With an election approaching in just over a month, politicians and advocacy groups across the country are doubling down on their electoral rhetoric. Many lament the low voter turnout rates in the United States – with roughly half of those eligible choosing not to vote – and blame the failures of the US government on those who do not vote. However, there is a reason that working class people vote much less – and it is because many understand that no politicians truly serve the working class. As an organization committed to defending working class communities, we know that no politician in this system will change the fundamental cause of evictions, gentrification, and poor housing conditions: the system of private property.
Despite the fallacies pushed by well off election peddlers, the working class recognizes the futility of voting and operating within the electoral system. We understand that even the “progressive” candidates do not serve our class interests. With the failed runs of Bernie Sanders and the so-called “race to the middle”, which in reality is a race to the right, now more than ever people are becoming disillusioned to elections. This is because time and time again, we see that even the “progressives” do not serve us!
When it comes to the housing struggle, we see that politicians only serve the interests of the ruling class. They will speak about community re-investment and self-sufficiency, but ultimately they always side with the landlords and developers, because gentrification is a process that serves the ruling class. Many of the presidential hopefuls for the democratic party, who were seen as much more progressive than the nominee, are notoriously pro-gentrification. Progressive” politicians may seem better on the surface, with kind smiles and big promises. But their fanfare is short-lived, they have the same bottom line as any other politicians – their career and how deep their pockets can get because of it.
Pete Buttigieg cast himself as a champion for marginalized people across the country, was ultimately condemned by many for the “redevelopment” plans he enacted as mayor of South Bend, Indiana. His 1,000 Houses is 1,000 Days Initiative, which called for 1,000 homes to be demolished or repaired in 1,000 days ultimately destroyed working class and predominantly Black and Brown neighborhoods. This entailed working class folks receiving tight deadlines and multiple bureaucratic requirements to avoid having their homes demolished, while outside developers and investors were treated much more leniently. Unsurprisingly, many were displaced and had their homes demolished in this process. This is because his redevelopment effort to demolish “blighted” homes was not designed with the interests of the working class in mind, but instead inflicted violence on their neighborhoods by demolishing generational homes and hitting poor folks with additional fines.
Robert “Beto” O’Rourke had a large wave of democratic support for his senate campaign against Ted Cruz that this encouraged him to even have a short-lived run for the presidency. But before both his more mainstream campaigns Robert O’Rourke ruthlessly spearheaded the gentrification in his hometown of El Paso during his time as a councilman, labeling it as “urban renewal”. Pushing gentrification in Segundo Barrio to the point that residents confronted him for this. Clearly pushing the interest of his developer father in law, William Sanders, who is leading the gentrification of the historic neighborhood Duranguito and publishing racist studies for ‘De-Mexicanizing’ El Paso’s downtown. On the surface, O’Rourke cared enough to cash in on the support of wealthy democrats but was clear in his actions what class he served, the ruling class.
Under the new economic depression, judges across the country, conservative and progressive alike, are still ruling in favor of landlords who are seeking to evict tenants. Democratic and republican mayors and governors are both calling in the national guard and police against those protesting police violence, rather than actually going after the police. No matter who is elected, the people will still face displacement, eviction, police violence, and gentrification. There is no “lesser evil” under imperialism!
We must understand that direct action – by organizing and mobilizing our neighbors – this is the only way we will improve our conditions. Working with the federal, state, and local governments is not the way to achieve our demands or defend our homes. Rather than wasting time in meaningless election cycles, we can take it to their doors! By defending our neighborhoods, by building working-class neighborhoods that are able to provide for their own needs, this is how we make changes in our world. Through organization, we can fight back against the police, the politicians, and the landlords. When our landlord neglects our homes or tries to evict us, we refuse to pay and fight to stay, and this is how we make wins. When united, the working class cannot be pushed out so easily!
UNDM calls on all supporters to organize their neighborhoods to defend against evictions, fight back against gentrification, and defend the people’s culture!
Cast off electoralism and instead fight for a world that is rightfully ours!