DOZENS OF DISGRUNTLED Portlanders rallied—again—in front of Portland City Hall on Friday, January 15, demanding renters' protections in Portland's tight, turbulent housing market.
Portland Tenants United (PTU)—a loosely structured group whose members have been organizing for months via Facebook—put together the event, but a variety of speakers were on hand to offer thoughts. Among them was a speaker named JC Sinn, representing the labor group Industrial Workers of the World. And Sinn, like a growing number of local activists, talked up one of the methods by which tenants have gotten landlords' attention in the past: a rent strike.
"It's the people who really have the power to end this housing crisis by confronting landlords and withholding rents," Sinn told the demonstrators. "Yes, rent strikes. That's what it's going to take to get the working class the power in Portland and around the world."