On Tuesday, Occupy Wall Streeters in 20 cities across the country marched in neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by foreclosures. In East New York,Brooklyn, about 400 protesters broke into a foreclosed vacant property and moved in a family that was homeless after losing their house to a bank. Read more…
Over the last month many occupations have been evicted from their encampments, as cities cracked down on demonstrations that had lasted for several weeks.
After meeting with a family that was evicted from their own home, protesters will journey through a Brooklyn neighbourhood which they say is “on the front lines of the economic crisis”.
“This action is part of a national kick-off for a new frontier for the occupy movement: the liberation of vacant bank-owned homes for those in need, and the defense of families under threat of foreclosure and eviction,” Occupy Wall Street said in a statement.
Occupy Wall Street said the march will end with “a housewarming block party” for the family, while protesters begin work on renovating the foreclosed property.
“The NYC foreclosure tour and home re-occupation is part of a big national day of action on December 6 that will focus on the foreclosure crisis and protest fraudulent lending practices, corrupt securitisation, and illegal evictions by banks.”
Organizing for Occupation, or o4o, a New York-based activist group which enters abandoned properties and makes them available for homeless familes, is one of a number of organisations which have joined Occupy Wall Street in the action. The others include Picture the Homeless and New York City Communities for Change.
Activists from o4o have already occupied the Brooklyn house which protesters will march to, and were responsible for matching a family to the property.
Co-founded by prominent radical Episcopal priest Frank Morales – a proponent of squatting since the late 1970s – o4o normally moves destitute families into homes “covertly”, with the intention of establishing a long-term residences for them.
A sub-group known simply as “crack” enters and secures vacant properties, before “a lot of people with skills” take over and renovate, Morales said.
Set up in response to the housing crisis, o4o has infiltrated roughly a dozen buildings in the city since June.