On May 1, the French NC calls for the organisation and support of a European rent strike.
As déconfinement (the uplifting of quarantine) starts, millions of people are left out of a job. We’ve been calling for a solidarity payment to each European citizen. We’ve been calling for months for an emergency housing plan to ensure that everyone has access to a good, sustainable housing.
As the Establishment ignores us, it is time we call a bit louder! The rent strike is aimed at serving the interest of millions of people with precarious access to basic goods, while respecting the preventive policies in place to protect people from the spread of Sars-Cov-2.
Through this action, we are also hoping to start a conversation around our unique emergency 3-Point plan for Europe: if they ask us how to fund our demands, we will talk about Eurobonds, the Universal Basic Dividend, the GNDE. People will say the rules don’t allow it? We can answer that they do, but that we want constitutional assemblies because we are more ambitious for Europe than the rules allow us to be!
After years of seeing our economies and communities enslaved to the interests of the rich and powerful, we want to see finally see them pay their share! The voice of the Left is all but unheard as the crisis expands and millions of people remain in the frontline or are pushed into precariousness. As a result, we can hear once again the now classical narrative of a divided Europe with good and bad nations. History teaches how devastating this narrative is.
Climate change warns us that pressure on basic goods will only grow stronger with each passing year. It is urgent that we build a counter narrative, a transnational class narrative. It is urgent that we start it, not next month, not next year, but now.
In Germany, massive rent demonstrations were held in several major cities in 2019. In Spain, 200 collectives have already called for such a strike, with first attempts reported in the UK as well as in France this very spring. Students in the UK trapped in university accommodation are withholding their rent, and others are showing their participation in rent strikes by putting white sheets out onto their balconies or windows. Across the United States, the “largest rent strike in nearly a century” is set to take place as organizers help communities around the country to conduct the strike. Communities around the world are participating in a worldwide rent strike, and it’s time for European countries to join.
The coronavirus has made this May Day an even more crucial moment for radical action and solidarity with workers and renters everywhere.
More West Philly #Covid19 art. “Tenants Keep Your Rent. Landlords Keep Your Distance.” #RentStrike pic.twitter.com/mdlBOLvoUF
— Chelsea Chamberlain (@cdchambs) March 26, 2020
This is a historic moment unlike any other any of us has gone through. If we acknowledge the window of possibility such a time opens then it’s our duty to seize the day before the opportunity is lost. It is our duty that we rise to the challenge of our time, and connect these initiatives across the continent, and fulfil the revolutionary mission we chose by joining this movement.
If you want to join this action, or help organise our communities in France for radical change, please email the National Collective of DiEM25 in France at [email protected]
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