Tenants facing mass eviction, rent hikes storm Bush Properties office

On the 25th of February, tenants from Museum Square and Mt Vernon Plaza backed by ONE DC and API Resistance showed up outside their landlord's office in Clarendon, VA. Originally the plan was to send a delegation inside to deliver their letter demanding an end to illegal attempts to intimidate tenants into moving out. The tenants themselves though had another idea, with almost the whole group essentially storming the building and taking over the lobby. Bush Properties accepted their letter, but the person taking denied that they were even at the right office. Organizers knew better than to buy that excuse but everyone marched back outside, chanting "we'll be back!"

Bush Properties has been stopped by the DC government from legally "clearing" the Museum Square propertie with mass evictions so now they are using intimidation tactics in defiance of the city government. Tenants have won nearly every stage of that fight in which the DC government has been involved so now Bush goes outside the law. At Mt Vernon Plaza they probably have the same objective, given that fancy new condos are right next door. Instead of the brazen notice of intent to evict everyone used at Museum Square, Bush Properties demanded a 50% rent hike. There too tenants organized to fight back and again tenants are winning but Bush properties is playing dirty.

Bush properties has callously said they are "not interested" in what their tenants from Museum Square and Mt Vernon Plaza want. Tenants have responded that they are not interested in what Bush wants, which is the buildings empty so condos or luxury apartments can be built. Bush Companies went so far as to try to demand $250M for Museum Square if residents wanted to exercise their legal right to buy it instead of move. That figure was based in true NAFTA style on Bush's expected profits from replacing Museum Square and the value of the intended luxury development, not the value of Museum Square itself. To their credit, the DC Government rejected this demand and declared that it was not a valid price. This means Bush Companies cannot now proceed with eviction as they have not met the requirement to let tenants buy the building. Thus they resort to intimidation instead to try to push out half the remaining Chinese population in Chinatown.

Bush Properties should remember that playing rough is a game two can play. Back in December Congress Heights tenants facing eviction and teardown targetted an investor in their building, showing up and staging a demonstration not at his office in daytime, but rather at his home after dark.

Video from the Bush Properties tenant protest

Tenants drive home the "no mass evictions" message to Bush Properties
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