The following is a transcript of the video above from our webinar “Remaking the Economy: Tenant Organizing in Unexpected Places.” View the full webinar here.

Wes Pelletier: If someone’s getting evicted, it might be too late. Everyone on this call: even if you don’t rent, just get used to building community. Get used to talking to your neighbors, be weird and go ask for something that you would have to run out to the store for. Because once you start building those connections, then you’re going to start having those conversations.…

If you hear of [eviction], don’t move. Pay your rent. Keep doing everything as normal. Document everything. That only goes so far in terms of the color of your skin or your economic status, but there are ways that you can at least make it a pain in the ass for them to have to kick you out. 

The mayor who lives in Trelawny, [Maine,] got evicted because he was organizing. He’s been there for the last two years after having been evicted because he’s tied them up in court. That’s the result of a lot of different kinds of resources, but unless it’s nonpayment of rent, wait until the sheriff knocks on your door. Because that’s your home, and it does empower other people to see you take a stand. But also, make sure you’re protected. Sometimes you do have to leave because the circumstances demand it. Don’t be afraid of the landlord. Be polite and follow the rules to their face.