Activists Hold “Cancel the Rent” Protests Around USA

By Democracy Now

 

HAVANA TIMES – People in cities around the country took part in a “Cancel the Rent” car protest Saturday. The action was organized by the Party for Socialism and Liberation. This is a protester speaking in Los Angeles.

Protester: “Democrats and Republicans pass legislation which bail out the banks and not the people! And that’s why we’re here today. They’ve been telling us for years — for years — that we don’t have the money, that we don’t have the power, to bail out the people. But somehow, in crisis, when the economy has to shut down, when capitalism has to take a back seat, the workers become the essential class.”

Activists have been calling for a moratorium on rents for the duration of the coronavirus crisis as unemployment numbers continue to surge. President Trump signed off on the latest $484 billion coronavirus relief bill Friday, but neither of the relief bills passed so far includes any assistance for people struggling to pay rent.

The Congressional Budget Office is projecting the unemployment rate in the U.S. will remain high for at least the next 18 months as the U.S. recovers from the pandemic. The unemployment rate is projected to be at 10% at the end of 2021 — higher than it ever was during the Great Recession following the 2008 crash. It is expected to be between 14 and 16% through the fall of this year, though some analyses of the true rate of unemployment put that number much higher.

20 thoughts on “Activists Hold “Cancel the Rent” Protests Around USA

  • Anti-imperialist, you suggest that “everything will have to be paid for” “sounds quite impractical”. So everything is free? Pennies from Heaven? Magic!
    As I understand it the thirty odd million unemployed in the US receive an unemployment benefit. Is that not a “measure”?
    According to the news from the US (or maybe like Trump you consider it fake) the US Government has made grants available to small and medium size businesses.
    The assessment I gave has not changed, whereas you continue to raise a problem, but to offer no solution, expecting others to do so.

  • Carlyle fails to understand what it means to go from working and paying your bills including rent and having no work and no savings. It’s not a matter of 25% or 50%. Where is the 50% going to come from with no income. Without government and/or employer assistance, theft or robbery, which isn’t very practical now either, may be the only way to pay the landlords part of their rent for people who have lost all of the their income and who were living check to check or week to week or by the day in the case of much of the informal market, which is many millions in the US. The idea that “everything will have to be paid for” in the end sounds quite impractical to me. Saddle the poorest with debt they won’t be able to get out of will only compound the crisis and make it last longer. Although maybe raising the minimum and other wages considerably might allow them to pay back rent. However fat chance for that to happen with the depressed economy. Again what’s needed in the US are measures that takes the pressure off the poorest, those with no real assests. Also small businesses should be helped, including small landlords. We don’t need to mention the big guys and the banks because they will be well taken care of or file bankrupcy and start over.

  • I understand your concept Anti-Imperialist. Just deny landlords any income for three months and potentially longer. Presumably you would expect their necessary services to their tenants to continue? Who would pay for that? The difference in our views, is that your concerns are limited to one section only of society, rather than concern for all those affected.
    You are correct in saying that Covid-19 has created emergency, but it is not short-term. Even the most optimistic scientists suggest a minimum of two years, many will be unemployed for a long time. So, is there a time limit in your mind for the cessation of rents?
    You ignore the plight of the elderly who will still have to pay their rents.
    The banks cannot print money, the Federal governments can. Federal governments represent all the people. A combination of a reduction in rents, for those receiving unemployment benefit, with government making a contribution makes a reasonable balance of pain sharing. Say reducing rents by 25%, with government paying 25% leaving the tenants with 50% to pay.
    What are you suggesting for monthly payments on hard goods, cars, cell-phones, domestic appliances and other desirable but not essential products?
    I would agree that placing a hold or partial hold on mortgages for a relatively brief time of say three months, would allow people to re-assess and reorganize their lives.
    I think that everybody is eventually going to realize that this “emergency” is long term, not of a couple of months duration. Eventually, when a new different normal has become established, everything will have to be paid for. I anticipate a substantial drop in the average standard of living, far fewer of those luxuries to which society as a whole has become accustomed, a return to the conditions that existed in the 1930s. That is not being “heartless”, that is being realistic!
    Those who have always endeavored to live within their means, will however suffer less than those who decided to depend upon future earnings and chose to assume debt.

  • Carlyle and Bob I was first waiting for your proposals on what to do in this EMERGENCY situation. You both shy away from doing anything but criticising previously working renters, for one reason or another, and becrying the situation of the poor landlords who are smarter than the renters who you see as losers looking for a free ride. Here’s my initial suggestion, since you asked Carlyle.

    A three month cancellation on all rents for those who lost their source of income, including informal workers without legal status, At the same time, anyone paying a mortage that loses their income source should receive three months of cancelled payments. After two months that is on July 1st an evaluation of the situation should be made to decide what to do for the next three month period which would be August-October. I can think of several other issues to resolve in these times of the Covid-19 emergency but that would be a good start. I don’t mention the banks that would lose their mortage payments because we all know the government will take care of them twice over.

    No judgements would be made if it’s a cut-throat landlord or stupidly consuming tenant. That’s out of place in a time of EMERGENCY.

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