On September 1, the Center for Disease Control(CDC) ordered a halt on evictions through the end of 2020. Like each moratorium that has come before this one, there are limitations on who is protected.
Under this federal moratorium, tenants threatened with eviction must make a declaration that if they were evicted, they would be homeless, forced into a shelter, or moving into cramped conditions. Tenants must also prove that they have lost their income due to COVID-19 and that they are making their “best efforts” to pay as much of their rent as possible. This last condition is a complete absurdity, as many working-class tenants who have lost their income cannot pay their rent whatsoever.
Politically, we must understand is extended moratorium as a reform. It is a change to the current political order of things, a seemingly benevolent amendment to the brutal capitalist system under which we currently live.
While many may see this moratorium extension as a good thing, we must expose this reform for what it is: the ruling class is giving out whatever crumbs it can manage and paying lip-service to the safety and well-being of tenants. It should also be understood that this moratorium will pacify potential rent-strikers and crush their want to struggle over time.
This kicking the can that we are witnessing is connected to tenants everywhere fighting back. The state fears us and knows the people will fight back, and we will. We are not responsible for the economic crisis nor are we responsible for the pandemic but working class will suffer the most. We know for a fact, landlords will look for loopholes around this, targeting families who haven’t paid but attacking other ways to evict them.
We cannot rely on the moratorium to protect our communities. It contains loopholes and we have seen many cases of eviction fall through the cracks, resulting in the reactionary and violent removal of working-class tenants from their homes, sometimes in a day’s notice.
The moratorium will not protect the tenants. Landlords are the ruling class have always found ways to be above the law, we have seen this in ls Angeles with a series of fake documents to try and evict families, we see this is Austin when a tenant was threatened with evictions for organizing for better conditions. This eviction moratorium is the ruling class showing us that they are scared and scrambling. Now more than ever we must join anti-eviction squads, talk to neighbors, block by block, neighborhood to neighborhood, and city to city. UNDM is dedicated to the working-class tenants and oppressed peoples. It is clear to us, we must not stop the momentum, we must do outreach and remind ourselves that we are not alone, we are the united neighborhood defense movement and we will fight back.
The legal system has protected landlords who have carried out illegal evictions, which continues to occur now at higher rates as this crisis intensifies. We will continue to raise our slogan, “No rent without work or wages!” as the ruling class continues to try to push their crisis on workers. We must organize to resist capitalism’s control over our communities!
UNDM is committed to organizing our communities, developing the rent strikes, meanwhile training and preparing to stop evictions ourselves. We must take this into our own hands, moratorium in place or not!
Organize, Defend, and Fight Back Against Evictions!
No Rent Without Work or Wages!