Defund the Police, Cancel the Rent!
Updated: Aug 2, 2020
In the weeks since the #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd movement erupted in Minneapolis, millions have taken to the streets to confront police terror and systemic racism. In doing so, many have come face-to-face with the cold reality of police repression in the US. More people than ever before are starting to question the role of police in society while witnessing hordes of riot police inflicting violence akin to war crimes at protests across the country, including tear gas and rubber bullets.
More recently, secret police in Portland have abducted protestors into unmarked vans, and Trump is planning to send hundreds of federal officers to Chicago to impose “law and order” on suffering communities. Amid growing calls to #DefundThePolice, it is becoming clearer by the day that outrageous spending on police and the military doesn’t improve the lives of working class people, and in many cases only escalates the chaos by inflicting violence in the streets.
The whole system is guilty. The US spends $100 billion on policing each year. This money could fund the construction of over a million units of affordable housing.
In fact, the cost of just one cop on the street could pay a year’s rent for 2 dozen low-income families.
We should remember that this movement was started to demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the countless other people of color murdered in cold blood by police. With the US facing a wave of mass evictions, Black renters are expected to be disproportionately impacted and their lives threatened. Fighting racism means fighting evictions, and all forms of state violence, like the criminal underfunding of housing, jobs programs, and public education.
We won’t stand by while Trump and Democratic mayors continue shoveling money toward police repression while millions are at risk of being evicted. We must take inspiration from the powerful #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd movement to mobilize around cancelling rent, halting evictions, and defunding the police to fund high-quality social housing!
Here’s are some ways you can get involved:
Connect with your area’s Rent Strike Facebook group to get involved with local organizing!