“The first man who enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying ‘This is mine’, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not anyone have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, ‘Beware of listening to this impostor, you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”
280,000 people in Scotland living in the private rented sector live in poverty. (in a so called welfare state) And how many are children and how many are malnourished, living in fear of the next exploitative bill, how many will be physiologically impacted; become a statistic of the criminal justice system, turn to mood altering drugs and alcohol, be isolated from their families and the wider society. Shelter is a primal need for survival, like air, like water. That is why housing is a basic human right and we fail as human beings unless we recognise this. And we fail as citizens by not demanding it. Money may insulate us from poverty but it can not protect us from the conflicts of our own humanity, nor the threat of changing circumstances that may affect anyone in any given time in a precarious world.
Rent is the most insidious weapon in the neoliberal project, it seeps into and controls everything, it sanitises our communities to the zero sum game of afford, it isolates people, creates fear of the future, destroys creativity and innovation and ultimately violates and criminalises the poor.
280,000 people living in poverty. Is that the legacy we want to leave our kids, our grand kids? Or do we need to listen to something different?
Living Rent, Scotland’s tenants’ union, fighting for decent and affordable housing for all.
From LA to Glasgow (Event)
A book launch for City of Segregation
100 Years of Struggle for Housing in Los Angeles
“We must fight these racist ideologies for a different vision of housing, and justice at the soul of our cities.”