Landlord Terror Returns to Philadelphia

Tenants in Philadelphia once again face the prospect of being forced from their homes after a month-long eviction moratorium ended on August 21.

The city suspended evictions on July 19, following three shootings by officers of the Landlord-Tenant Office (LTO) between March and July. Victims included 35-year-old Angel Davis, who was shot in the head while being evicted in North Philly on March 29.

Despite an official-sounding name, the LTO is a private, for-profit law firm. It maintains a staff of hired thugs who carry out most residential evictions in the City of Brotherly Love. A widespread reputation for brutality leads many in working-class neighborhoods to call them “landlord terrorist officers.”

The LTO is back to carrying out the landlords’ cruel commands, but a spokesperson assures us they’ve changed their ways. “New protocols and procedures” are in place “to eliminate violence in the eviction process.” As if getting forcibly thrown out into the street weren’t an act of violence to begin with!

Socialist Revolution demands an end to the capitalist housing market and an immediate, indefinite moratorium on evictions. Not everyone agrees. Two city council members, Democrat Jamie Gauthier and Kendra Brooks of the so-called Working Families Party, released a joint statement praising the LTO for giving officers “safety and de-escalation training” during the moratorium. To be fair, Gauthier and Brooks don’t stop at merely congratulating the LTO. They also call for “common-sense reforms” to the eviction system. What’s a common-sense reform? According to these liberals, “every tenant in Philadelphia deserves notice of the date and time of an impending lockout.”

If you’re unimpressed with such an earth-shattering proposal, join the communists and get organized for an all-out class war on the landlords, capitalists, and their hireling hangers on!

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