„Colorado Rent Strike and Eviction Defense“ is a grassroots movement that was created spontaneously on the 17th of March by Desiree Kane and 6 other workers, concerned about their financial stability during the coronavirus crisis. Now it has united tenant unions all across Colorado and gained more than 4,000 supporters.
The form of organization is decentralized. There is no permanent leadership or relation to a political party. Autonomous tenant unions, people with the same landlord or in the same building are connecting locally, taking direct action and lending a hand to those who need help.
Their petition includes: rent and mortgage freeze; closing evictions; affordable healthcare; free housing; releasing nonviolent offenders from jail; expanding paid sick days, unemployment and disability income; providing protective equipment for essential workers.
No matter what their social status is, what industry they work for, whether they’re an employee or a freelancer, everyone is entitled to adequate support by the state.
The organization also stresses on the oppression of minority groups, which creates inequality among the working class. The history of the USA was built on genocide and discrimination against black, latino, indigenous and LGBT people. As Desiree Kane states, this started since when Christopher Columbus first came to America – and the basis of the system is still racist and colonialist.
The primary obstacles in the movement’s way are the banks who practically own the government, which in its turn enforces its will on the people through the police. “Colorado Rent Strike” demands from governor Polis and other local state representatives to act for the citizens, not the banks and corporations.
By far, 1/3 of the people of the USA have participated in the general strike on April the 1st. For “Colorado Rent Strike”, as well as many other organizations, this is a considerable victory.
On a local scale, 450 000 people are fighting for their rights and standing up for each other under the risk of forced eviction. Fortunately, the movement hasn’t met any state or corporate repression up to now.
The organization isn’t centered on any ideology. They are willing to work with anyone who fights for justice against capitalism and oppression, regardless of their political affiliation.
When it comes to goals for the future, they are planning a general rent strike on May 1st in order to pass their reforms during the period of the quarantine.
However, the movement will continue after the pandemic, as the country already was in a crisis before Covid-19. Their end goal is to secure free housing for everyone and (hopefully) help dismantle capitalism.