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Rent strike

Burrell Collection Photo Library

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Rent strike

A demonstration supporting the Rent Strike, from the Bulletin 8th October 1915.

Many Glasgow landlords' attempted to raise rents during the early months of the First World War. Demand for houses for men and women engaged in war industries soared, and there were serious shortages of accommodation in industrial centres such as Govan, Partick and Shettleston. A rent strike declared by tenants in Govan spread quickly to other parts of the city. Many women had husbands serving at low rates of pay in the armed forces and were trying to raise families and pay their rents with severely limited budgets. And it was working class women who played prominent roles in organising the campaign to withhold rent increases, resistance to attempts to evict those who refused to pay the increases and demonstrations to highlight the plight of Glasgow tenants.

The strikers made much of landlords' unpatriotic actions in time of war. Among the banners on show here, there are comments such as "While my father is a prisoner in Germany the landlord is attacking our home"; "My father is fighting in France, we are fighting the Hun at home" and "Defending our homes against landlord Tyranny. We want Justice".

Reference: 685.80.209

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

Bulletin, children, civil disobedience, evictions, First World War, Glasgow Rent Strike, house rents, landlords, placards, political activists, political demonstrations, protests, rent strikes, women

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