Earlier today, a family who has been wrongly foreclosed upon occupied a Citibank branch in Los Angeles. Crowds of protesters, including Occupy LA, gathered in the lobby to show support. The family, including four children, are facing homelessness in spite of having enough money to make payments. The protesters refused to leave until Freddie Mac negotiate to keep the family in their home.
Children from the family held signs saying "Freddie Mac Give Our Home Back" and protesters chanted "We Are the 99%" and "Banks Got Bailed Out, We Got Sold Old!" Around 1:15 PM Pacific Time, dozens of armed police arrived and threatened to arrest the entire family. Legal observers with the National Lawyers Guild were on hand. The homeowner and father of the family, along with other protesters, was led away in handcuffs while hundreds chanted "save our homes, we want justice!" Today, police arrested the victim of wrongful foreclosure simply for demanding a place to live for his family. Follow @OccupyLA and @OccupyOurHomes on Twitter.
The Occupy Our Homes movement has continued to grow since it began last November. On Valentine's Day, Occupy LA disrupted a foreclosure hearing for an active duty solider and veteran and his family. This week, thousands of supporters helped Occupy Nashville save the home of a local 78-Year-Old Civil Rights activist. Occupy Minneapolis pledged to save a third home in response to the National Mortgage Settlement. Foreclosure defense actions have also occurred in Cleveland, Atlanta, Rochester, Chicago, Brooklyn, and across the country.
Also today, Occupy Denver disrupted a foreclosure auction:
Occupy Detroit, along with local labor and progressive organizations, has prevented four foreclosures - once by physically blocking a dumpster - and recently announced plans to save a fifth. In every case, banks backed down and agreed to negotiate with homeowners. Occupy Our Homes actions seek to expose banking practices, economic inequality, and corporate greed as the root causes of the housing crisis, while also taking direct action to prevent homelessness.
Update, 2/17: This morning, OWS shut down the NY-Queens Foreclosure Auction through non-violent direct action! 22 people were arrested. Also today, Occupy DC announced it will begin a foreclosure defense campaign. They will rally against Freddie Mac at 325 7th St NW on Feb. 27 at noon to protest its foreclosing on the home of Bertina Jones.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Occupy LA Takes Over Bank To Prevent Foreclosure (Updated)