CUT THE RENT!
How do we solve the housing disaster faced by millions of people across Europe? In the past few months we may have found an answer.
In London we are wittnessing the cusp of a housing revolution; by organising a rent strike, students at University College London have forced their landlords to cut the rent and make students’ homes less extortionate. There is now a clear vision to scale-up this action to solve the exploitative rents that are sucking the life out of communities across the UK and Europe.
This is a movement that is changing the balance of power in housing politics. With your help it could be accomplished.
There are many ways that anybody and any organisation or network can support this, from pledges to promote and share future actions to donating funds. Right now we are gathering commitments of support from others who agree with this project for lower rent and want to see our campaign help turn the tide of the “housing crisis” into a crisis for the landlords.
Direct democracy and housing for the people
Most significantly, the rent strike this year, which was recognised as a game-changer by both activists and columnists in national newspapers, cost only a few thousand pounds to organise.
Now, there is real prospect for democratic change at the grassroots of British society; we have won once, and now we are determined to win again – London, and Europe, desperately needs a housing movement that can go on the offensive for decent, affordable homes.
This year, our campaign started out with a handful of volunteers and ended with hundreds of students on strike supported by a skilled network of organisers.
A year ago the movement for housing in the UK was staggering, now we have seen that victories are possible and student campaigns inspired by our strike are being established at campuses across the country.
We intend to carry on the campaign, to keep the landlords and the government on the back-foot, and this time we can coordinate with allied campaigns all over the UK. This could herald a surge for truly powerful political action based on the principles of solidarity, direct democracy and housing for the people by the people.
What do we need?
With as little as €6,000 we can run the campaign for another year with even more momentum and involving thousands of people; we will be able to lay unshakable foundations for fresh victories and affordable homes.
Imagine how easily this could be replicated en masse on a local bases around the UK and beyond!
€6,000 will cover all the basic campaign expenses needed to organise one campus, from printing flyers to throwing community assemblies. Anything raised above this mark will be able to cover solidarity funds for travelling to other campuses and cities to share the skills and inspiration to replicate our success.
Together we can win! Thank you!
How we will spend the money
Mobilising, organising and acting!
The majority of the resources needed for this sort of campaign goes into printing promotional materials to help spread the message of the campaign and information of its tactics to students and supporters.
Therefore slightly more than half of the funds raised will help pay for printing to help communicate the campaign's ideas and actions.
At the same time, to mobilise we need to cover our expenses in transport, facilitating meetings and materials for demonstrations and actions. With expenses covered on these posts, we will be able to focus almost entirely on mobilising, organising, coordinating actions and taking down the landlords.
Below you can see an overview over our expenses. Whether the costs will be high or low, depends on this campaign. We can do little with a little and a lot with a lot:
- Printing of promotional materials
- Facilitating meetings and social events
- Materials for demonstrations and actions
Here are some extra resources:
Statement from UCL, Cut The Rent
If there is a motive, a spirit, that unites all organisers in the world it is possibly, in the words of Saul Alinsky, the longing to create - to create something out of nothing. This is what drives us to change the world, to imagine a better and greater society and to build that society. Deep down, this is what all good organisers do when they put their visions into practice. Our friends at FIREFUND represent the most noble living embodiment of this spirit and they have created something beautiful.
To recognise that humans in different countries and in different continents are connected by bonds of solidarity that are greater than our differences is a profound insight into human nature. To act, and to create the means to facilitate that solidarity is greater still. FIREFUND, its creators and its supporters have demonstrated both these qualities in practice.
This present campaign has done something unique. With few exceptions, out of the many who have professed support for our grassroots action - which aims at securing decent affordable homes for everyone - it is only the backers of this FIREFUND campaign who have taken direct action based on these principles to pledge funds towards our cause. Since actions speak louder than words, we can only struggle to express our gratitude for this support.
We make our own history, it has been said, but we do not make it under conditions entirely of our own choosing. In this instance we have reluctantly conceded that conditions have not allowed us to reach the target we established for this campaign and as a result we will place it on hold until further notice.
The campaign is cancelled
We decided to cancel our crowdfunding campaign and we want to give out this statement as an explanation for the supporters who have either pledged direct support or indirectly by sharing our communication.
Even though it is far from the goal of € 6000 with 14 days left, we are proud to have gathered as much as € 650 as pledged donations. The money will not be transferred since we did not reach the target goal within 30 days, but it is still a clear expression of solidarity.
The reason we decided to cancel the campaign, is that we did not have the organisational ressources we thought we had, to run the campaign. Campaigning online is not easier in any way than on the streets - it takes a lot of hard and dedicated work.
We are not able to do this now - but it does not remove our need for funding and the urgency of international solidarity with our growing movement.
We hope to re-launch the campaign, when we have the ressources to do it - but until then, we appreciate and honor the support too much, to continue a campaign without any activists behind the wheel.
The struggle is not over - and the rent strike is just getting started.
We only hope, that the solidarity shown towards our cause in this campaign will remain and grow - because we truly appreciate and need it.