Homes For All Page

HOMES FOR ALL

Number 1 / Fall 1994


Excerpts From The Writings of Marco Grandino

The most dramatic potential for constructive social change and political-economic protest, as witnessed and proven in South Africa from 1984 to 1990, is the mass rent boycott....

The rent boycott, out of all the boycotts, appears to have been the most effective. "It is the one form of black resistance that the white minority government has been unable to crush, despite measures that have snuffed out rather peaceful forms of protest" (Kraft)....

David Webster a member of the CRG, puts it: "Rent boycotts are a very important form of protest. They are invisible but effective methods of resistance that do not involve going out into the streets... People can practice them from the privacy of their own homes." (Newsweek, September 8, 1986).

"The one area of black resistance that the South African government has been unable to break under its nationwide state of emergency is...the rent boycott." (New York Times, February 22, 1988)....

According to the 1990 census the median percentage of income that goes to rent is 28% and the median percent for mortgage is 24%.... The 'actual cost' or 'true value' of a 30- to 50-year old house... has already been paid long ago....We are paying a false value, a corrupt cost, a fraudulent price.

Validative discourse on the mass rent boycott... simply does not exist; be it the most recent historic South African rent boycott, the Free Rent Movement of Ireland (1917), the New York Anti-Rent Party (1848), the Barcelona rent strike (1932) or the future (theoretical) USA mass rent and mortgage boycott.... Its newness and strangeness make it an easy target for negative criticism from both the Right and the Left....


"People function as well as they are able to." -John Steinbeck