Occupy Our Homes: The 99% Stands Up to Big Banks to Keep Families in Their Homes.

For Immediate Release

Occupy Our Homes: The 99% Stands Up to Big Banks to Keep Families in Their Homes.

As ungrateful bailed-out banks continue to foreclose on American families, Occupy Wall Street takes fight to the ‘home front’

WASHINGTON - Today, across the United States, Americans are standing up to keep families in their homes. Occupy Wall Street and the burgeoning 99% movement is standing up to the big banks.

 
“Banks got bailed out, but families are still getting kicked out of their homes,” said Karanja Gaçuça, an organizer with Occupy Wall Street who is helping with today’s actions in Brooklyn, NY. “If we can bail out the big banks, those banks have a moral obligation to find a way to keep families in their homes. Today we’re standing up to the banks and to the politicians who have been doing their bidding. We’re committed to supporting our neighbors to stay in their homes.”
 
Today, Tuesday, December 6th Occupy Wall Street is joining in solidarity with a Brooklyn, NY community to liberate a foreclosed home.

This action is part of a national kick-off for a new frontier for the occupy movement: the liberation of vacant bank-owned homes for those in need, and the defense of families under threat of foreclosure and eviction. Actions will take place in more than 20 cities across the country today.

The Brooklyn action will convene at 1:00pm. We are gathering at Pennsylvania and Livonia in East New York, Brooklyn (3 train to Pennsylvania or L train to Livonia) at 1:00pm to march through a neighborhood on the front lines of the economic crisis.

Along the way, we will do a real estate tour of foreclosed properties and vacant properties available for occupation. The march will conclude with a housewarming block party for the family and their neighbors. Supporters will begin fixing up the abandoned property.
 
The banks got bailed out, but our families across America are getting kicked out.
 
Millions of Americans lost their homes in the Wall Street recession and one in four homeowners are currently underwater on their mortgages. The 99% is bearing the brunt of a crisis caused by Wall Street and big banks.
 
That's why, all across the country, Americans have begun standing up to the banks that are trying to evict them. The NYC foreclosure tour and home re-occupation is part of a big national day of action on December 6 that will focus on the foreclosure crisis and protest fraudulent lending practices, corrupt securitization, and illegal evictions by banks.  The Occupy movement actions, including eviction defense at foreclosed properties and reclaiming vacant bank-owned properties, will take place in more than 20 cities across the country.

Wall Street and the big banks are making record profits while most Americans are struggling to stay in their homes. Banks break the law with impunity, but millions of us get served with eviction. Banks make trillions and get bailouts, while we face record unemployment and record debt.

No more! Our system has been serving Wall Street, big banks, and the one percent.
We are the 99%. We are reclaiming our democracy. And we are reclaiming our homes.
 
http://occupyourhomes.org/

Available for Interviews   
These and other spokespeople are available for interviews upon request.

Robert and Debbie Henry | Southgate, Michigan   
  Contact: Shannon McEvilly, 734.748.5413
Robert and Debbie Henry, with the support of friends, family, and community, are resisting the foreclosure of their Southgate, Michigan home.  After years of struggling with mortgage companies, including Bank of America, to modify their loan, the Henrys face foreclosure and eviction.  The family has decided that as an act of civil disobedience, they will stay in their home, in protest of how bailed-out banks are treating homeowners all across the country.

Bobby Hull | Minneapolis, Minnesota
  Contact: Anthony Newby 612-327-9453
Occupy Minneapolis, NOC, community groups, neighbors, homeowner Bobby Hull, and his extended family. Bobby and his family have been in their home since 1968. He's also a former Marine and a Vietnam War veteran. Some recent health problems have caused him to fall behind in his payments. Meanwhile Bank of America has offered and then refused to modify his loan. If we do nothing he and his family are facing a February eviction, in the dead of winter, with nowhere to go. Come hear directly from Bobby on the need for banks to change the way they do business with hard working families.
http://occupyourhomes.org/stories/2011/dec/5/bobbys-story-facing-foreclosure-fighting-back/

