Walking and Running in Housing Activism

In the Bakuninist programme a general strike is the lever employed by which the social revolution is started. One fine morning all the workers in all the industries of a country, or even of the whole world, stop work, thus forcing the propertied classes either humbly to submit within four weeks at the most, or to attack the workers, who would then have the right to defend themselves and use this opportunity to pull down the entire old society. ENGELS

The response to the Coronavirus in New Zealand has made both the systemic inequalities in our society, and how far the furthest Left government we’ve had in at least forty years will go to address them, a lot more transparent. In particular, the disparity in privileges and care given to landlords and tenants has been highlighted. A common judgment that went around social media was that rental property is the only form of investment that’s seemingly protected from making a loss. 

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Why a Union for Working Communities is Necessary

The Aotearoa Community Union is a new mass organisation of the working class founded by the New Communist Party of Aotearoa to introduce class-oriented mass struggle around the housing crisis. An introductory article on the ACU is reproduced here.

Working people have long recognised that we are stronger united than as individuals. Unions for workers sprung up in factories and other workplaces as the Industrial Revolution not only meant that big communities of workers formed for the first time, but working conditions decreased significantly. For the last couple centuries, labour unions have become an important organisational weapon for the working class to raise our living standards and protect against the greed of the capitalists.

The reality is, however, that we do not only exist in the workplace. In fact, workers have fought hard so that we can ensure that we have a life outside the workplace. Our homes, parks, fields and local shops are such an important part of our lives and what makes us people rather than mindless drones.

The capitalists also exist outside the workplace. They own the businesses we work for and the products of our labour, but they also own the houses that we rent and to a large degree control the communities that we live in through the business associations and local government bodies.

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