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(en) US, Boston, NEFAC Strike! - LANDLORDS BEWARE: BOSTON ANGRY TENANTS ARE COMING FOR YOU!

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 4 Jul 2004 10:47:00 +0200 (CEST)


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Housing is a right, not a privilege to be owned and enjoyed by
only the rich, and the Boston Angry Tenants Union (BATU) is
working hard to prove the point. BATU is a grassroots,
tenant-run organization whose mission is to organize tenants to
act militantly and collectively in order to change the state of
housing in Boston. We cannot count on dirty politicians to get the
job done; all tenants deserve a voice. We need to take control of
our own lives and make decisions for ourselves.

There is so much that needs changing in Boston; the eradication
of rent control and slashes in funds for federally subsidized
housing have left thousands of workers and families unable to
afford decent homes. Combine that with the gentrification of
neighborhoods, and the refusal of repairs by landlords and you
have a pretty sad story. All this is what BATU is battling. With a
base in Boston's Allston-Brighton neighborhood, BATU has
been working diligently to speak to as many neighbors as
possible, to hear stories and to find a way to work together to
bring about change. BATU has been working primarily with
tenants who are recent immigrants or of precarious immigration
status, highlighting the ways in which borders serve to divide and
weaken our ability to fight back.

BATU has been vocal and active about spreading the word about
the evils of the Small Property Owners Association (SPOA). This
seemingly-helpful group is really just a front-group for rich
landlords who want to keep rent control from being reinstated and
who are currently, along with fellow scumbag anti-tenant group
the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, trying to push a bill
through Congress that will instate a "mandatory rent
escrow." This law would force tenants who are withholding
rent from their greedy landlords in order to get the landlords to do
repairs, to put their rent into a third-party account while the
claims are under investigation. Withholding rent in exchange for
action by our bloodsucking landlords is one of the few powers we
have as tenants in this system. This bill must be stopped, and
SPOA's evils must be exposed to as many people as possible.
To accomplish this task, BATU has made several flyers outlining
SPOA's actions, and have handed them out in the
community, encouraging neighbors to talk and act in any way
they see fit.

In addition to its direct action campaigns, BATU has been trying
to reach out to a wider cross-section of the community. The
group has been establishing a relationship with the Brazilian
Immigrants Center in Allston, and plan to co-host a large tenant
meeting with the group sometime in the near future. On May
Day, BATU ran a "Dunk the Landlord" booth at the
Wake Up the Earth Festival where people got an opportunity to
try to dunk a "landlord." BATU has also been busy
handing out copies of the latest issue of its paper, "The Angry
Tenant." This issue focus on fare hikes on public transport,
budget cuts for public housing and Yuppifcation of Boston's
South End neighborhood. The next issue of the Angry Tenant
will focusing on anti-electoral politics and the effects of elections
on housing, and will be out around the time of Democratic
National Convention in late July.

BATU is a member of the Boston Tenants Coalition (BTC), and
was one of several Boston area tenant-organizing groups present
at last weekend's Tenant Action Day. Tenant groups
brainstormed about actions and discussed recent cuts in public
housing funds. BATU will most likely be participating in the
"March on the Bush Administration," a call put out by
the BTC and the Massachusetts Alliance of HUD Tenants,
which will "serve" a "Notice to Quit" to the Bush
Administration in Boston on June 5th.

Watch for more great action by BATU!!! For more information,
or to become a part of the action, contact BATU at:
angrytenants@juno.com, or (617) 499-1921. LANDLORDS
BEWARE: BOSTON ANGRY TENANTS ARE COMING FOR
YOU!

***********************************************
This article is a preview from the debut issue of "Strike!"

Strike! is a tabloid newspaper covering the ever important
struggles of working people in the Northeast and across the
world. From community and workplace resistance, to the fights
against racism and sexism as well as international turmoil, the
struggles that rock your world are brought to you here with a
fresh anarchist-communist perspective. Strike! is the
English-language agitational publication of the Northeastern
Federation of Anarcho-Communists (NEFAC). We are bilingual
federation of revolutionaries who identify with communist
tradition in anarchism. Our activity in the last few years has
focused around radicalizing the broad struggles of our class, in
the streets, in our workplaces and in our neighborhoods.

Strike! has come to exist after a long process of rethinking our
agitational publications following the end of Barricada magazine,
which for a time was a NEFAC affiliated magazine.

In this issue of Strike!, you will find articles on rank and file labor
struggles, tenant union organizing, eco-racism, indigenous
struggles, and direct action in the streets! Plus, there is a regular
column about GI resistance within the military, and a
pro-queer/feminist advice column.

Strike! can be obtained in most large cities in the Northeast.
NEFAC members will be making a special efffort to have it
available in community centers, left bookshops and at picket lines
and demonstrations.

Bulk orders and subscriptions can be made with the Stelton
Anarchist Collective: PO BOX 3107 New Brunswick, NJ 08903,
or contact: skip@nefac.net

For letters to the editor, content questions, submissions, and
press exchanges, contact Class Action at: classaction@nefac.net

Also, brand new issues of NEFAC's other publications (The
Northeastern Anarchist, Ruptures and Cause Commune) are set
to hit the newstands very soon!

Link: http://www.nefac.net



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