Cancel The Rents Activists Say Housing Is A Human Right

| Podcast

There is a growing movement of people refusing to pay their rent whether they are not able to or whether they can but they are acting in solidarity with those who can’t. In this recession, tens of millions of people have lost their jobs. Support from the government is not reaching everyone who needs it. Thirty percent of people could not pay their rent in April. This is occurring in an environment where property owners are large corporations that seek profit even when it means people losing their homes during a pandemic. We speak with DC activist and co-host of By Any Means Necessary about the Cancel the Rent campaign, which calls on local government to put a moratorium on rent until the pandemic is over. Their long term goal seeks to transform the way housing is structured in the United States so it is treated as a basic human right.

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Sean Blackmon is a DC-based activist who works on a broad range of issues. He is an active member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and is the co-host with Jacqueline Luqman of the radio program, By Any Means Necessary, on Sputnik Radio.

Transcript in progress.

  • Steve

    Of course the MSM hardly is covering the fact 30%+ of Americans CAN NOT pay rent for April with no jobs. I detest trump, but he’s actually Right,, that there is Fake News whether by omission, spectacle, celebrity and so on they will not cover real issues that matter to majority of Americans. ie that food, shelter and healthcare should be a human right. Thanks you Popular Resistance for being voice in willderness of fake news.

  • Who D. Who

    A positive outcome of the current crisis would be a major collapse of real estate values. In fairness to the indebted, even fixed mortgages would have to be reconfigured, but in the larger picture, the cities would again become affordable for the young. The biggest losers would be those who deserve to lose: the real estate speculators who keep the prices artificially high and exploit a basic human need.

  • didactic1

    Under capitalism, housing is not a human right. If
    class struggle forces the collapse of law developed to protect capitalist interests, then and only then may those who produce social wealth claim part of it to be used as housing. Force likely is necessary to accomplish this objective. A corollary is liquidation of courts, police and courts that enforce by sanctioned violence current lease and contractual property obligations. Are the rent activists prepared to use all means necessary within this current social dynamic to accomplish their goal?

  • didactic1

    Values may collapse but legal ownership remains. Under capitalism, it can be sold. Leased or even given away, but only under pressure existing legal format enshrined in law, and enforced by the sanctioned violence of the State, an organ of property owners.

  • didactic1

    Rent can be waived, tenants can declare bankruptcy, renegotiate rent or include more occupants to share costs. Or they can disappear.

  • didactic1

    I also would add that unemployment of one signee on a lease does not always equal incapacity for all responsible on a lease to not pay owed rent. False equivalence. A lesser may also have credit or assets to draw on to pay rent.

  • Nylene13

    From what I have read SOME states have declared that people cannot be evicted for not paying rent during the C. virus.

    This needs to be made the law across All states.

  • didactic1

    However, they will still owe the rent plus interest by a later date. Your Fifth Amendment. The Bill of Rights.


  • Nylene13

    Then they should get paid back wages for work lost to cover it.

  • Nylene13

    The U.S. Government always turns to socialism when necessary. They don’t like it, but they do it all the time.

    Right now they want to get rid of the Postal Offices, which is a socialist system, but they won’t do it until they figure out a way to replace it that will be cheaper than the existing system.

    If they charged enough for stamps to make a profit, a stamp would cost $5 dollars or more.

  • didactic1

    Workers ownership of all capital is a pre requisite for socialism. A cursory review of Marx demonstrates that.

  • didactic1

    We are not discussing “should”.

  • Nylene13

    “Under capitalism”
    Capitalism is the problem-
    What is the question?

  • Nylene13

    We can change the law.

    We can do anything we want to do, under the Constitution.

    This is a free country.

    We don’t have a King.

  • Nylene13

    That is right!

  • didactic1

    Organize radical cells in communities. And like cancer, once the triggers of war and climate caused pestilence weaken the capitalist lungs, kill the body.

  • didactic1

    You are deluded. 🙄

  • didactic1

    How to kill it.

  • 40BigMomma40

    I am so lucky that I live in subsidized (section 8) housing and that when I lost my job my rent was reduced accordingly. I think that all rental housing should be like that, with government giving grants to all and every tenant managers so the housing is based more on ability to pay rather than a market rent amount. Rents should be subsidized by a government program just like the license plate tab tax we pay for driving on the roads. Everybody needs the roads, plus everybody needs a place to live, food, clothing and healthcare so I think all these needs could easily be met by our U.S. Government in programs where we all pay in, including helping pay mortgages for people who own homes and there is a crisis such as Covid and the economic depression looming over us. We are the most wealthy nation on this Earth, so yes we should EASILY be able to take care of our own, as well as help other nations.

    But ours is a stingy nation of the 1% unfortunately……… and the overdrive towards working over leisure is pushed by the 1 percenters who want us all to think we are lazy if we don’t work hard to earn them their huge profits, while they live in luxury and the poor are overworked and go hungry. Such a horrible, unfair country we live in. Really it MUST CHANGE if our country is even to survive in the future.

  • Steve

    They just bailed out rich on Wall Street for 6 Trillion between FED and congress. Least they could do is provide rent checks for the bottom 50%. You’re really clueless about plight of those ppl with your ridiculous “options” Bankruptcy costs money when they are having a hard time eating. Land lords not to mention city codes have occupancy limits. And Disappear? You sound like a sociopath now.

  • Richard

    Used to be a Free Country, that time has long passed. Government is king in this country and has been for a long time now. They make the laws, they also write the laws and they make sure they are enforced. You just about need a lawyer present 24/7 to prove that you do still have rights these days because everyone from the government right down to your local city counsel are nothing but greedy crooks out to get everything they can from you one way or the other.

    Constitution? Oh, that’s sitting in a museum somewhere gathering dust in the “Ancient History” section. Times are coming when a lot of people will find out the hard way just why we had and needed a “second Amendment” among others when the time arose.

  • didactic1

    Not clueless at all. Mail checks to people, let them use it for tent. I merely observed correctly, not advocated.that the current economic model rests completely on private property ownership.

    Do I like that? Who cares? Do you like it? Who cares?

    This principle of private property is the core of US Constitution. Not free speech or democracy. Quite rational to claim 1787 Constitution is deemed obsolete.

    It won’t be terminated peacefully.

  • didactic1

    Won’t last long.

  • RickW

    Back in “the day”, missing three consecutive days of work was a hanging offense. Of course, we live in “modern times” so this archaic law is only wishful thinking amongst today’s “royalty”. Or is it…..?