KC Tenants, a group fighting to ensure affordable housing for those in Kansas City, held a protest in front of the Jackson County Courthouse last week where two protestors were arrested for disrupting eviction hearings, while calling for another eviction moratorium.
Protestors planned to shut down eviction hearings for the day by chanting and disrupting the teleconference hearings. They were successful, canceling about 100 eviction hearings for the day. The two protestors who were arrested were later released.
Activists called for Judge David Byrn to reinstate the Jackson County moratorium for another six months. They also called for the city council and Mayor Quinton Lucas to prioritize ending homelessness and invest in supportive housing.
Despite the global pandemic, the federal eviction moratorium that protected millions across the nation from evictions ended July 24. In addition, the expanded unemployment funding ended at the end of July, leaving thousands of Kansas City tenants at risk of eviction. Since the Jackson County eviction moratorium expired May 31, KC Tenants said over 1600 evictions have been heard by courts.
Ashley Johnson, a leader with KC Tenants spoke out at the rally about her housing struggles as her landlord raised her rent without notice during the pandemic, putting her at risk for eviction.
“It’s time to end the violent, racist, abusive eviction process, otherwise families, not only here in Jackson County, but all over America will end up dead,” Johnson said.