SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – A group of protestors stood outside of the Chatham County Courthouse on Monday to demand that the City of Savannah leaders help families who are facing eviction as a result of the pandemic.
It comes on the heels of another extension to the statewide judicial emergency order. The courts now have another month to prepare for eviction proceedings.
However, on Monday, nearly a dozen members of Savannah Comrades protested to demand a moratorium on evictions, rent, mortgage, utilities, and maintenance fees for at least 60-90 days after the expiration of the state of emergency. The group wore masks and held signs reading, “housing is a human right.”
“We know that the city has funds to move around and provide housing for every single member of this community,” said Grey Q, a member of Savannah Comrades.
The group also held a large banner showing a comparison between the Savannah Police Department budget, over $63,392,193, and what the city spends on Housing and Human Services, $1,963,380.
In light of the growing call to defund police, the protestors are demanding funds from SPD be reallocated.
News 3 spoke to one Savannah city leader who disagrees with this action point. Kesha Gibson-Carter, Alderwoman At-Large, said she believes the funds should come from other departments to support local aid agencies.
“What position are we in, as the City of Savannah, to provide support to our faith communities? What position are we in, as the City of Savannah, to provide greater support to our nonprofits who are on the front lines of rent assistance and utility assistance? (…) There are a number of ways we can adjust our budget, and we can help to absorb the blow of what this is going to mean to our community,” said Gibson-Carter.
Gibson-Carter said she has been in touch with the Savannah Comrades regarding their proposal. Members are directing people to call Georgia Legal Services if they have any questions or are in need of legal advice.
The new state judiciary order ends July 12.
To see the Savannah Comrades’ full list of demands, click below: