It’s been a steep learning curve for thousands of brand-new activists that have joined the Occupy Wall Street movement. From the environment to militarism, there’s a sea of misinformation and distractions standing between protestors and their enemies. While the empty rhetoric used to claim that Occupiers “don’t know what they stand for” falls flat to anyone actually paying attention, the ability to identify, isolate, and condemn the 1% for the theft and destruction they are responsible for has been one of the movement’s greatest difficulties.
Now “Occupy Foreclosures” has spread in popularity, with activists setting up eviction blockades and disrupting foreclosure auctions with increasing frequency. While it is a positive step, it contains the same pitfalls as confronting economic injustice. To be sure there is much good that can be done with helping individual foreclosure victims, but ultimately to stop the foreclosure epidemic Occupiers must face up to the same enemy they have so far failed to wholly accuse: Capitalism.
Everyone more or less knows that there is no one or small group to blame for the foreclosure crisis, just as there is no secret cabal that forces us into a never-ending series of wars. There were borrowers who took on loans they couldn’t afford, realtors who signed them up, underwriters who falsely signed off on the loans, and banks who gave the loans that they knew were unlikely to be repaid. Other bank officials securitized the loans, credit rating agencies assigned them false value, investment firms sold these bad securities to investors, and federal regulators failed to stop them. Once the crisis began, municipal, state, and federal government figures, with a few notable exceptions, failed to investigate, prosecute, or otherwise punish anyone who committed these acts. Many public officials passed new laws and regulations to protect these financial criminals and due to lobbying and insider trading even profited off of it themselves. At the same time these acts rendered their own constituents jobless, homeless, and suffering. Lawyers then set about systematically forging paperwork to help banks wrongfully foreclose on millions of people to enormous profit as corrupt and apathetic judges watched. While all of these individuals share blame, Occupiers must accept the bigger picture here.
The true blame for the foreclosure crisis lays at the Capitalist system itself; one that always has and always will exist solely off of the exploitation and destruction of anyone and anything it can affect and while remaining profitable.
The “golden age of free markets” becomes more desirable in these times of suffering but never less mythical; from slavery to the worker’s & civil rights movement to the ever-expanding 21st century empire, Capitalism in America has only ever benefited those lucky enough to be wearing the boot with which they help crush and exploit the rest of the populace.
The fact is we should no more be marking off the entire planet and reselling it back to individuals in the first place than commodifying these lands in order to pad the pockets of the ultra-rich. Federal powers have no more right to wield authority over individual’s lives than to collude in the theft of people’s livelihoods. Occupy Wall Street is evidence that most Americans have been fooled a few times too many by Capitalism’s promise of an “American Dream” for those who are willing to be exploited by it for just awhile longer. Stopping a foreclosure is occasionally quite simple.
Stopping the foreclosure crisis requires imagining a post-Capitalist world where the rich have no more power than the poor and corporations have none at all. One Struggle will continue to show solidarity with the new spirit of resistance in America, and only asks that they never stop short of anything less than a whole new society that calls theft theft and murder murder and holds all perpetrators accountable, no matter who they are or what they possess.
Tag Archive: occupyourhomes
Occupy Protests Shift Focus From Encampments to Reclaiming Foreclosed Homes
The Occupy Wall Street protests are moving into the neighborhood. Finding it increasingly difficult to camp in public spaces, Occupy protesters across the country are reclaiming foreclosed homes and boarded-up properties, signaling a tactical shift for the movement against wealth inequality.
Groups in more than 25 cities held protests Tuesday on behalf of homeowners facing evictions.
In Atlanta, protesters held a boisterous rally at a county courthouse and used whistles and sirens to disrupt an auction of seized houses. In New York, they marched through a residential neighborhood in Brooklyn carrying signs that read “Foreclose on banks, not people.” Southern California protesters rallied around a family of six that reclaimed the home they lost six months ago in foreclosure.
“It’s pretty clear that the fight is against the banks, and the Occupy movement is about occupying spaces. So occupying a space that should belong to homeowners but belongs to the banks seems like the logical next step for the Occupy movement,” said Jeff Ordower, one of the organizers of Occupy Homes.
The events reflect the protesters’ lingering frustration over the housing crisis that has sent millions of homes into foreclosure after the burst of the housing bubble that helped cripple the country’s economy. Nearly a quarter of all U.S. homeowners with mortgages are now underwater, representing nearly 11 million homes, according to CoreLogic, a real estate research firm.
Photo Credit: (presstv)
Another article here: alternet
“An Occupy Wall Street tape hangs across the door of an abandoned foreclosed upon property where demonstrators protested in the East New York section of Brooklyn in New York City, December 6, 2011.”
