As Rent Soars & Evictions Spike

Housing advocates are calling on the Biden administration to address the soaring cost of rent with the same level of dedication he’s shown to reducing gas prices. This comes as a new report shows evictions are spiking as rental protections disappear. A coalition of hundreds of tenant unions and housing activists call the situation a national emergency as rental costs rise at the fastest pace in three decades.

We are in D.C. because the rent is too damn high. You heard Zonnie speak to this. But people across the country are being squeezed at the gas pump, at the grocery store, but the biggest expense for most American households is their cost of their housing. It’s their rent. And rents are up 6.3% in the latest inflation figures. This is the biggest increase in rents in 35 years. Median rent across the country is over $2,000 for the first time ever. And people simply can’t afford it. This rent inflation crisis is really sparing no one and no place. So we’re in D.C. with

— source | Aug 11, 2022

Nullius in verba


New York Rent Strikes During the 1918 “Spanish” Influenza

As we’ve now become accustomed to hearing, COVID-19 is the worst pandemic in over a century, when “Spanish” influenza tore through a war-weary world in several waves across 1918-1919. Fifty million or more lives were claimed worldwide by the flu, close to twenty million people died on the Indian Subcontinent alone. Varying estimates have between 1-5% of the global population losing their lives, dwarfing the number who died in combat over the course of the calamitous war with which it had overlapped. The illness was characterised by the rapidity with which it took hold. What’s more, it could be transmitted before vectors showed any sign of symptoms. “Spanish” influenza disproportionately killed young adults who accounted for more than half of deaths overall, with pregnant women being particularly cruel and common victims.

The catastrophe of influenza joined a world already on fire. Not only did the war rage on till the end of 1918, revolution was fighting for its survival in Russia as domestic and foreign forces tried to crush it. Anticolonial movements against British rule intensified in Egypt, India, and Ireland. Postwar attempts at social revolution would ultimately be crushed in Germany, Hungary and elsewhere. The class war also raged in New York City throughout the height of the pandemic and it is there that we will turn our attention.

New York Flu

New York was, by 1918, the second most populous city in the world, behind only London. The city suffered its first peak of the virus in the Spring and a much worse one in the

— source | Michael Richmond | May 26, 2020

Nullius in verba

Why We Say Don’t Pay Rent

Dear Portland,

And dear anyone else, particularly in other localities that have passed similar laws to the eviction moratorium that was just renewed by the Multnomah County Board of Supervisors this week — which is now extended until July 2nd.

I want to talk to you about the rent strike, specifically. What rent strike, you may wonder? Well, it’s a good question, really. Because for us here in Portland/Multnomah County, it’s been a very hypothetical rent strike, since around these parts the ban on evictions, evictions filings, and late fees went into effect soon after the first pandemic lockdown took hold. At the last minute, just before it’s about to expire, as renters across the region are beginning to really panic and become total insomniacs, the moratorium on evictions is renewed — much to the chagrin of the landlord lobby, as represented by their various lobbying groups, such as Multi Family Northwest.

History tells us that we can transform a morbidly unequal society through the means of a broad and well-organized rent strike, first of all. And my strong sense is that we need to use the momentum provided by both the fissures in society exposed by the pandemic, and by the efforts of governing

— source | David Rovics | Dec 24, 2020

Nullius in verba

Nine arrested in San Jose, California anti-eviction protest

More than 100 tenants and advocates, organized by the Regional Tenant Organizing Network, blocked eviction hearings at the Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose, California Wednesday morning, protesting the displacement of renters during the coronavirus pandemic. Protesters blocking the courthouse entrance effectively shut down the court in the morning hours before being violently removed by County Sheriff’s Deputies. Nine protesters were arrested on the charge of disrupting court operations. Despite the ongoing pandemic, intensive care units nearing capacity, over 400 daily COVID-19 deaths in California alone and the extension of a federal eviction moratorium by the Biden administration, evictions continue apace throughout the state. In the heart of Silicon Valley, the home of Facebook, Alphabet/Google, Apple, Netflix and Tesla, impoverished workers are being kicked onto the street while being told to “stay home” to slow the spread of COVID-19.

— source | 28 Jan 2021

Nullius in verba