Members of the Houston Tenants Union (HTU) attended actions this weekend in solidarity with all those protesting the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and those arrested in the demonstrations here in Houston. The fact that George Floyd was from Houston, and that his murder came on the heels of 6 local police murders, makes the pain and outrage we feel all the more visceral. As tenants and tenant organizers we witness first hand the way the police pervade our lives. When people gather to protest injustice, who intimidates, disrupts and provokes these gatherings? The police. When workers go out on strike, who sides with the boss and breaks up the strike? The police. When tenants can’t pay rent, even in the middle of a pandemic, who evicts these tenants? The police.
HTU understands the role white supremacy plays in housing. Black and Brown tenants across segregated Houston face some of the worst abuses and housing conditions. Many landlords give the police free reign in apartment complexes to harass and terrorize tenants. The police murders that happen in the streets relate directly to people’s housing conditions. The amazing acts of solidarity, self defense and support we witnessed at the George Floyd protests shouldn’t stop there.
We should take this energy and continue the fight against police brutality in our jobs, workplaces, schools, neighborhoods and homes. HTU needs your help in this struggle. We urge you to join or form an HTU local in your home and neighborhood. The police and landlords won’t stop their abuses on their own. Join us in this fight.