Coronavirus is sparking more than fear and rent strikes but also unleashing a wave of walkouts and shutdowns by workers – all around the country workers are confronting their bosses or walking off the job demanding protective equipment, to stop non-essential production, or demand wage increases where they are demeaned essential. Likely we will continue to see these trend in the coming months – the new “normal” will not be so normal.
In only a matter of days, the economic collapse brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has completely changed everything about our lives. In many ways, the growing crisis has laid bare the already existing contradictions which threatened to pull this society into open class conflict; from low paying jobs, increasing austerity, brutal police, the quickening of ecological collapse, an out of control housing crisis, and a growing carceral State.
But with millions of people now wondering how they are going to make ends meet and pay rent, let alone survive the current epidemic, a new wave of struggles is breaking out across the social terrain. Prisoners and detention center detainees are launching hunger strikes as those on the outside demand that they be released, tenants are currently pushing for a rent strike starting on April 1st, the houseless are taking over vacant homes in Los Angeles, and workers have launched a series of wildcat strikers, sick-outs, and job actions in response to being forced onto the front lines of the pandemic like lambs to the slaughter.