Commemorating the 201st anniversary of the birth of Friedrich Engels

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On the 201st anniversary of the birth of Friedrich Engels, we as a national organization would like to commemorate his contributions to the working-class ideology of Marxism. Engels has helped give us the way forward in the fight against landlords and the capitalist state that defends them. He, and especially Karl Marx, has shown us how to study the problems of society in order to change the world and free humanity from imperialism, the main enemy that exploits workers and dominates the oppressed nations of the world.

The politics of UNDM are based on Engels’ contribution to the housing question. His text first published in 1872-73 titled “The Housing Question” mapped out the different ways the capitalists and their supporters try to trick the working class with shoddy reforms or how they try to bribe the people with elaborate schemes of charity under capitalism. Capitalism is the system where the ruling class robs all the wealth from the working class that produces it. Working-class tenants are attacked on two sides: the onslaught of the capitalist state and the dead-end reformism of non-profits and non-governmental-organizations, and those who would lead us off the cliff of capitulation by dressing up capitalism in radical garb.

But the underlining principle in Marxism is this: it is right to rebel. And we have seen it throughout history, from the city slums to the rural areas of the country. Everywhere we see struggling, toiling tenants fighting against evictions when they get their hours cut or laid off. We see tenants struggling to get by when the big landlords and business owners come in, invest in real estate and redevelop our neighborhoods all in their unquenchable thirst for profit, driving workers out to the edges of the city. Working-class tenants have united, always, especially during this economic crisis – this New Economic Depression – and the COVID-19 pandemic. Through militant protests and protracted organizing with tenants, the housing movement in the US has caused the capitalists to make some concessions such as stopping eviction proceedings, making necessary building repairs or forgiving past rental debt. But Marx, Engels and those who have come after, have taught us these small victories are the first steps on the road to revolutionary transformation toward a new society.

We take a moment today, November 28, 2021, to remember Engels and his lifelong commitment to the struggle for the working class against the capitalists, their supporters and their attacks on the revolutionary movement. As a national organization we pledge to learn from our mistakes, self-criticize and humbly move forward in being bolder organizers and better servants of the people. We must do our part to influence the national housing struggle to be a firm supporter for the workers’ struggle in our country, especially in the current wave of rent strikes and militant labor organizing!

In honor of Friedrich Engels we reaffirm our national demands, which spring from his contributions to the housing question:

WE DEMAND:

1. DEBT FORGIVENESS!

2. BAN ON EVICTIONS FOR NON-PAYMENT!

3. HALF-RENT FOR WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES!

4. EMPTY GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS TO BE GIVEN TO THE PEOPLE!

5. ALL THIS WITH NO TAX INCREASE TO THE PEOPLE!

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