Statement of Principles
Who We Are
The Mutual Aid Tenant Collective of Hudson county (MATCH) was created as a bulwark against the unequal relationship between tenants and landlords. Landlords have all the power. The system is heavily skewed in favor of landlords. More often than not, the people who write the laws and adjudicate them are landlords themselves. While there are a few speed bumps for landlords, tenants often do not know their rights and get taken advantage of by landlords. This is how it is, but not how it has to be. By collectivizing, we begin self awareness in the knowledge that rights are just words written on a piece of paper. We have to assert our rights by taking collective action and organizing.
What We Do (What is Mutual Aid)
We are committed to a horizontalist and democratic approach. No one voice carries more weight than anyone else's voice. We must uplift the voices of the marginalized and oppressed. Everyone is Expected to Contribute - All members are expected to contribute and actively participate.
What We Believe
Housing is a human right. One of the first steps of organizing and gaining power as tenants and members of the working class is by speaking with our neighbors.
Statement of Principles
- Working Towards a World Without Exploitation
We understand that the underlying root cause of most of the challenges we face, begin as a result of an economic system that puts profits over people. We reject a world where winners and losers are often determined before birth and so building a world post capitalism must guide our actions.
- Class and Race are Intertwined
Within the working class there are various privileges and oppressions experienced disportionately based on identity - color, gender, sexuality, religion, disabilities, etc. Members of the working class, those who need to work to make a living and are unfairly paid for their labor, are also all exploited. This also includes the people that capitalism has discarded and deemed expendable. We must acknowledge and understand these distinctions in order to avoid replicating their violent marginalization within our organization, and the society we are trying to build. We live under racial capitalism and the society we wish to build is only possible through an intersectional class analysis.
- An Analysis of Material Conditions
As an organization we seek to make tangible improvements in people’s lives. We begin with mutual aid efforts that directly impact the working class in our society. Without imposing a narrow interpretation of community needs, the decolonization of Land, Bread, Housing, Education, and Clothing, must be at the heart of our work. If we want peace, we all must work for Justice.
- Mutual Aid, Not Charity
There is no hierarchy of giver and receiver. Our work understands that it is about community members looking out for each other in community self-defense. No one person is more deserving than another.
- Power From the Ground Up
Building power means building people power. Building people power means building power from the ground up. We understand that the system is intentionally built for capitalists. By not petitioning the state, by not asking the powerful to concede their power, and by not relying on simply voting, we build working class people power and sustained organizing in our community.
- Political Education
We acknowledge that there are structural and systemic inequities in access to information. In an effort to create an environment that is inclusive, we actively work to learn together, allowing the collective political education to guide our work. By including political education as a component of all our organizing, we give our neighbors the tools we all need to fight back against oppression.
- Commitment to Nonviolence
Our collective dedication to nonviolence is critical against a system that is inherently violent.
- Accountability to our Community
Our work is complex, susceptible to mistakes and flaws, in our rapidly changing political environments. Our willingness to listen to and adhere to community needs, also depicts our own commitment to accepting self-criticism. We are willing to not only allow ourselves to be held accountable, but also allow our community to hold us accountable as well.