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Thu May 24, 2012, 08:42 PM

Occupy Homes MN Foreclosed Home raided Sheriffs, Police 5/25

Yesterday over 100 community members successfully forced the sheriffs and police to retreat after they tried to evict the Cruz family's home.

While the house is secure for now, it is still under threat of imminent eviction.

“Sheriff Richard Stanek should be ashamed of himself for authorizing the eviction of the Cruz family’s home just days after we sent a delegation to his office to inform him that PNC was negotiating with the family. It appears he would rather throw families on the street at the banks’ request than work with our communities,” said Martha Ockenfels-Martinez, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN.
When sheriffs arrived to evict the home, protesters locked themselves to structures inside the home with bike locks. Sheriffs attempted to cut them out, but within 30 minutes over 100 supporters had arrived, and sheriffs retreated from the home. Police blocked traffic at either end of the street for over an hour, then also left the home to the activists who had gathered to defend it.

Shortly afterward PNC Bank contacted Occupy Homes MN to request the necessary documents for a loan modification for the Cruz family. However, the home remains under threat of imminent eviction.

The Cruz home went into foreclosure in 2011 when PNC failed to withdraw an online mortgage payment and then demanded two months’ payment as punishment. Unable to pay more than the current month’s payment, the family home fell into foreclosure.“We’re asking PNC Bank to correct their error and negotiate a mortgage that allows the Cruz family to stay in their home,” explained Ockenfels-Martinez. “We’ll do whatever it takes for them to come to the table.”
Today’s attempted eviction took place despite the fact that a representative from PNC Bank reached out to Occupy Homes last week and committed to ask Freddie Mac to hold off on the eviction.
Alejandra and David Cruz have been active community members in the Twin Cities who have tirelessly advocated for the DREAM Act and educational equity for immigrant students.

“My family and I have been fighting for justice all our lives,” said Alejandra Cruz. “Now we stand together with other homeowners across Minnesota fighting unjust banking practices. Change is coming, and we’re going to make that change happen.”


We urgently need your support to demand a negotiation on the Cruz family’s mortgage.The Cruz family home fell into foreclosure after PNC Bank failed to withdraw a monthly payment, then demanded two months’ late payment for their own mistake.

For over three weeks, Occupy Homes has occupied the Cruz family home in a round the clock eviction blockade at 4044 Cedar Avenue in South Minneapolis. After failing to clear the house of Occupy Homes activists and lockdown devices, they left.

Please support the Cruz family, and supporters continuing to risking arrest in the house by calling these numbers with the following demands. Together, we can put the pressure on banks and authorities to support the Cruz family and set a new precedent in the anti-foreclosure movement.

Please take five minutes to call these five people:

1) Fred Solomon, PR executive for PNC Bank at (412) 762-7544

-Demand PNC 1) to renegotiate the Cruz’s mortgage AND 2) to tell Freddie Mac to halt the eviction

2) Brad German, PR executive for Freddie Mac at (703) 903-2437

-Demand that Freddie Mac halt the eviction of the Cruz family.

3) Richard W. Stanek, Sheriff of Hennepin County at (612) 348-3744

-Tell him "shame on you!" for attempting to evict the home days after we informed him the bank was negotiating with the family. Demand that they not evict the home.

4) Inspector Lucy Gerold, Minneapolis Police Department Precinct 3 at (612) 673-5703 (Press 3 and ask for Lucy)

-Demand that they hold off on using the police to evict while the bank is in negotiations with the Cruz family.

5) Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak at (612) 673-2100

-Demand that he not send the police to evict while the bank is in negotiations with the family

For more ways to support click here or donate here.

Thank you for your support,

Occupy Homes MN


Today our brothers and sisters from Occupy Pittsburgh brought a delegation of 14 people to the PNC headquarters on behalf of the Cruz Family!

They were delivering a very large letter (3 feet by 2 feet) to Executive VP Ray King, asking for two things:

To tell Freddie Mac to halt the eviction and renegotiate a fair mortgage so the Cruz's can stay in their home.

After great persistent and reasoning with the 10 security guards brought in for back up, the delegation said they were not going to leave unless they met with someone. Ten minutes later Executive VP Dan Taylor came down, took the letter and said he would deal with this today and talk to the family!

The Delegation told Dan that if he didn't deal with it today, they would be back...

The power of organizing and coming together prevails...However, the fight is not over as we do not have a concrete agreement.

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Reply Occupy Homes MN Foreclosed Home raided Sheriffs, Police 5/25 (Original post)
annm4peace May 2012 OP
annm4peace May 2012 #1

Response to annm4peace (Original post)

Fri May 25, 2012, 10:13 AM

1. Just received this morning

The Cruz home was raided today, May 25, at 4 am. 5 occupiers were arrested for respectfully refusing to leave. There is a press conference today, Friday, at noon in front of City Hall, 350 So. 5th St..
We’ll march to sheriff Stanek’s office on the second floor of City Hall. We will urge him to leave the occupiers alone as bank negotiations proceed.

PNC Bank had begun negotiating after an unsuccessful raid on the Cruz home on Wed. when sheriffs were unable to remove occupiers who had locked themselves to heavy cement. They have occupied the home for 25 days, and have now replaced doors and re-occupied it.

Follow events at OccupyHomesMN facebook and website and www.occupyminneapolis.mn.

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