NYers Blockade Home Foreclosure Auctions with Song; Week of Sing-In Actions in Brooklyn, Queens & the Bronx

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: press@occupywallst.org, 347-292-1444
Individual borough contacts available upon request

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. Watch the October 13th rendition of “Listen Auctioneer” at the Brooklyn foreclosure auction blockade http://bit.ly/IBucZA

MONDAY, April 16th, Bronx—see WNET Thirteen’s coverage of the blockade here.

THURSDAY, April 19th, 3pm, Contact: Nathaniel Mahlberg, 608-469-1406
Kings County Supreme Court, 360 Adams St, Brooklyn
Who: Occupy Faith, Catholic Worker, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ)
Pre-action meeting at 2-4 Nevins Street, 1pm. Interviews will be available and great photo opps of the group rehearsing.

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.

 

Occupy Wall Street is part of an international people powered movement fighting for economic justice in the face of neoliberal economic practices, the crimes of Wall Street, and a government controlled by monied interests. #OWS is the 99% organizing to end the tyranny of the 1%. 
For more info www.occupywallst.org and www.nycga.net
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