Thursday, Cities Rally to Save a Family’s Home from Unjust Foreclosure

For Immediate Release
Contact: Occupy Wall Street PR: press@occupywallst.org 347-292-1444
National inquiries: Anthony Newby, Occupy Homes MN newby209@gmail.com 612-327-9453

Contacts for other cities available upon request
 
NYC rally to demand PNC Bank let Minneapolis family return home
Foreclosed Cruz family travels to PNC Headquarters demanding justice; 
Rallies planned in 15+ cities

Activists with OWS and other NY housing advocates will plan to rally in support of a Minneapolis family who are fighting an unjust foreclosure have been battling against an unjust foreclosure by PNC Bank. Siblings Alejandra and David Cruz, along with supporters from Occupy Homes MN, will take their case to PNC bank headquarters in Pittsburgh this week.  Supporters will rally in more than fifteen cities nationwide to demand that PNC live up to their word and work with the Cruz family.
THURSDAY 6/21, Multi-City Day of Action Against PNC Bank: As the Cruz family arrives at the PNC bank headquarters in Pittsburgh supporters will rally across the country
  • New York, 1pm ET, vibrant rally at PNC Bank branch, 340 Madison Avenue between 43rd and 44th streets
  • Pittsburgh, 1pm ET, the Cruz family delegation and local supporters will rally and march to PNC Headquarters at Market Square.
  • Minneapolis, 6pm CT, supporters will demonstrate at the Cruz home (4044 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN)
  • Rallies in support of the Cruz family are also planned in Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, Gainesville, Greensboro, Milwaukee, Newark, Philadelphia, St. Louis and others.

“Despite assurances that they are working to resolve the situation, PNC Bank has refused to accept the documents necessary for the loan to be modified. So we are going with Alejandra and David Cruz to make a hand-delivery to PNC’s headquarters,” said Anthony Newby, a community organizer with Occupy Homes MN who will travel with the family.

In the last few weeks, 23 activists with Occupy Homes MN have been arrested defending the Minneapolis home of the Cruz family from 5 separate eviction attempts after the house went into foreclosure because the bank failed to withdraw an online mortgage payment. The eviction attempts cost Minneapolis taxpayers more than $40,000, turning police officers into servants of PNC Bank and mortgage lender Freddie Mac, resulting in widespread local scrutiny of use of public funds. The Cruzes, who have already played a role in a successful movement for justice as DREAM Act activists, say their family can pay the mortgage and want to meet with bank officials to negotiate an agreement that will allow them to return to their home.

“We’re standing in solidarity with cities around the country demanding justice for the Cruz family. There are 12 million homeowners with negative equity fighting against being thrown out of their homes while the banks we bailed out are making record profits,” said Michael Premo, an organizer with OWS and Organizing for Occupation (O4O), a collective of NYC housing activists.

For up-to-date information about events across the country visit: www.occupyhomesmn.org

Video of Alejandra and David Cruz: http://bit.ly/LC7zUe

Occupy Wall Street is part of an international people powered movement fighting for economic justice in the face of croney capitalism, 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 press.nycga.net
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Will Travel for Justice: Occupy Caravans Cross-Country to National Gathering in Philadelphia July 4th

For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Occupy Wall Street PR: press@occupywallst.org, 347-292-1444
Occupy Caravan: Buddy Bolton, info@occupycaravan.com, 917-446-8398
Will Travel for Justice: Caravans Cross the Country, Linking Occupations En-Route to Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia for July 4th
Army of Musicians Lead a 99 Mile March to NYC Honoring More than 100 Years of Struggle for Economic Justice in the US on Woody Guthrie’s 100th Birthday
“This land is your land, this land is my land…” Last September, on a small piece of land amidst Wall Street skyscrapers, a couple hundred activists created an encampment. They hoped to expose the injustice, the greed, and the crimes of Wall Street in the face of global financial crises and forced austerity. This seemingly simple direct action galvanized people in cities around the world. This summer heralds efforts to knit together this growing movement: Occupy Caravan’s cross-country mobilizing will culminate at the Occupy National Gathering on July 4th. The next day, occupiers and musicians of the 99% will embark on a 99-Mile march back to Wall Street to continue the ongoing struggle for economic justice.
Occupy Caravan (June 11-30): Over 50 cities dot the Caravan’s route to the Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia. Their trip marks the 100th birthday of American folk singer hero Woody Guthrie, who sung about economic justice in the face of out-of-control banks that crashed the economy and triggered the Great Depression. Occupy Caravan aims to further connect communities in the growing movement for economic justice.
Occupy National Gathering (June 30-July 4): Occupiers from around North America have participated via conference call in a process designed to build consensus from the ground up around the idea of gathering in one place at one time in order to put our principles of direct democracy and community into practice on a mass scale. The gathering will be livestreamed. Contact: media@occupynationalgathering.com, @OccupyNG, #natgat.
99-Mile March (begins July 5): On July 5th, the Occupy Guitarmy will lead a 99-mile march from Philadelphia to NYC, walking through towns and cities to teach songs, lead workshops on community organizing, discuss issues facing local residents, and perform with local musicians. The march also celebrates the 100th birthday Woody Guthrie from whom the Guitarmy takes inspiration: musicians as organizers for social justice. Contact: music@nycga.net, @OWSMusicGroup.
Occupy Wall Street touched a nerve, exposed just how many of us are impacted by 1% greed, and now continues to reveal that a more fair and democratic world is possible.
Occupy Wall Street is part of an international people powered movement fighting for economic justice in the face of crony capitalism, 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 visit www.occupywallstreet.netand press.nycga.net.
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Justice (Not Sex) in the City: Occupy Wall St & Housing Advocates
 Demand Accountability for Homeowners at Obama Fundraiser

