KC Tenants ended their “Zero Evictions January” campaign aimed at halting evictions by blocking more than 700 eviction hearings, which stopped almost all evictions from taking place in Jackson County last month.

Over the past month, the group expanded, bringing more than 70 leaders to each meeting and nearly 500 team members participating in direct actions.

“Our collective is stronger than ever and ready to struggle forward toward the world we deserve,” said KC Tenants leaders in a recently released statement.

Zero Evictions January had a strong start, blocking 323 evictions in the first week of the year. Their operation included disruptions and blockades outside the Jackson County Courthouse. Their efforts were so successful, that as previously reported, Presiding Judge Dale Youngs imposed a temporary eviction moratorium that stopped evictions until Jan. 24.

While evictions were on hold in Jackson County, KC Tenants mobilized in Clay County, where they disrupted about 50 evictions.

When the Jackson County eviction moratorium ended, KC Tenants were back, blocking another 153 evictions. This time their members blockaded doors outside the Jackson County Courthouse, while nine others disrupted eviction hearings inside the courthouse chanting, “No one should be evicted during a pandemic. This is not justice. This is not due process. This is violence. All evictions must end. People are dying.”

Another 50 KC Tenants members disrupted online evictions until judges were forced to delay eviction hearings for at least several weeks.

KC Tenants are still demanding a full eviction moratorium with no end date, rent and mortgage cancellation and rental debt erased.

“Presiding Judge Dale Youngs has the power to end evictions. He is choosing not to. KC Tenants has tried to meet with Judge Youngs. He has failed to respond to our request,” said Jenay Manley, a leader with KC Tenants. “Unfortunately, we are left with no other choice than to shut down this violent system that is harming us and our people.”

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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