Activists from the UNDM, tenants, and community members joined at the Allegheny County Courthouse of Pittsburgh on Friday, July 10. Pennsylvania’s state moratorium on evictions was set to expire on July 11, but Governor Tom Wolf extended this on the 9th, giving landlords just enough time to intimidate tenants into paying months of back rent, threatening them with potential homelessness.
Protestors agitated for the formation of a Rapid Response Network (RRN) for the community to mobilize around the defense of evictions. The moratorium has not prevented landlords from engaging in “self-help” evictions and attempting to throw tenants out. UNDM has been fighting against these evictions across the country, confronting landlords and ensuring that tenants remain in their homes during the economic crisis.
Calls for the rent strike were made and emphasized as the way in which tenants can organize for the defense of their neighborhoods. Protestors chanted, “No rent without work or wages!” and “When our neighborhoods are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”
As illegal evictions keep happening and legal evictions peer over the horizon for many tenants that can’t afford to pay, the creation and organization of these anti-eviction response networks remains one of our most vital tasks.