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: press@occupywallst.org, 347-292-1444

Justice (Not Sex) in the City: Occupy Wall Street & Housing Advocates
 Demand Accountability for Homeowners at Obama Fundraiser

Obama Campaign Fundraising at Home of Sarah Jessica Parker While Investigation of Wall Street Corruption Goes Begging

Tonight, members of F the Banks, Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and local and national housing advocate groups will demand justice be brought to the banks by confronting Obama with his broken promises and deceptive funding priorities. While the President raises campaign funds at Sex In the City star Sarah Jessica Parker’s West Village townhouse, the underfunded and understaffed federal Mortgage Fraud Task Force leaves big banks free from accountability and millions of American homeowners screwed.

The Administration’s failure to investigate crimes which brought on the financial crisis will be met with a vibrant (and loud) presence for the second time in 10 days; the disparity between the millions raised by the Obama campaign and related PACs and the slow pace of the investigation will not go unchecked.

When/Where: Thursday, June 14th, 6pm: Convergence begins under the Arch at Washington Square Park. “Teach-in” of Occupy tactics; 7pm: March to Obama Fundraiser. Great photo opps. Who: F the Banks and OWS, VOCAL, Campaign for Fair Settlement.

In January’s State of the Union address, Obama announced the new “special unit” to investigate and “hold accountable those who broke the law.” If they were actually carried out, the investigations could have serious results: Big banks held accountable (criminal penalties for executives) for crimes against the American people and our economy; meaningful settlements provided for millions of underwater homeowners.

The President has the power to instruct the Department of Justice to allocate existing resources to press forward with this investigation since the requests for funding have been denied by Congress. More information can be found at: www.fthebanks.org

Occupy Wall Street is part of an international people powered movement fighting for economic justice in the face of croney capitalism, 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 press.nycga.net

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‘Occupy Homes’ Anti-Foreclosure Activist Fights to Save Mom’s Home

**UPDATE**

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2012

Contact: Nick Espinosa, 612-432-8888espinosa.nick@gmail.com
Anthony Newby, 612-327-9453newby209@gmail.com

‘Occupy Homes’ Anti-Foreclosure Activist Fights to Save Mom’s Home
Citibank Refuses to Accept Minneapolis Mom’s Mortgage Payments; Home to be Auctioned Wednesday

Video profile of Colleen’s Storyhttp://youtu.be/OMrxF6F78Eo

Minneapolis—For months, Colleen McKee Espinosa, a single mother of three—including Nick Espinosa, a volunteer organizer who has helped other homeowners fight foreclosure—has repeatedly asked Citibank officials to allow her to catch up on her mortgage and keep her home. But Citibank still has the home scheduled to be auctioned off at a sheriff’s foreclosure sale this Wednesday, June 13th, at 9am.

McKee Espinosa, a registered nurse, has been in her home for 16 years. Last year, she attempted to pay her Citibank mortgage to catch up on two past-due payments on the indicated due date. The bank told her the home had already been sent into foreclosure.

“I’ve come up with the money I owe them but they refuse to take it,” McKee Espinosa said.Colleen’s son Nick Espinosa is a volunteer organizer for the group Occupy Homes Minnesota, a group that has waged successful campaigns that saved the homes of Monique White and US Marine veteran Bobby Hull.Despite her son’s activism, Colleen McKee Espinosa was initially reluctant to speak publicly about her case. But as she faced the impending loss of her home, McKee Espinosa joined forces with other homeowners and Occupy Homes activists to begin a community campaign to ask Citibank to negotiate a fair settlement that would let her keep her home and finish paying a mortgage that, until recently, had only six years of payments left.

After media coverage in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the blog Crooks and Liars, and other outlets, Citibank officials contacted the family, and assured them they were doing everything they could to resolve the case, assigning them a contact in the “executive response unit.” Despite this, the bank is moving to auction the home at a sheriff’s sale this Wednesday at the Hennepin County Government Center, after which time the bank would have no legal obligation to work with the family.

“My mother has struggled her whole life to keep our family afloat, while teaching my siblings and me about hard work, fairness, and giving back,” said Nick Espinosa. “I’ve dedicated the last 8 months of my life to helping families fight against unjust foreclosures and the greedy banks that would rather leave homes vacant than work to keep families in their communities even after being bailed out with our tax dollars. Citibank won’t be stealing the home I grew up in from my mom—it stops here.”

