UPDATED 11:25 AM PT — Saturday, May 2, 2020
Renters in California have joined hundreds of thousands across the country in a rent strike. On Friday, protesters in San Francisco called for a rent strike to stand with residents, who were unable to pay their rent due to the financial burden of coronavirus lockdowns and layoffs.
— KPFA Radio (@kpfa) May 1, 2020
The state has enacted a moratorium on evictions due to nonpayment, but protesters are demanding rent and mortgage payments be completely canceled.
— Radical Graffiti (@GraffitiRadical) April 20, 2020
“Even though we have a moratorium on payment of rent right now, six months after this ends, tenants will have to pay all of that rent and people are not going to be able to pay it,” explained one protester. “So we’re going to look at the greatest eviction crisis we’ve ever had in this country.”
Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced more than 4 million people had filed for unemployment since the pandemic began in the state. According to reports, nearly 200,000 people across the country have signed up to join their local rent strike.
According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 911,000 active cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. As of Saturday, nearly 65,000 people have died, while more than 164,000 have recovered.
This comes as many states begin to slowly reopen businesses and testing ramps up. More than 6.5 million tests have been administered.