This afternoon following a call out by CATU, AIA activists were in attendance at an attempted eviction at St Joseph’s Place in Phibsboro, Dublin.
The landlord, his son and 4 hired security thugs were responsible. They reportedly arrived in the morning and removed the single tenant from his home, assaulting and pushing him out of his home without even the chance to put on his shoes. All of his possessions were then dumped unceremoniously outside the house on the pavement on a freezing cold day. This was corroborated by neighbours who were all disgusted at the behaviour of the landlord. The landlord initially claimed the tenant had only been in the home for 6 weeks, a blatant lie.
The Free State police were called but upon arrival said only that the issue was a “civil matter” and they could not intervene. This despite the fact that evictions are currently illegal following an eviction ban which has yet to be lifted. Approximately 30 housing activists arrived to assist the tenant, with the security and landlord in control of the home.
After several negotiations between the tenant and the landlord it became clear that the landlord was not going to allow the tenant to return to his home. Following a stand off of several hours the Garda left, activists and neighbours attempted to enter the home. As they were guests of the tenant they had every right to do so, but they were assaulted and physically ejected from the home by security thugs. This then lead to most housing activists mobilising around the doorway, with chants of “slumlords out!” and demanding access to the home.
Eventually activists including an AIA activist gained access to the home, much to the displeasure of the slumlord and his goons. The Garda returned and decided to fine every protester in attendance for breach of covid regulation in a clear attempt to intimidate activists but none were deterred. Neighbours brought food and drinks for those occupying the home and passed them through the windows. After several tense hours of occupation and more negotiations and false offers from the slumlord, the tenants belongings were moved back into the home by activists and neighbours, and it was agreed that the landlord would give the tenant proper notice to vacate.
Todays events are a clear illustration of several important points.
- It is clear as ever that the State is on the side of landlords, and even their own laws banning evictions will be ignored when it suits.
- Direct action by working class and activists is the only real way to fight back against these parasites, who would have been happy to leave the tenant in the cold otherwise.
- So long as the interests of private landlords are put first scenes like today will be repeated across the country. The pandemic ban on evictions is to be overturned by April 23rd. A wave of evictions will follow, and the working class needs to be ready to fight back.