Monique White | Minneapolis, Minnesota
  Contact: Anthony Newby 612-327-9453
Monique White bought her house in North Minneapolis in 2003, and was the first person in her family to own a home. Now she is facing foreclosure and though she has been trying for years to work with U.S. Bank to save her home, they have been unwilling to help her up to this point. She is working with Occupy Minneapolis to save her home.
http://occupyourhomes.org/stories/2011/nov/8/help-monique-white-save-her-home/

Catherine Lennon | Rochester, New York
  Contact: Ryan Acuff, 585-455-0961
After Catherine's husband died of brain and lung cancer 3 years ago Countrywide/Bank of America refused to renegotiate the mortgage and foreclosed on Cathy, her three daughters, and eight small grandchildren.  With the support of Take Back the Land Rochester Cathy's nonviolent eviction blockade of her house successfully stopped the eviction for weeks.  On March 28 she was evicted in a SWAT-like operation by 20 Rochester police with seven eviction defenders arrested including a neighbor in her pajamas.  On Mother's Day of this year she reclaimed her home and has been living there ever since. 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/van-jones/this-is-not-america-swat-_b_843708.html

Maria and Harold Steidel | Rochester, New York
  Contact: Ryan Acuff, 585-455-0961
Maria and Harold Steidel with support of Take Back the Land Rochester and Occupy Rochester are resisting the foreclosure and eviction of their longtime Rochester home.   Maria is the pastor of her local church.  Despite being willing and able to pay the mortgage for years, Wells Fargo has refused to work with family because a temporary reduction of income due to a job loss in 2008.  On November 14, 2011 the family publicly announced they would let not leave their house and their pledge would be defended by Take Back the Land and Occupy Rochester.  Two days later Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac called off the eviction to renegotiate a permanent settlement.  The family is still in their home.

Senator Vincent Fort | Atlanta, Georgia
  Contact: Tim Franzen,  404-414-5521
Vincent D. Fort  is serving his eighth term in the state senate in the 39th district.  He represents parts of  the city of Atlanta and East Point  in Fulton county. Senator Fort began his efforts to fight predatory abusive lending in 2000. He introduced the predatory lending legislation in 2001. Senator Fort's legislation was the basis for the strongest predatory lending law in the country when it passed in 2002. He has negotiated dozens of settlements for homeowners with most of the major banks in the United States. Sen. Fort has appeared on numerous local national and international media outlets including CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. 

Ana Wison | Los Angeles, California
  Contact: Peter Kuhns 213-272-1141   
Ana Wison, a court interpreter and disability advocate with cerebral palsy, has announced that she and her family are refusing to leave their home after Wells Fargo foreclosed on them despite three stable incomes and the ability to pay the mortgage.

Carolyn Gage | San Francisco, California
  Contact: Grace Martinez, 415-377-6872
On Nov 1st Carolyn Gage moved back in to the home she had been evicted from early in the year.  The property was still sitting vacant, and owned by the bank. Carolyn’s father built the house and the family had been living there for 50 years.  Carolyn was a Deputy Sheriff for 17 years until she was injured on the job in 1996.

Tasha Glasgow | Brooklyn, New York
  Contacts: Sean Barry, 646-373-3344
                  Karanja Gaçuça, 646-675-9324
                  Tej Nagaraja, 646-752-6451

Tasha is a single mom raising a 9 year-old daughter with autism and a 5 year-old son.  She grew up in Brooklyn, but has spent most of the past decade in and out of the shelter system through NYC. After being awarded a Section 8 voucher in spring 2011 that would allow her move out of the shelter system, it was withdrawn right before she moved into a new apartment due to budget cuts by Mayor Bloomberg. On Tuesday Occupy Wall Street joins with community organizations to reclaim a home for Tasha and her family.

 

For interviews with anti-foreclosure actions across the country:
Jeff Ordower, 314-267-4664
Andy McDonald, 202-256-5990, andy@berlinrosen.com

on-site at Brooklyn, NY action:
Sean Barry, 646-373-3344
Karanja Gaçuça, 646-675-9324
Tej Nagaraja, 646-752-6451

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Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to more than 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. For more visit http://occupywallst.org

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