Every day, about 100 people in Chicago get evicted, says the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign. But if they have anything to say about it, that number will go down to zero.
Thursday morning, they served Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart with a five-day notice, telling him he needs to put a moratorium on economically motivated evictions within five days or they’ll be back to find out why.
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Organizer Holly Krig and foreclosure victim Jorge Ortiz spoke in Daley
Plaza, talking about their experiences with eviction and foreclosure and
why they think it should be stopped until the economic crisis is over. Take a look at what they had to say:
That’s a pretty radical statement. It goes against a lot of our capitalist notions of private property. Yet, I think this economic crisis is pushing people to think differently about who owns what. Can a house or a piece of land that a person takes care of and works for really be owned by someone who’s never seen it, to an entity that thinks of it as just another line on their balance sheet? There’s an earthiness to what Ortiz says, one that makes me think of John Locke’s ideas as the radical ones.
But there was another surprise to how this action ended. Usually, the people with signs are waved away, or at the most, met outside by a flack or a receptionist who promises to inform their supervisor. Yesterday, these activists were invited into Tom Dart’s office for a meeting. No word yet on just what was said. But it makes me wonder – could Dart, who made national headlines for placing a moratorium on foreclosure before and who could also use a platform to get ahead of big-shot Rahm Emanuel in the race for mayor, actually consider an eviction moratorium?
We’ll have to wait and see.