The era of a New York City run by and for the 1% is coming to a close and it’s time for us to take to the streets and demand Bloomberg and his friends get out of the way.
Join with community activists, union members, students, teachers, fast food workers, faith leaders and many others for a massive citywide mobilization in Foley Square. We are demanding the Robin Hood Tax, universal pre-K for all children, good wages for all workers, affordable housing, quality healthcare, an end to inequality and the tale of two cities and the start of One New York that works for #AllOfUs. We are not broke, we are twisted, and all the resources are in front of us, if the 1% will agree willingly to step away from their hoarding in favor of a sustainable world.
We have done a lot of work in battling the propaganda of the 1% and raising issues of inequality, but it is not enough. This is why we continue the work that brought us to Zuccotti. We continue to fight and raise our voices with the 99% of this city who are tired of the greed of big corporations, Wall Street, and the rest of the 1%.
It is our hope that we will serve as an example for the rest of the world. We want New York City to be the model for communities in which class war is carried out in lack of funding for education, racial profiling, food insecurity, and lack of housing.
For too long working people have been disregarded. But this is our moment. Last month we made our voices heard and our message was clear. We want an end to the tale of two cities. We want a New York that works for all of us.
From Rachel Rivera, the mom who started the petition to keep Sandy families from being evicted"
"My family and other families displaced by Sandy will sleep tight tonight knowing that, at least for the time being, we won’t be evicted from our hotels. This evening, just before the city’s arbitrary deadline to evict us, a Manhattan Supreme Court Judge ordered the city to extend the hotel program for families like mine for 15 days as a result of a lawsuit filed by Legal Aid. NYCC members will continue to fight to secure long term affordable housing for all families displaced by Sandy."
Read more about this great victory in the Wall Street Journal, click here.
Thanks to all who signed the petition!
Six-months after Superstorm Sandy, shore towns are rebuilding, but recovery is slow. Remnants of Sandy's destruction are clearly visible. Towns are working hard to complete boardwalk projects to draw tourists back in time for summer, notes the Associated Press. But while the media wonders where tourists will spend the vacations, 600 families who fell victim to Sandy are wondering if the only place left for them to call "home" is the streets.
The following message is from Rachel Rivera and her petition pleading for the NYC Department of Homeless services not to throw her and her 7-year-old daughter out on the street.
Families who were displaced by Sandy and are living in hotels need long-term affordable housing, not to be thrown out into the streets for the second time since the storm. Extend the April 30th deadline until all displaced families are placed into apartments that they can afford.
Why is this important?
My seven year old daughter Marisol and I have called our room in the Holiday Inn Express on 29th Street home for the past six months since the roof in our apartment collapsed during Hurricane Sandy. But in a few days, we are going to lose our home again—this time because of an arbitrary deadline set by the Department of Homeless Services. No one wants to call a hotel home, but the only other option we’ve been given by the city is the streets.
My daughter and I are not alone. Hundreds of Sandy victims, living in hotels throughout New York City will be evicted from our rooms on Tuesday April 30th. Like Marisol and I, many of those families have nowhere else to go. The number of New Yorkers sleeping in homeless shelters is at an all-time high and families like mine are about to join them. We are victims of natural disaster and deserve to be treated with dignity.
Sign my petition demanding that DHS Commissioner Seth Diamond postpones the April 30th deadline to evict Sandy families living in hotels until there is a plan to find us all housing that we can afford for the long term.
For the past two years, residents of the heavily immigrant neighborhood of Sunset Park in Brooklyn have refused to pay rent on their apartments in three buildings where the same landlord has refused to ensure safe living conditions. This summer, members of Occupy Sunset Park got word of the rent strike when they saw banners that residents hung on the outside of their buildings. They contacted the residents and have since tried to assist them as they resolve many of the concerns themselves. There is now talk of the tenants taking ownership of their buildings by forming a tenants’ association or an affordable housing corporation. Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow! is joined by Sara Lopez, a longtime resident and organizer in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; Dennis Flores, an organizer with Occupy Sunset Park; and Laura Gottesdiener, a freelance journalist who has been covering the Occupy Our Homes movement and author of the forthcoming book, "A Dream Foreclosed: The Great Eviction and the Fight to Live in America."
Police arrested eighty-nine protesters after more than 6,500 people flooded Tel Aviv’s Habima Square Saturday night to protest the arrest of Daphni Leef, the leader of last summer’s mass protests against inequality and the high cost of housing in Israel.
Tel Aviv District Commander Aharon Eksel told Haaretz, “Protesters crossed the line. They set out to clash with the police.”
Police also say the protest was illegal, and that protesters attacked inspectors and police by spitting and throwing objects.
In rhetoric that should sound familiar to any American protester, demonstrator Khen Tsubery told the Jerusalem Post that the lack of a permit was intentional because permits are difficult to obtain.