#OccupySF Housing rights march #D3 #Occupyourhomes #Occupy
“On Saturday, December 3, Occupy San Francisco united with SF Housing Rights organizations to oppose evictions, foreclosures and other housing injustices across the city. The day began with actions in the Bayview, Mission, Castro and Tenderloin, and culminated with a mass march from the Occupy SF site through the financial district to confront banks that put up the bucks that fuel these abuses.
San Francisco, December 3-The theme of today’s Occupy San Francisco Saturday march was housing: No More Evictions & Foreclosures For Profit!
A statement from a flyer promoting today’s action declared: “From the subprime mortgage crisis that began our current recession, to bank bailouts, the rising rates of homelessness and policies like the Ellis Act that prioritize profit over people, housing has been central to the occupy movement in San Francisco, and around the country.”
The day’s actions began at 11 a.m. in the Bayview district, which has been hard hit by foreclosures and evictions of low income African American homeowners. Just this week a 75 year old greatgrandmother was locked out of her home while going to the store to get food for the children in her home day care center. The foreclosers refused to let her go back into her home to get diapers and baby formula for the young children.
At noon protesters met in the Castro district to highlight gentrification and anti-homeless tactics that are violating the spirit and legacy of Harvey Milk and the Gay Mecca.
The 1 o’clock hour brought people together in the Mission district to oppose housing abuses aimed at Latino families that have caused high rates of evictions.
An hour later a tour of the Tenderloin kicked off, which exposed collusion between notorious Citi Apartments and profiteering local banks, which has resulted in the displacement of some of the city’s poorest citizens.
A 3 o’clock mass march kicked off from the Occupy San Francisco site at the foot of Market, which once again successfully resisted a police attempt to shut it down earlier this week.
The colorful high spirited procession initially swarmed around the main branch Wells Fargo bank. Wells Fargo received a huge ballout, then carried out a rampant blood sucking campaign of foreclosures and evictions after taxpayer funds saved its sorry ass.
Riot police rushed in to defend Wells Fargo from the protesters non violent accusations, lining its feudal like walls. Motorcycle cops quickly joined in the escalating police presence.
After this standoff went on for some time, the march resumed, eventually seizing Sansome Street. After protesters occupied the block abutting California Street, the riot and motorcycle cops hurried in again, this time to protect Chase Bank, another of the Big 7 bailouts.
The occupiers sat down in the street and began rallying. Ted Gullicksen of the SF Tenants Union pointed out that above the adjacent Bank of the Orient was the headquarters of the Business Owners and Managers Association, or BOMA.
BOMA’s website says it owns or manages 9 billion square feet of properties in North America, and the local branch is the “voice for the local commercial real estate industry.” It”continually helps craft national public policy development by educating public officials about our industry.”
Recently, it has been “educating” SF mayor Ed Lee by “lobbying to evict Occupy SF,” according to Gullicksen. Gullicksen also reported that BOMA “led the campaign to repeal rent control statewide,” with Prop 98, which 62% of voters opposed in 2008.
Gullicksen said, “We are here to issue a 3 day notice to quit” to BOMA. “You are a community nuisance. You continue to make threats to sue the city for economic losses, leading to violent police actions.” A gigantic Eviction Notice was affixed to 233 Sansome, BOMA’s HQ.
The next speaker, an African American woman, said, “I’m a homeowner facing forclosure. Chase is trying to chase me out of my home. By the end of 2012 we expect 10 million foreclosures in the US, with 2 million in California. When they attack our homes, they attack our health, and we’re done with them attacking us. People across the country are saying, ‘We need our homes more than you need one more.’ ”
As the rally continued, police and sheriff’s vans inched closer to the seated crowd. Behind those vehicles a MUNI bus commandeered by the “security forces” awaited arrestees.
But the people kept their collective cool, until the rally was concluded, then got to their feet and marched off, taking a right onto California. We passed the Bank of California building, Union Bank, Citi Bank, West American Bank, Redwood Credit Union (cool), City National Bank, Charles Schwab, 101 California. And the anti-union Hyatt Regency, whose main entrance organized labor occupied for the better part of an hour yesterday in support of Hotel Workers Local 2.
Talk about a rogue’s gallery.
Then back onto Market, opposite the Federal Reserve Bank, which is being reoccupied more each day.
The march concluded back at the Occupy SF site, but the party went on, compliments of the Brass Liberation Orchestra, which provided funk and inspiration along the entire march route.”~indybay.org/Michael Steinberg/Photo credits:Steve Rhodes