Facing both plummeting temperatures and evictions from parks in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, and elsewhere, Occupy protesters are shifting their actions during the winter season. They are refocusing their energy on protest actions against politicians, creative demonstrations, and tackling the nation’s foreclosure crisis.
Around the country, Occupy protesters have moved homeless families into vacant homes, disrupted foreclosure auctions, and outright stopped foreclosures of families’ homes, forcing banks to renegotiate terms.
One of the most high-profile victories last month was when Occupy Atlanta protesters descended on the home of Iraq war veteran Brigitte Walker. Walker, who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, spent a year and a half trying to make payments to Chase Bank. As the bank moved closer to evicting her from her home, Occupy Atlanta camped out on her property and publicized her case — eventually shaming Chase into working out an agreement to keep Walker in her home. “I know because of them I am still in my home,” Walker told the local press of Occupy Atlanta. “They got everyday people like myself involved. Everyday people contacting Chase and advocating for me, peaceful demonstrations, people calling and writing in.”
A few days later, Occupy Fort Lauderdale saved a family from a foreclosure as well. Meanwhile, other protesters are moving homeless families into vacant homes. Occupy Our Homes worked with a coalition of local groups to move a homeless family into a home in East New York early last month. In Chicago, anti-foreclosure demonstrators and Jewish activists held a special Hannukah celebration inside of a reclaimed home. Yesterday, Occupy Kingston went door-to-door visiting with homeowners on pre-foreclosure lists, counseling them on how to negotiate with banks.
Occupy Our Homes is calling on activists everywhere to help save a family farm in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and a home in Maui, Hawaii. You can help in both cases by making phone calls and sending faxes (instructions are at both links).