On Tuesday morning, homeowners facing foreclosure and housing rights activists from across the country -- including the Home Defender's League and Occupy Our Homes (an off-shoot of Occupy Wall Street) -- rallied outside the U.S. Department of Justice to demand Attorney General Holder hold the Wall Street Banks that ravaged America’s economy accountable. Dozens of struggling homeowners are prepared to risk arrest in non-violent civil disobedience or set up an ongoing occupation outside the Department of Justice until demands for Wall Street accountability and relief for their communities are addressed.
The action at the DOJ began on Monday, and although they were supported by over 500 allies, the DOJ decided they would rather jail these everyday Americans than step up to help resolve the ongoing foreclosure crisis. Some of those arrested were even tasered -- 17 arrests in all, with two being tasered by police.
According to D.C. police, 17 people were arrested. Ann C. Wilcox, an attorney who represents protesters, said several were tased during the scuffle. A D.C. police spokeswoman said D.C. police were not involved in the tasing. Federal law enforcement officials on the scene declined comment.
Police also closed Constitution Avenue for much of the afternoon, leading to traffic backups downtown.
As of 4:45 pm, about 50 protesters were standing in the street or sitting on the sidewalk, and police were preparing for more arrests. Officers equipped with crowd dispersal agents guarded the entrance to the Justice Department. A police helicopter circled overhead.