Occupy’s Front Line Moves to the Front Lawn
From closing down Atlanta’s banks to standing up for Detroit’s families, the nationwide fight against unjust foreclosures is growing in momentum—and ingenuity.
by Laura Gottesdiener
posted Mar 19, 2012
JP Morgan & Chase Co. CEO Jamie Dimon had an early birthday surprise last Monday: The bank was closed. The disruption happened not because the birthday of Forbes magazine's 41st “most powerful person” in the world had finally been declared a national holiday. It was because hundreds of Occupy Atlanta and Take Back the Land activists used their bodies, furniture, poetry, and more to shut down five bank branches in Atlanta in protest of the eviction of the family of Eloise Pittman, who had been sold a predatory loan with an interest rate of more than 10 percent. The action kicked off a national week of action foreclosures.
Across the country, homeowners, activist organizations, lawyers, and Occupiers are uniting to create a direct-action campaign against foreclosures. Begun as a national campaign on December 6th by Occupy our Homes, the coalition movement has already stopped nearly one hundred evictions and the actions are intensifying. Less than 24 hours after the Chase protests, 7 families across Detroit publicly vowed to fight their own foreclosures, building on a string of successful anti-eviction actions in a city where the extent and effects of foreclosures (about 100,000 in the last five years) has remaining city residents describing the banks as “economic terrorists.”
Thursday, New York City Occupiers moved an entire furniture set onto the sidewalk in front of a downtown Manhattan branch of Bank of America as hundreds protested against the bailed-out bank for foreclosing on hundreds of thousands of families.
“Bank of America is one of the largest perpetrators of robo-signing,” said George Machado, one of the interior designers who helped set up couches, coffee tables, lamps, and a flat-screen TV to block bank entrances. He pointed out that the bank receives millions in taxpayer subsidies even as it steals homes: "So, since they foreclosed on our homes, we figured we’d move in there.” .......(more)