD, housing complex Springdale Gardens gathered to hold a rally against evictions and a multitude of other problems their management had put them through. Although the city of Austin had put in place restrictions against evictions and eviction notices during the time of the economic and health crisis, those restrictions had not stopped landlords from using eviction letters as intimidation and coercion against organizing among their tenants.
Tenants had agreed on a list of 15 demands, first being to fire the awful former property manager, Regina Wright. Owner, Charles Rieckhoff, was pressured, and ultimately caved, on the first demand as tenants became more organized.
The community at Springdale Gardens came together despite the City’s stay-at-home order, understanding that if they don’t combat and resist their evictions and the threats made by management they could be kicked out of their homes. Tenants showcased these contradictions in their chants. “they told us to stay inside, Mr.Charles wants to throw us out to die!” and “The city doesn’t protect tenant, organize neighborhood defense!”. Along with this they held signs promoting the rent strike occurring both across Austin and the rest of the country as tenants demand “No rent with work or wages!”.
Restrictions on eviction proceedings put in place by the city had done little to nothing to actually help tenants during this crisis. Landlords know that the city and police care more about profit and property to protect the working-class tenants in this city. That’s why tenants must be organized to defend their community against any eviction attempts made by landlords through organized eviction defense.