The Brief: As the Coronavirus pandemic has led to widespread job loss and economic turmoil, organizers are sharing memes to raise awareness about an April rent strike.


Tenants across the U.S. and beyond are organizing an April rent strike to demand economic protections including a rent freeze during the Coronavirus pandemic. One way they’re doing this is by creating and sharing rent strike memes on social media.

Over 3.28 million Americans lost their jobs last week, many of whom will struggle to pay rent. Some state and local governments have taken measures to ban the enforcement of evictions during this crisis, but many renters remain unprotected and risk going into debt. As COVID-19 prevents people from physically gathering, social media and memes, in particular, are serving as a vehicle to draw awareness to and form coalitions for this impending strike.

This decentralized movement has supporters around the nation and internationally, demanding that governments put moratoriums on evictions, enact rent freezes or cancelations, freeze utility bills, pause mortgage payments, and ensure that renters are protected. Among these demands, many advocates are also asking for measures to be taken to ensure the health and safety of the most at-risk members of society including people who are incarcerated, disabled, undocumented, and/or experiencing homelessness. Although there is no monolithic movement, there are a range of coalitions formed around common missions and locations such as #CareStrike, Rent Strike 2020, and CrimethInc.

Online, new meme accounts are popping up, organizing accounts are using memes as a major method of communication, and popular meme accounts are sharing information about the #RentStrike on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and Reddit.

Rent Strike Memes

These memes use a variety of popular meme formats and jokes to advocate for rent strikes and related actions.

Haha jk…unless…

After Britney Spears posted on Instagram about the redistribution of wealth and a general strike, she’s become a symbol for COVID-19-related care and strike movements.

A Rosa rent strike meme:

A Carl Wheezer & Shrek meme:

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#rentstrike #lmao

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