Carmen is a 23 year-old fighting to keep her family's home. Yesterday she was electrocuted by a taser at the Department of Justice while peacefully protesting with Occupy Our Homes and the Home Defenders League for her rights as a homeowner.
Occupiers, allies and community members from across the country came together in front of the DOJ to demand that Attorney General Eric Holder arrest the bankers responsible for upending the international economy through the housing crisis.
Via Occupy Wall St., via Occupy Our Homes. Be sure to check out their website for more information on how you can support on-going occupations to save homes from foreclosure, including active campaigns like this one to save the home of cancer patient Jacqueline Barber in Atlanta, the Hernandez family currently being harassed by LAPD in Los Angeles, and many more!
Four years after an economic meltdown precipitated by Wall Street greed, fraud, and recklessness in the housing market, Americans continue to face an epidemic of unjust foreclosures. While homeowners and renters seek help to keep their homes, banks have rushed to foreclose and evict, and in too many communities, homes remain vacant while neighbors sleep on the street.
But homeowners, housing justice activists, homeless advocates, and occupiers have come together to fight back under the banner of the Occupy Our Homes movement. Community organizations and occupy groups came together last December to challenge the housing crisis and confront the crooks at the banks who are stealing our homes. On December 6, 2011, scores of groups around the country participated in a day of action for housing justice, launching the Occupy Our Homes movement.
Homeowners, renters, and the homeless joined forces to fight the banks and reclaim our communities. All over the country, activists declared housing a human right. We came together, occupying our homes to prevent eviction, disrupting foreclosure auctions, restoring vacant homes to community use, and protesting the banks that caused this mess in the first place.
But the fight is far from over. Despite dozens of victories for homeowners around the country, banks are still choosing to foreclose instead of taking payments. Banks are still refusing to negotiate with families who seek only a fair solution that keeps them in their home. Banks are still using fraudulent tactics like robo-signing to speed through illegal foreclosures—months after a weak settlement meant to stop this practice. Bank-owned houses continue to sit empty and untended, destroying property values and pushing more and more families underwater.
A year since the start of the Occupy Our Homes movement, we are recommitting to reclaiming our homes and our futures. On Thursday December 6th 2012, we call on communities to turn the spotlight on the crisis that continues to hold our neighborhoods and our economy hostage.
We will take action together:
- Eviction defenses/home occupations
- Reclaiming vacant homes for the homeless
- Establishing foreclosure and eviction-free zones
- Foreclosure auction sit-ins
- Marches on the banks
Occupy Our Homes started with a simple idea: bring the bold, creative energy of the Occupy movement into hard-hit communities and build power through victories for the 99%. We've won homes, churches, community landmarks, and stopped evictions while relieving debt and reclaiming land along the way.
On Thursday December 6th, 2012, we’ll re-invest in this movement to defend our homes, hold Wall Street accountable, and affirm the human right to housing. Join us in solidarity with homeowners, tenants and the homeless to build a just housing system—for the 99%.
If you as an individual or any Occupy group or community-based organization are interested in participating in the D6 actions, please complete this form and someone from Occupy Our Homes will be in touch.
Florida GOP Rep. Bill Young is running for reelection for the 22nd time. But according to Young, he has far bigger problems on his hands.
Young claims that there have been multiple break-ins at his residence, possibly by the evil forces of the Florida Consumer Action Network or the Occupy movement. Young told the Tampa Bay Times that he doesn’t really know who’s behind the break-ins, though he noted: “The Occupiers are after me.”
Young believes that both FCAN and Occupy are “not happy” with him, after an incident where he was caught on video telling a constituent who asked him whether he’d support raising the minimum wage to “get a job.” Both of the groups have denied any involvement.
According to police, there’s no evidence that there have been any break-ins:
“They have investigated one incident. In July an alarm went off at the condo, but police concluded there was no burglary. Instead, they said, a storm blew open a garage door with a faulty lock, setting off the alarm — the second time that has happened in two years.
