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New Project: Rent Is Theft


New Project: Rent Is Theft

We’re always excited to see new anarchist projects that attempt to break out of the status quo of the anarchist milieu. One such project that we’re pretty excited about is a new publication called “Rent Is Theft.”

“Rent Is Theft” describes itself as:

“…is an anarchist publication with the goal of combating private property ownership in Brooklyn and beyond. The idea for this publication was born out a desire to fight the wave of gentrification in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Although this is a modest contribution to the resistance in Brooklyn we hope the text will be used and treated as a call to action. We are struggling for permanent rent strikes in Brooklyn, the immediate formation of revolutionary tenants councils, and the communalization of all property in NYC and beyond.”

So far they have released one issue, which features not only excellent articles—exploring rent, gentrification, and policing—but also sharp design. It’s refreshing to see anarchists not only addressing these concepts, but doing so in a way that is original and engaging. They do a particularly good job of not just discussing the “injustice” of gentrification, but also in articulating a position against rent and reform:

“There will be those that extol the virtues of piecemeal victories; slow reforms; working within the system. We hope the articles in these pages will make it clear that the system cannot be changed from the inside. The very structure of our society is made to control and imprison us. Talking the Rent Guidelines Board down to a 1% rent increase is a victory for the landlords; a rent freeze is a stalemate. If rent is truly theft—as we have sought to demonstrate in these pages—then agreeing to pay any amount for rent is consenting to robbery of ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our class.

We instead call for a permanent rent strike. We demand a world in which land, housing and industry are communalized. There are those that will say our demands are “unrealistic”. But, to be realistic in this world is to accept a caste system in which our very humanity is a commodity to be bought and sold. To reject our place in society is to demand the “impossible”, which we, and countless revolutionaries before us have done proudly. In capitalist society there are many prisons, and being “realistic” is one of them. Demand the “impossible”.”

Check it out at RentIsTheft.org