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

  • Pilar, you have options, you don’t have to remain “stuck in this capitalist system”. You can choose to emigrate to one of the totalitarian “socialist” states. The odd thing is, that the emigration/immigration flow appears to be a one-way system, so it would be interesting to observe someone going the other way. The decisions by people to speculate and take out mortgages that they could not afford was others taking advantage of the vulnerable, suggests that the decision makers had no responsibility for their subsequent plight. Philanthropy cannot meet the current economic challenges, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has established causes to support. As for “a class system” it is a somewhat out-dated ill-defined expression. Marx has been lying nice and cosy in Highgate cemetery for away over a century. If on the other hand, the racism of the US were discussed, that would be valid.
    Anti-imperialist suggests that although he himself offers no answers, others should, and if not doing so, are “heartless and rather self-defeating”.
    So go on Anti-imperialist, what is your answer?
    It is a false assumption that because some think that people have responsibility for their decisions, that that means a lack of concern for them and their families. But to deny that they hold any responsibility is in itself irresponsible.

  • I’m okay with fat cats having to forage. And many things have occurred to me, lol, but in regards to this crisis…. I don’t want to bring in the housing crash of 2008. That was entirely different from this situation. That was a period of speculation and taking advantage of a vulnerable population, being sold a bill of goods they would never attain. But ANYWAY, this is a crisis of humanity, and should/could be dealt with via philanthropy. I doubt that landowners would run to become tenants. Remember, there is such a thing as a class system too. Overall, it doesn’t matter what I want because I’m stuck in this capitalistic system and must adhere to its rules and regulations. Ultimately, the landowners will win as long as we have Trump in office.

  • Carlyle and Bob don’t seem to be able to grasp the nature of an emergency. Nobody was asking for a free ride to the detriment of landlords or the banks a month ago. Then, Covid-19 came which was a game-changer, or correct me if I’m wrong. You guys are heartless and rather self-defeating in my way of thinking. This nothing to do with socialism or capitalism it’s a crisis damn it. Turn out 25 million broke tennants to live on the street during the emergency and see what happens, or jail them or shoot them which I believe are the other options so that the poor landlords and banks don’t face any hardships from the losers in society taking advantage of them for a free ride. You guys have said a lot to defend the landlords but have not offered one alternative on what the rest of society should do to weather the emergency which to my way of thinking affects everyone.

    O yes Bob had one alternative, the tennants should sell their cars and telephones to pay their rent. Bob doesn’t seem to realize that it’s not possible today in many cities to go to a swap meet or hold a yard sale. And even if they could sell eveything they own, even the clothes they wear and the baby stroller to pay a month’s rent… what about the next month if employment isn’t in the cards yet?

  • Pilar, you are simply suggesting that the tenant should continue to have the benefits of tenancy, but the landlord should bear all the costs.
    You may recall that in the earlier part of this century, in order to assist people to become property owners, it was possible to obtain a mortgage with virtually no deposit. Millions took advantage, property prices rose dramatically, but purchasing continued, consequence was the financial crash of 2008.
    Your argument appears to be that someone else, be it landlords or banks ought to bear the burden and tenants ought to be allowed to live free.
    Has it occurred to you that if such were the case, everybody including those who you think should bear the financial burden, would rush to become a tenants ? Not “Born Free” but “live free” – remember that even fat cats have to forage.

  • Anti-Imperalist: we both agree there are many needing help such as those struggling with paying rent. They and their needs cannot be simply ignored.

    You seem to believe there is a simple solution of just not requiring them to pay.

    However, someone must make up for what they don’t pay. Nothing is free. There are economic impacts that someone or some group must make up for what these struggling folks cannot pay. There are ripple effects throughout the economy. As I mentioned previously, the landlord cannot make up totally for not receiving rent. The mortgage holder cannot make up totally for the landlord not paying his mortgage. It ripples through the economy. The problem with well meaning socialists is that they fail to recognize someone has to fill in the economic gaps.

    So everyone, including those who cannot pay the full rent, had to bear the load collectively. No free rides. No free housing. Maybe those renters have to sell their cars and cellphones to pay partial rent. Maybe they have to do some repairs or maintenance work in lieu of some of the rent. Maybe the landlord has to do with less rent coming in. Maybe the mortgage company has to make do with partial payments. Maybe those who invested their own money with the mortgage company so they would have money to lend have to make do with partial interest or repayment. But there should not be free rides on someone else’s shoulders.

    It is not a matter of simple fairness. It is a matter of simple economics which most socialists fail to understand. There is not free lunch. If someone contributes less or takes more then someone else must contribute more or take less.

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