‘There were no pry markings nor impact marks that would be consistent with a forced entry,’ Officer Shaun Griffin wrote in his report on this year’s incident. Griffin said in a recent interview that, despite the wet conditions outside, police found no wet footprints anywhere inside the condo, another sign there was no break-in.”
Young disagrees with the police report, and said the intruder ”left an item in a very, very prominent place to make sure I knew they had been there,” so then “the wind must’ve blown that item into the house and placed it in a prominent position. That’s a pretty smart wind.”
Video: A young girl suffers a seizure after NYPD raid Zuccotti Park on March 17, 2012.
A new report by the Protest and Assembly Rights Project, which includes civil liberties experts from law clinics at NYU, Fordham, Harvard, and Stanford, has determined what anyone paying attention already knows: The NYPD went way overboard with seemingly random protesters, and media personnel (Even innocent bystanders in multiple instances) during Occupy Wall Street. But the group's findings, compiled in Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street, detail many incidents beyond the extreme few that got the most media play, counting 130 examples of extreme force in all, on top of "a complex mapping of protest suppression."
Most of the police misconduct cited in the report comes from video footage, reputable journalists, legal observers, and firsthand accounts from authors of the study. Here are but a few:
One widely reported incident occurred on March 17, when a woman appeared to suffer a
seizure when arrested. Numerous videos show her convulsing on the ground while handcuffed. One witness described feeling “dumbfounded” as he watched her head bang against the ground repeatedly as officers did nothing; he said that he called out repeatedly for the officers to place something under head. Individuals on the scene who said that they were EMTs and offered to assist were not permitted to do so by police. Estimates varied asto the length of time it took for an ambulance to arrive, ranging from 15 to 20 minutes.
While the general legal obligation of officers to secure timely medical assistance is clear, this obligation is heightened where officers plan a major and aggressive law-enforcement operation to a large number of protesters from an area.
This injury I don't recall hearing about at all:
Then on May 30, during a student march, a member of the Research Team witnessed a particularly violent arrest. A protester was observed lying on the ground, with a number of officers standing near. The protester stated that his shoulder had just been dislocated; the officers stated that they had called an ambulance, and were not going to handcuff the protester because of his injury. However, moments later, a second group of officers rushed in and aggressively handcuffed the protester. He screamed out in pain repeatedly and told the officers about his injury, asking them to be gentle. The officers responded by stating the he was “a liar,” and they repeatedly intentionally pushed and pulled his injured shoulder. When EMTs did subsequently arrive, they inspected his shoulder, immediately removed the handcuffs, and put him in an ambulance for treatment. The individual’s lawyer later stated that the protester in fact had suffered a broken clavicle, an extremely painful and serious injury.
There's also a section on weapons use, including batons, scooters, and pepper spray, which was used in seven separate cases, according to the report.
The report concludes that the department could possibly use an inspector general (as has been suggested repeatedly) and maybe even a city review of the police tactics used throughout the protests. If not, the report suggests that the Department of Justice might be interested in their findings. However, thus far, there's been "near-complete impunity for alleged abuses."
At 4pm on July 8th, 2012 a diverse coalition of activists and occupiers from across New York will descend upon a fundraiser for presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Southhampton home of billionaire David Koch. Citing the ever-growing and pervasive influence of Koch Industries’ money on our electoral system, organizers from Occupy Wall Street, The Long Island Progressive Coalition, Greenpeace, Move to Amend [Brookhaven], ALIGN NY, Art Not War, Strong For All, MoveOn.org, United New York, Occupy Storefront and Occupy Huntington, Long Island, have announced that they will take action to non-violently disrupt the fundraiser at David Koch’s shorefront estate located at 880 Meadow Lane in Southhampton.
While Romney plans on attending 3 fundraisers that day in the Hamptons the demonstrators have made it clear that the Koch Estate will remain their only target. The coalition of activists initially assembled by the End Corporatism Affinity Group of Occupy Wall Street will be taking a non-partisan stance, uniting around a unified message that corporate money is exponentially diluting and subverting our democratic process (a phenomenon not limited to one single party.) To the demonstrators, David and Charles Koch embody everything that is wrong with money in politics.
