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Tampa community May Day rally against rising rent

By Gia Davila

May Day protest in Tampa, FL.

Tampa, FL – Tampa residents gathered outside of city hall to celebrate International Workers Day. Cries could be heard from all in attendance to demand safe and affordable housing for all. The ongoing rent crisis in Tampa has hit working class people hard, as many people are being pushed out of their homes with rent prices skyrocketing. Rent prices have risen extremely quickly, reaching over 38% higher prices than last January.

May Day, a historic day of workers struggle, began in in 1886 with a fight for the eight-hour work day.

Bill Aiman, of Tampa Bay Freedom Road Socialist Organization, stated “Workers in this country are constantly under attack by the ruling class. Anything that we win they will attempt to take away from us. The lack of affordable housing is just another aspect of these attacks. We need a fighting workers movement to push back against these attacks. In the spirit of 1886 we need a militant workers movement because that is what's going to win our liberation.”

The average Tampa resident needs three minimum wage jobs in order to pay their rent. Despite these horrific conditions for renters, the city council and Mayor Jane Castor refuse to put into effect any form of rent control or declare a housing state of emergency. It is clear that these city officials do not have working class people's interests in mind. Despite this, the people of Tampa refuse to sit by and watch quietly as these attacks on working-class people continue.

Jerrica Hoey attended the protest and said, “I come out to May Day events every year. I think it's super important to show solidarity with workers and fight against the rent increases that have been occurring this year. People are suffering, losing their homes, I have had two friends in the last week move out of state because they cannot afford to live here anymore. We have to fight back.”

As the fight for rent control continues it is important we stay militant, fighting back against these attacks on workers’ rights to accessible housing. The working-class people of Tampa will continue to fight for affordable and safe housing until the fight for housing for all is won.

The rally was organized by Tampa Bay Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) in conjunction with Tampa Bay SDS, Tampa Tenants Union, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Peoples Council of Tampa, and Tampa Bay Community Action Committee.

#TampaFL #Labor #HousingStruggles #tenantsRights #rentControl