Didn’t Make it to Renters Rising? You missed a great day!!
Last Saturday, people came together for the first Renters Rising - a community organising workshop & skillshare for renters. It was a chance for London renters to collaborate and learn together, and to share skills and ideas for organsing our movement.
The training was another step in our dream to support the building of a powerful, UK-wide renters movement; to challenge insecurity, poor repair and rising rents. We can’t rely on this government to fix renting; nearly 40% of them are landlords and the new Housing Minister has shown who’s side he’s on! So organising in our communities is what it will take if we are to win the homes we deserve.
We were a diverse group: some new to activism, others brought with them heaps of experience as campaigners and organisers. One thing we had in common: every single one is passionate for change.
When planning the day it was difficult to know where to start. Organising is about bringing people together and, like learning to ride a bike, sometimes you have to just hit the streets and try it. But organising is also about planning two and three moves ahead. So we spent much of day together developing strategies to build grassroots power: what tactics we can use and when, how we can communicate, and how we can build the strong relationships that movements are built on.
For the purposes of the day, we chose to focus on how we could build a long-term, London-wide campaign to win rent control. I must confess, when I dream of rent control it can sometimes feel like a distant unachievable goal. But, thoughout the day, it made me realise that with a bit of strategic planning, breaking the campaign down into manageable steps, even the biggest goals seem realisable.
Another thing that struck me was that how good events like this can be for building new links. I can testify that I went away having met some great people, and feeling more motivated and energised than ever!
There's a number of groups campaigning and organising renters in the capital (Digs, Generation Rent, Advice 4 Renters, English for Action to name just a few) - many were represented at the workshop. Interested in getting involved in ACORN or one of these or a groups where you are? Get in touch and we’ll help you link up.
7 September - Tenants across Bristol will gather to demand policy steps of Bristol Mayor, at an event co-organised by ACORN and the Mayor
October - Renters Rising will come to Newcastle and Reading
November - Renters Rising Sheffield and Bristol.
Contact us if you want to find out more. But it doesn’t have to stop there...
Where else shall we go? If you have friends and contacts in other places - put them in touch! The renters movement is only getting started. Getting together with a plan, we can win the rights we deserve.