“The Long Island Progressive Coalition is busy coordinating a network of Long Island groups who won’t stand by while their backyard is used for Koch and Romney to fund a regressive political agenda,” says Lisa Tyson, director to the Long Island Progressive Coalition.
In 2011 Charles and David Koch announced their intentions to raise and spend $200,000,000 on whomever would run against President Obama. Also, in 2011 while on a retreat for supporters of Koch Industries and their political arm, American’s for Prosperity, Charles Koch was secretly recorded while addressing the group. “This is the mother of all wars we’ve got over the next 18 months. For the life or death of this country …if you want to kick in a billion, believe me,” says Koch “we’ll have especial seminar just for you.”
Guess what's just a week away? May Day! Join an unprecedented coalition of workers, immigrants, and occupiers of all kinds to step, for one day, out of work, school, stores and homes and into the struggle against an inhuman system. See you in the streets!
Ready to help now? Occupy Wall Street's Direct Action working groups could use materials and funds to help make May Day 2012 a historic day of protest and celebration.
Occupy these Upcoming Events
Thursday, April 26, 1pm Direct Action Trainings
Union Square on the north side, & Washington Square at the center fountain
Two introductory Direct Action: 101 trainings will be held concurrently in both Union Square and Washington Square, concluding with a practice march leaving from both locations and converging.
Thursday, April 26, 4pm People’s Assembly: Speak Out on Wall Street Federal Hall, Wall Street side steps
We began a literal occupation of Wall Street on April 9th, which the 1%’s police proxies have brazenly attempted to suppress. The People’s Assembly goes to the true source of the suppression, Wall Street, and aims to reclaim our right to peacefully assemble at the birthplace of the Bill of Rights.
Thursday, April 26, 6pm Occupy the Panel for Educational Policy Prospect Heights HS, 883 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Learn how we can help build a movement of parents, teachers, and students to stop school closings and win democratic control of our schools. Stand in solidarity with the teachers, students, and parents of the 26 “turnaround schools.”
Thursday, April 26, 8pm Occupy Your Mind - The American Spring Choir Loft, Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square Park South
Join us for an evening of live performances based on interviews with the Occupy Movement featuring members of The Civilians Ensemble, members of the Judson Memorial Church community and members of the Arts Diaspora NYC.
Friday, April 27th, 2pm Weekly Wall Street Marches: Final Spring Training Day! Liberty Square
For six consecutive weeks, we’ve trained in street tactics, learned to creatively move and communicate together, built a community of trust, and rung the People's Gong as a call to action. Join us for the final Spring Training Day!
Tim Pool is livestreaming in Lower Manhattan anticipating trouble from the NYPD again tonight. After a scuffle in the street, a "white shirt" begins randomly picking out people and the arrests are underway.
Update 1: Ten arrests so far this evening, we only know that those arrested were cited for noise violations, for a total of 14 for the day. The police also designated a certain area of the sidewalk as a "sensitive" area, are protesters are to stay away from that area. Things seem calm, a few white shirts walking in the street, protesters watching, it seems like a stand off at the moment. NYC residents who were visiting the Occupiers are still in the area.
Update 2: Someone in the Occupy group yells "mic check," which quickly brings a white shirt over to the group to warn about noise level in a residential area.
Earlier today, the NYPD disrupted and arrested Occupiers who had been sleeping on the sidewalk in a "sleepful protest" for the past week. Lawyers are advising that sleeping on the sidewalks is indeed legal, but surprise *cough* the police disagree.
The first arrest took place on the east side of the street, just before 8 a.m., when an officer grabbed a large piece of cardboard from a man.
“That’s my cardboard,” the man said, trying to grab it back.
“You’re going to resist?” the officer said before arresting him. A few feet away, officers arrested a woman sitting on a curb.
Moments later, an officer placed a video camera close to the face of a man walking on Nassau Street. The man swung a bag toward the lens and the officer punched him in the face, then arrested him. A fourth arrest took place on Wall Street.
