14 June 2020 — London Renters Union
Good news! The government has announced a 2 month extension of the eviction ban. Renters getting organised helped make this happen.
This extension is the first victory of the Can’t Pay Won’t Pay campaign, but we have so much more to win. We still need the government to cancel rent debt and make the evictions ban permanent, so that all renters are safe. The government should end the benefits ban on migrants, and the government must end the racist Right to Rent legislation that means people have to prove their migration status when starting a new tenancy.
Join us in preparing for our first Can’t Pay Won’t Pay Day of Action on Saturday 27th June.
What’s the Can’t Pay Won’t Pay Day of Action?
It’s an opportunity to use eye-catching actions to publicise the Can’t Pay Won’t Pay demands, to invite more people to join the campaign, and to express solidarity on the streets with our fellow renters.
We especially plan to make explicit the way that the current housing system is particularly dangerous to our black and brown communities.
Poor housing and overcrowding has led to disproportionate Covid deaths amongst BAME Londoners and these same communities are being now targeted by landlords for illegal eviction.
For some black and brown people who are migrants,‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ visa conditions prevent them from receiving housing benefit and universal credit, putting them at greater risk of eviction, homelessness, and harassment by landlords.
We’re going to show the government and decision makers that renters are getting organised and we won’t give up until all renters get what we need to be safe.
What kind of actions are we talking about?
Some of the ideas suggested already include
- post a photo of yourself holding a message or placard using the hashtag #CantPayWontPay
- dropping bedsheets from our windows with slogans supporting our demands
- a colourful and musical bicycle parade around our local borough
- eviction resistance teams giving out advice in areas where renters are facing arrears and evictions
- putting up posters and chalking key messages onto the streets…
- socially-distanced banner drops and protests
- Tweeting / email writing to local MPs about No Borders in Housing and NRPF
Got another idea? Great! Let’s make our demands visible across the city.
How do I get involved?
If you live in one of the areas we currently have a branch or group, you should receive details of your next meeting shortly where we can talk about our plans. We currently have branches in Hackney, Lewisham and Newham & Leytonstone and small groups in Tower Hamlets and Camden.
If there isn’t an LRU group or branch in your area:
- Post a photo of yourself holding a message or placard using the hashtag #CantPayWontPay
- Fill in this form and we’ll be in touch with details of a meeting you can join to share and hear ideas about the day of action with other members
- get together with friends to organise a small protest or banner drop
We will also hold an online rally, on June 25, the day the eviction ban was due to be lifted, to get together, celebrate our victory and discuss our plans, so put that date in your diary.
Don’t forget to spread the word about the campaign to fellow renters who are struggling through loss of income. Making this a meaningful day means getting organised – remember, together we are powerful! Let’s go! Together we can force the government to keep renters safe from eviction and rent debt.