Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

This weekend, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, alongside the Democratic Socialists of America, took our fight for housing justice to the New York State Fair, protesting the corporate-led attacks against the right to housing — brought to a recent head by the Supreme Court’s decision to end eviction moratoriums.

This decision, made to appease corporate real estate lobbies, brought a violent end to the final form of protection provided to those hit hardest by the pandemic. It is the latest chapter in a story of profits over people, and part of a merciless capitalist campaign forcing poor families into starvation wages to afford ever-increasing rents.

But while private interests tighten their grip, the people fight back. Our protestors, sharing personal stories of housing insecurity and government failures, brought a clear message to thousands of fairgoers: Stop the evictions and cancel the rents.

Institutional housing violence is policy choice inflicted upon us by the same capitalists that stole our eviction protections. As a path to seize back our rights and end this violence, we introduced our list of demands — a platform to achieve housing justice in Syracuse and positions that local officials must acknowledge as superior to profit:

  1. Housing is a human right.
  2. The Haudenosaunee people must have a voice in developing the land stolen from them.
  3. A tenant-controlled Urban Planning Committee must be created to give tenants democratic control of city and county governments.
  4. Tenants have a right to dignity in housing conditions.
  5. The relationship between landlords and tenants is historically one of oppression and
    exploitation.
  6. Syracuse must pass rent control legislation.
  7. Eliminate lead and radon poisoning in Syracuse housing.
  8. Expand public housing and guarantee housing to the unhoused.

We are encouraged by New York’s decision to extend its moratorium into 2022. Their actions are a testament to the power of the people making their voices heard. However, a moratorium cannot resolve the crisis, only delay it. Eventually, moratoriums will end and the eviction crisis will begin. The only resolution lies in the recognition of housing as a human right.

— Submitted by Syracuse Tenants Organizing for Power!