170 New York TA (Brooklyn Eviction Defense Tenant Union – Local #44) held a rally to celebrate their 3 months long rent strike against their slumlord Hager Management. Tenant leaders, young and old, new and lifelong, spoke of how they came together, how they decided to rent strike, and what the vision for the future looks like.
After months of organizing for better conditions and more control over where and how they live, a fire in an illegal basement unit lead to displacement and damage throughout the building. For three months tenants have been living without heat, gas and sometimes light. This was no coincident, management has failed to maintain the building and has left it in a state of dilapidation, for years, which make these infrastructural issues — that could have killed someone — more likely. What we know landlord are interested in profit maximization: they want to squeze as much rent from us while they minimize the amount of money they spend to upkeep our homes.
SO THESE TENANTS ARE FIGHTING TO GAIN COLLECTIVE CONTROL OF THEIR BUILDING. We talked about how tenants and other buildings have gone about this and ways those tactics might be replicable at their building. This is the second Hager building in the BED-TU on rent strike and will not be the last. As the quantity of organized, militant and rentstriking tenants grows under the BED-TU than so does the quality of our power. We will no longer beg but rather we will simply take back these buildings from these illegitimate slumlords and assume collective ownership of our homes and collective stewardship of a new world!!