Austin: Eviction Courts Reopen During Pandemic

By Sandra Harris

On June 1, eviction courts reopened in Austin, Travis County. The Texas Supreme Court allowed the statewide moratorium on evictions expire on May 18.

While in Austin laws were passed to stop evictions through late July and to give renters a additional 60-day grace period to pay owed rent, this did not stop the courts from reopening to pick up on backlogged cases that were filed before the moratorium went into effect in March. 

During the protests against racist, murderous police around the country, Defend Our Hoodz rallied at eviction courts on Monday to speak out against their reopening. Eviction courts reopening means that soon local governments will be sending police violence directly to peoples’ doorsteps to displace them.

One tenant from the Riverside area gave a speech highlighting the necessity of organizing and fighting back against evictions: “We don’t owe a single penny to the landlords! The ruling class leaches off our labor everyday, then passes the brunt of the economic freefall onto us when their dying system inevitably goes into crisis. We refuse to pay rent and will defend each other against evictions! Our demands for the rent strike still stand: immediate rent stoppage, stop on all utility bills, and full wages regardless of circumstance or immigration status. No rent without work or wages!”