A family in Raleigh has been evicted and forced from their home through an illegal foreclosure. They have been ordered to remove all personal property from their home by Sunday April 8, 2012. The family has bravely chosen to fight eviction and foreclosure and is requesting community support. Evidence of robo-signing by the bank, which is a fraud, has been uncovered and the entire foreclosure process is under attorney review.
It is up to us to send a clear message that we will not allow this to happen.
On Monday, April 9th, community participants will enter the house and refuse to leave as an act of civil disobedience. Another 10 families in this predominantly African-American neighborhood are facing similarly illegal foreclosure and eviction.
A coalition coordinating with Max Rameau of Take Back the Land and including; Mortgage Fraud NC, Occupy Raleigh, Save Our Homes and Occupy Greensboro are quickly mounting a public protest and home defense. The objectives of this action are: We demand that Nicole and her family be allowed to reclaim possession of their home. We call for a NATIONAL MORATORIUM on all foreclosures, evictions, and utility shut-offs. We demand that banks negotiate loan modifications that include principal reduction. We call for the creation of a community land trust.
This foreclosure eviction protest is one of a growing movement across the country. Take Back the Land, the Occupy movement and others are partnering with homeowners to demand that housing be recognized as a human right. In the last year, successful eviction resistance has been used nationally from Los Angeles to Atlanta and Washington DC. This will be the first use of civil disobedience in defense of foreclosed homes in North Carolina.
According to Twitter sources, there are at least 1,000 people in Zucotti Park right now. Various media outlets are reporting "a few hundred" protesters, but my boots-on-the-ground people are usually very close in their estimations.
The occupiers were as energized as I've ever seen them, despite the heavy police presence breathing down their necks and watching every move. Tensions were high, especially earlier in the day while the celebration was just getting geared up. From Twitter reports, it sounds like there were between 4-6 arrests on the sidewalk near the park. A witness says - via Twitter - he saw one arrestee punched in the head 10-15 times while subdued. You can see some of those arrests in the video above.
Protesters were pointing to two officers who they blamed for starting the altercation, via Livestream. Protester alleges this all started because officer Winski grabbed him and officer Murray shoved him. They are referring to 1st Precinct Commanding Officer Edward Winski, who has had several run-ins with occupy protesters. Last September, he reached over police barricades to detain an Occupy Wall Street protester during a march, and in December arrested protester Justin Wedes as he was passively filming the police.
Michael Moore has joined the crowd at Zucotti Park. If you check out the livestreams I posted earlier, you can see what a good time the group is having. Now if NYPD can chill out...
Nowhere in America needs to be occupied more than the Motor City.
The idea sprung from two occupiers who started sleeping in an abandoned home on Golden Gate Street in northeast Detroit, where at least half the homes have been literally abandoned. Not even boarded up in many cases. Just left for the taking.
So that’s what Occupy Detroit did.
They helped the occupiers move a wood stove in, and fashioned a makeshift chimney. Then they replaced the boarded up windows with glass bottles, held in place with a mixture of mud and straw.
Then they repeated the process at six other abandoned homes on Golden Gate. Now there are some two dozen people occupying homes that were previously abandoned. Some of the abandoned homes are occupied by young people with the time and gumption to work on a fixer-upper. But others are members of Detroit’s homeless community.
Occupiers say the police don’t mind that they have essentially squatted in the vacant homes.
“They’re trying to solve murders and robberies,” said Eric Shelley, a local audio engineer with handy man skills who has helped teach the other occupiers how to swing a hammer and fix dry wall. “They don’t have time for this.”
The area is a hotbed for drug dealing and prostitution, and oftentimes abandoned homes become either crack houses or brothels.
To that end, Shelley said, “what we’re doing is beneficial to the neighborhood.”
“Our community service became our protest,” he said. “We’re doing what our government is supposed to be doing: providing a social safety net.”
The entire article is well worth reading, and Bob Plain is a wonderful photographer as well. There's a nice photo of the windows you saw in the video made with recycled glass bottles, they're really quite beautiful. You can finish reading here.