‘This isn’t an acceptable reality’: L.A. renters hit new levels of rage under coronavirus

LA Times - Chris Tyler lost his job at a restaurant on March 15 — the same day Mayor Eric Garcetti banned sit-down food service to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in Los Angeles. A couple of weeks later, he and his partner decided not to pay rent for the one-bedroom apartment they share in Silver Lake.

“It’s a decision that I have made personally that is both political and very much out of necessity,” said Tyler, 31. “I don’t think it’s an unreasonable choice to make in the middle of a global pandemic.”

As California enters its second full month under stay-at-home orders designed to prevent more coronavirus cases, a growing number of tenants are turning their personal economic situations into mass protests, demanding that legislators at all levels of government pass laws to cancel rent until the public health crisis is over.

They call it a “rent strike” and it is just one tactic marking a dramatic new escalation in the long-running fight over affordable housing in California.

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