The Coalition for the Homelessreports the number of people living in New York City homeless shelters has reached an all-time high of 43,000. Critics attribute the spike in homelessness to the Bloomberg administration’s alleged failure to help move homeless families into permanent affordable housing. Housing advocates say the problem was exacerbated by the city’s cancellation of the "Advantage" apartment rental subsidy, with as many as 8,000 former aid recipients now facing eviction. We get a report from Democracy Now!’s Chantal Berman, who interviewed several aid recipients who could soon lose their homes, and speak to Patrick Markee, senior policy analyst at Coalition for the Homeless in New York City
My name is Olivia. I can’t hold a sign because I’m so little.
I was born with club feet. One was so bad, it was nearly upside-down. My feet have been stretched into place and casted into position every week since I was 3 weeks old. It really hurts. I’m 3 and a half months old now, so I’ve done that a lot. It costs about $500 each time. (You can see one of my casts peeking out under my dress.)
On March 21, 2012 I had my first surgery, because the stretching wasn’t working. That cost nearly $9,000, but if my feet don’t get fixed, I’ll never be able to walk.
Medicaid is paying to fix my feet. My Daddy is a disabled veteran, but his insurance won’t cover my feet. My Mom is trying to raise my 3 brothers and I while she wracks up student loans getting her college degree, because minimum wage isn’t enough to keep a roof over our heads.
WIC is paying for my formula, because Mom’s milk never came in. She feels kinda bad about that, but sometimes these things just happen.
I hear that some people want to get rid of Medicaid, the Pell Grant, and WIC, so that the 1% can have even more tax breaks. Well, I want to be able to walk. I need to eat. And my Mom would like to be able to provide for me better someday. I don’t understand why people want to take that away from me. What did I do wrong?
In support of homeowners facing foreclosure and eviction in NYC, members of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and other community groups will conduct vibrant singing protests and raise the people’s voices at foreclosure auctions in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx next week, with the aim to: disrupt the sale of people’s homes and the eviction of their occupants; call for a moratorium on all foreclosures; demand justice for all New Yorkers struggling for affordable housing; confront Wall Street’s unchecked power to put profits over people’s right to housing.
MONDAY, April 16th, 2pm
Bronx Supreme Court, Rm 600. 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx
Who: Organizing for Occupation (O4O), OWS
THURSDAY, April 19th, 3pm
Kings County Supreme Court, 360 Adams St, Brooklyn
Who: Occupy Faith, Catholic Worker, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ)
FRIDAY, April 20th, 11am
Queens Supreme Court, 8811 Sutphin Boulevard, Queens
Who: Occupy Queens, Columbia Univ students, Occupy the New School
Everyone has the right to live freely, securely, peacefully and with dignity in his or her home. In the US there are over three times as many “people-less” homes as home-less people. Financial institutions have stripped individuals and communities of their savings and property while receiving $7.7 Trillion in taxpayer bail-outs.
“At the same time that banks are getting bailed out, rental assistance programs are being reduced–even completely eliminated,” says housing rights activist and organizer Blair Ellis. “Empty buildings fill New York City boroughs, while those in need of housing are forgotten by our economic and political system. Those lucky enough to remain in their homes are increasingly burdened with the escalating cost of rent and mortgage loans. This American Dream is becoming a nightmare for millions of the middle class and poor people.”
There are over 100,000 homes in foreclosure in New York State due to subprime and predatory loans; now New Yorkers with “fair” (or “prime”) loans are also missing payments and falling into foreclosure because of unemployment, under-employment and mounting healthcare costs among other issues.
“We can create meaningful, community based solutions to keep people in their homes and return land in our communities back to the people who live in them,” says Heath Madom, a local housing rights advocate. “We look forward to the day when all bank-owned property—occupied and vacant—is returned to community control and made permanently affordable.”
Where the system has failed the people and upheld the bank’s rights to profit:
The big banks were bailed out first under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and again in the recent settlement brokered by NY Attorney General Schneiderman. TARP gave the big banks the money they needed to stay afloat and, in return, left to the banks’ discretion whether to foreclose on families’ homes or sell the homes at auction. Schneiderman’s settlement is a slap on the wrist that gives the banks blanket immunity for widespread fraud in exchange for providing some, but not all, ailing homeowners no more than $2,000 in assistance.
New York’s “Settlement Conferences” are a massive failure because banks won’t agree to affordable loan modiﬁcations and the federal Home Affordable Modiﬁcation Program (HAMP) gives the same banks we bailed out with our tax dollars the discretion to modify loans or auction off homes. They would rather auction them off.
Watch the October 13th rendition of “Listen Auctioneer” at the Brooklyn foreclosure auction blockade below. This one is heartbreaking. The protesters of the foreclosure sing "Listen, Auctioneer, all the people here (right here, right now), Are asking you to hold off the sales right now. We're going to survive but we don't know how. Listen Auctioneer, all the people here are asking you to hold off the sales right now. We're going to survive but we don't know how..."
Then they are all handcuffed, arrested, and escorted out by police.