The New Economic Depression and the Housing Struggle
We are living in extreme times. We are almost a year into the New Economic Depression, which is forcing more and more people out of work, leaving millions threatened with eviction. Any solution to the intensifying housing issues that stem from this depression will never be solved by the state. We must fight alongside our neighbors against evictions, against the back rent that continues to pile up.
Landlords are taking advantage of tenants during the New Depression, lining their pockets with so-called “tenant relief funds,” a name that would be hilarious if it were not so infuriating. To call this a “tenant relief fund” is to imply that it at all assists tenants in their struggle against evictions and back rent, this is far from the case.
The sell-outs, the politicians and many landlords love these reforms, especially the CDC’s eviction moratorium. We will not misconstrue exactly what this reform is designed to do: squash the capacity of tenants to rise up against the system that fundamentally does not serve them. Landlords, politicians, and the police know that there would be widespread outrage if the 30 million tenants threatened with eviction lost their homes, so they are biding their time and working to pacify.
One landlord association’s lawsuit prompted the CDC and the US Department of Justice to clarify in a public pronouncement late Friday that landlords nationwide are free to start the eviction process while the national moratorium is active. In doing so, the Trump administration also clarified that landlords “are not required to make their tenants aware” such an eviction ban exists. This is not protection. This is a guised attack to avert tenants’ struggles and a way for landlords to secretly evict.
While tenants are pushed out of their homes and into the streets, the rich continue to live lavishly and untouched during this New Depression. Gentrification plans are still well on their way and the failure to pay rent is the perfect new reason to displace tenants from working-class neighborhoods. The fight to stay in one’s home today is, in many cases, a fight against gentrification and displacement, an act of resistance as the ruling class attempts to force workers into solving their own capitalist crisis.
There have been many bans and orders on the local, state, and national scale, but none of them have addressed one inevitable remaining obstacle: tenants’ ever-increasing back rent. Back rent is the debt that landlords are biding their time to collect – like a starving animal salivating for its food. We demand the immediate forgiveness of all back rent!
Organize a United Fight Against Our Shared Enemies and for Our Collective Interests!
Today, conditions across the US varies considerably. Take West Virginia for example where nearly 60% of renters are faced with eviction. The objective conditions of the Rust Belt region, such as states like West Virginia or Ohio, are vastly different than in California. In California, only 22% of tenants face eviction, but landlords are emboldened to carry out illegal evictions against working class tenants, even with a moratorium in place.
There are clear differences between each city and there are creative ways to organize around the different issues that tenants are confronted with. We must understand this while also thinking in the long-term, always with the interests of the working class in mind. Among all these different conditions, there is the universal struggle against the economic crisis, evictions, gentrification, and ultimately against capitalism which relies on a system of private property. Here, the need to carry out a general strategy arises. UNDM advocates for centralized and unified organization nationwide.
The ruling class is already highly organized with an intricate network of developers, politicians, police forces, judges, and landlords working together to maintain the deplorable housing conditions of the working class. We must overcome these conditions with our own form of organization.
We must link up all people who have been fighting back city to city in a more organized way with the same objective to defend our homes. The struggle against the very system that results in eviction, displacement, and gentrification, is the task of our day. We must rise to this task, recognizing that the struggle cannot be limited to just one neighborhood, one city, or even one state.Organize struggle across the country is necessary in order to take on the forces that subject us to hardship in our homes, communities, and lives!
Having unified and centralized leadership does not stifle the nationwide movement, it supports and sustains it. Because the conditions of each city vary, we need different and specific ways to implement strategy, giving initiative and unlocking the creativity to our members and supporters so they can act in defense of working class communities. We need centralized organization with decentralized actions against landlords, developers, and politicians and the rotten system that they maintain.
UNDM advocates for the immediate formation of anti-eviction squads. These are community formations where tenants and neighbors themselves are mobilized to fight against eviction threats and make gains that we can defend collectively and in the long-term. Formations of this type are especially important during this time of crisis as mass evictions loom ahead.
The United Neighborhood Defense Movement (UNDM) calls on tenants and organizations across the country to organize their communities in preparation for the end of the CDC’s eviction moratorium on January 1st. To organize this collective fight, we will be holding a January 1st Day of Action Against Evictions. We invite all those fighting against evictions to join us in this fight.
We need to organize our communities, build up the Anti-Eviction Squads, and together resist the New Depression that the ruling class seeks to make us pay for.
Together, we will carry out actions that expose the role of politicians, the courts, the capitalists and the parasitic landlords. We must fight together, side by side, united under one banner!
Form the Anti-Eviction Squads!
Join the UNDM Day of Action on January 1st!
The united working class can be a force to resist capitalism’s control over our communities!
If you are interested in joining the campaign against evictions and/or participating in our day of action, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org