The family has seen a huge outpouring of support from the community since the campaign started. McKee Espinosa’s union of 20,000 nurses statewide, The Minnesota Nurses Association, St. Anthony East Neighborhood Association, and hundreds of neighbors have called for Citibank to negotiate with the family, signing an online petition asking Citibank to work out an agreement with the family. Most neighbors on the block have sent letters to Citibank and display yard signs in support of the family.

“I have decided that I’m not leaving my home until we get a good faith negotiation. I’m fighting to send the message to other people not to give up, because if you’re isolated you can’t fight these people,” said McKee Espinosa. “I’d tell the banks they better watch out because people are catching on to their game and a lot of people are going to fight back now.”

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OWS Set for Trial with NYC Billionaire Church

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: press@occupywallst.org, 347-292-1444
contacts for specific events available upon request

Battle with Wall Street’s billionaire church continues
Occupy Wall Street pressures Trinity as criminal court trial looms

New York —Trinity Church faces continued pressure about the use of its property – not just the fabled church and yard at the foot of Wall Street but over its corporate subsidiary, Trinity Real Estate, a cash cow of commercial real estate (valued at $1 billion) that makes it one of the largest landowners in Manhattan and the richest parish in the Anglican world. Last year Occupy Wall Street (OWS) along with allies in faith communities pleaded with Trinity for sanctuary at an unused vacant lot on Canal and Sixth Avenue known as Duarte Square, for an organizing base after being violently evicted from Liberty Plaza (Zuccotti Park). A December 17 clash over use of the lot resulted in 49 arrests, including several priests (Catholic and Episcopal), Bishop Packard (Episcopal), and one Catholic religious sister; a consolidated trial of 20 defendants is set to begin June 11.

Preceding the trial are two events that will put Trinity Church/Real Estate on the spot about its values. Trinity is being asked to stop prosecuting a group of OWSers and members of the faith community, and commit itself to economic justice.

Thursday, June 7, 11am Liberty Square – Justice for the 99% Rally
Featuring author/journalist Chris Hedges and peace activist, Fr. Daniel Berrigan, a public event to remind all land rich religious institutions that their faith calls their loyalty to those at the losing end of economic disparity.

Sunday, June 10, 7pm Steps of Trinity Church (B’way & Wall) – Vesper Service

On the eve of the trial Rev. James Cooper and Trinity Wall Street will be asked in this service to embrace forgiveness, drop the charges, and re-consider use of the empty lot at Duarte Square.

Monday, June 11th 9 am Trial – Manhattan Criminal Court, Jury Part 7, 346 Broadway at Leonard Street, 4th floor 20 defendants face trespass-related charges.
The vestry of Trinity Church has recently been racked with divisions over the tenure of Rev. James Cooper. Ten of the church’s 22-member vestry–its board of directors which includes worshipers, local business, political leaders–have either been forced out or quit. Cooper’s compensation of over $1 million a year, including a lavish SoHo townhouse, has become a lightning rod for criticism. Much like its Wall Street neighbors, Trinity gives money to charitable causes but refuses to challenge dramatic income inequalities right outside its doors.

Occupy Wall Street is part of an international people powered movement fighting for economic justice in the face of croney capitalism, 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 press.nycga.net

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F The Banks to Confront Obama at Campaign Fundraiser in NYC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: press@occupywallst.org, 347-292-1444

Obama Selling Off Presidency While Investigation of Wall Street Corruption
Goes Begging
F The Banks to Confront Obama at Campaign Fundraiser in NYC

Tonight, members of F the Banks and Occupy Wall Street will be highlighting the Obama Administration’s failure to investigate crimes which brought on the financial crisis with a vibrant (and loud) counter-fundraiser for the woefully underfunded and understaffed federal Mortgage Fraud Task Force. Outside of President Obama’s high dollar fundraiser, NYers will demand that justice be brought to the banks by confronting Obama with his broken promises and deceptive funding priorities.

In January’s State of the Union address, Obama announced the new “special unit” to investigate and “hold accountable those who broke the law.” The investigations could have serious results: Big banks held accountable (criminal penalties for executives) for crimes against the American people and our economy; meaningful settlements provided for millions of underwater homeowners.

Recently, the F the Banks members had a sit in at New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Mahattan office, to push him to take charge of the floundering Mortgage Fraud Task Force. With last week’s financial smack down by a Wall Street-friendly Congress to deny full funding to the investigative Task Force, and the predictions of over $1Billion to be raised by the Obama re-election campaign and related PACs, it is clear that election fundraising trumps justice for American homeowners.

When/Where: Monday, June 4th, 6pm, converge at Bryant Park. 7pm move to New Amsterdam Theater (42nd St Btwn 7th and 8th Ave).

Visuals/Photo Opps: Counter-fundraisers will wave dollar bills to underscore the ridiculous disparity between campaign spending and the amount of money needed to bring justice to the banks, as well as bang on pots and pans to bring noisy attention to the quiet investigation.

Wall Street greed remains unchecked and unbowed. While the county wants money out of politics, Obama is hauling in more Big Apple cash for his reelection effort – selling the White House to donors while millions of Americans are underwater. More information can be found at: www.fthebanks.org

Occupy Wall Street is part of an international people powered movement fighting for economic justice in the face of croney capitalism, 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 press.nycga.net
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