COVID-19 has created a shutdown of nearly every industry which has cut off most workers from their means of survival in an unprecedented way. Many Philadelphians hold gig-economy jobs which offer no benefits and few people can access social services like unemployment benefits. Those that can must anticipate a lengthy process.
While Munincipal Courts are suspended through March 29th and Common Pleas Courts are suspended through April 12th, they have failed to suspend rent payments. Without a way to pay rent, many Philadelphians will be looking at massive back payments which we will be unable to pay as our economy goes into a recession and unemployment continues to rise. Already the most vulnerable, and those living below the poverty line experience the impact of this much more gravely than the affluent of our society, who can expect inconvenient but not precarious lifestyle changes.
Just like those who have lost money in all other passive income generating endeavors, including our retirement funds, landlords who are expecting to accrue wealth from tenants are living in a capitalist dream that no longer exists.
A mortgage freeze necessitates a rent freeze.
In providing a mortgage moratorium without one for rent, politicians are further cementing the security of the land-owning class while the working class are forced further into precarity.
We demand rent forgiveness now.
We, the undersigned tenants of Philadelphia, will not pay in April. We will not pay when the moratorium ends, and we will not be put further into debt. We ask that those who have the ability to pay rent stand in solidarity with the millions of Americans who will not be able to pay rent. We must stand together against eviction. We must rent strike now.
We ask that those who have the ability to get a note from your employer to verify your loss of income should you be taken to eviction court. We also ask that you get into contact with tenants of the same landlord to build a united front. There are more tenants than there are landlords, and they can't evict us all.
We stand in solidarity with workers throughout Turtle Island (North America) and demand these 5 points
1. FREE HEALTHCARE
Free testing, treatment and healthcare for all.
2. HAZARD PAY & SICK PAY FOR ALL WORKERS
Life-essential work must be compensated commiserate with the risk that frontline workers are taking, including contractors and gig-workers. Guarantee sick pay for all. No austerity measures affecting food stamps.
3. NO PAYING – NO DEBT
Suspend all rent, mortgage, utilities, loans, foreclosures, evictions.
4. FREE THE PRISONERS
End bail for jails, deactivate ICE, release detainees, and stop all sweeps of
5. HOMES FOR ALL
Unoccupied buildings, at the fault of greedy banks and landlords, are a disgrace to our city in this time of need.
Fill out the form below to commit to the rent strike! Talk to your friends, family and community about the rent strike! Share this form on social media
All we have is each other.
All information will be confidential. With this information we will be counting how many people would like to strike and putting tenants in contact with one another if you so choose.