Housing Activists Make Plans to Fight Looming Mass Evictions


Center for Disease Control and Prevention issues moratorium on evictions amid burgeoning crisis

By Abayomi Azikiwe Global Research, September 17, 2020

A recent moratorium issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided a window of relief to millions facing evictions due to payment arrears on their rents and mortgages.

Perhaps as an election ploy by the current administration, the question of public health is paramount when a country is experiencing the largest outbreak of an infectious disease in more than a century.

This measure comes amid one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression during 1929-1941.

Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, tens of millions have been thrown out of work in the United States. The administration of President Donald J. Trump is overseeing the most deadly spread of the pandemic internationally.

Trump continues to blame the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for the failures of his oval office to take preventative and adequate mitigation efforts aimed at halting the spread of the disease. Since February, nearly 200,000 people have died due to COVID-19 while more than 6 million were infected with the highly contagious illness.

Housing activists across the U.S. are grappling with the significance of the CDC moratorium and what actions are needed to protect working and impoverished people from being thrown out of their homes irrespective of government policy. Many are concerned about what will happen after the moratorium expires and whether it will be extended by whichever candidate wins the November presidential election.

As part of the process of movement building and political coordination, a public meeting known as “Liberation Mondays” was held in the city of Detroit on September 14 which was hosted by the General Baker Institute (GBI). Additional sponsors of the gathering were the Moratorium NOW! Coalition, Detroit Will Breathe (DWB), the Democratic Socialist of America (DSA) in Detroit, the Black-Brown Alliance of DSA, among others.

Several of the leading organizations concerned and working on the housing crisis in Detroit were present. This event represented a perspective on housing that is in line with the current national and international struggles against police violence and institutional racism. DWB, which has led demonstrations in Detroit and the suburbs against police misconduct for over three months, were a key component in the meeting.

Those speaking from the panel assembled were Agnes Hitchcock of the Call Em out Coalition, a grouping which has existed for more than a decade geared towards holding public officials accountable to the people of Detroit. Also Monica Lewis-Patrick represented We the People of Detroit, an organization committed to ensuring clean running water for all residents of the city and Tristan Taylor, an organizer for DWB. The forum was chaired by the Black-Brown Alliance of DSA and Kenya Fentress of Black Lives Matter across 8 Mile.

The Detroit Eviction Defense (DED) coalition had two representatives who spoke to the escalating housing crisis in the city. Jim Dwight said during his comments that the majority of people coming to DED for assistance were African American women. Detroit is an overwhelming African American populated municipality which has undergone decades of underdeveloped and systematic oppression. Detroit was subjected to the illegal imposition of emergency management and bankruptcy from 2013-2014. Since then the corporate-oriented Mayor Mike Duggan has incessantly sought to transfer public resources to private capitalist interests that are dominating the economy of Detroit including  Dan Gilbert, the Illitch family and the leading financial institutions, such as Chase Bank.Lessons From the Detroit July 1967 Rebellion and Prospects for Social Transformation

As a direct result of the pandemic, the “development” model of business office space availability, entertainment, sports, high-rent apartments, expensive condominiums and tourism has been in severe decline. The much championed casino hotels have reopened recently with monumental reductions in allowed capacity….

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