PHOTOS: Demonstrators demand officials 'cancel rent' amid coronavirus pandemic

Kimberly Dole
May 01, 2020 - 7:58 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Protestors rolled out signs across the city on Friday, demanding the government help those hit hard financially by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Vehicles drove from Times Square to Cuomo’s office on Third Avenue with signs. Some masked protesters stood outside with a mariachi band while maintaining a social distance.

The protest was arranged by leaders of the Housing Justice for All campaign and the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition on the first of the month when rent is usually due.

“We’re here to show our power,” said Queens tenant organizer Lorena Lopez. “At least 50 buildings are on rent strike, and over 12,000 people are not paying rent to turn pain into collective action.”

Samelys Lopez, a congressional candidate from the Bronx, was among the demonstrators who hung a “Cancel Rent” banner from the Queensboro Bridge.

“I joined my comrades this morning determined to let the world know that we have to #CancelRent!” Lopez tweeted.

Another caravan targeted the governor’s executive mansion in Albany and a virtual press conference was held on Zoom.

Advocates want Cuomo to cancel rent payments amid the coronavirus crisis and suggest that rents be paid with a tax on the most wealthy or that landlords should take the hit.

There were approximately 323,000 new unemployment claims filed last week by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut residents.