One frequent criticism of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City and the wider 99 Percent Movement is that it doesn’t have clear goals and objectives.
Today, protesters from Occupy Wall Street will march with one clear demand: telling President Barack Obama’s Justice Department to reject a settlement deal that would grant widespread immunity to big banks for foreclosure fraud. In a press release provided by the Occupy Wall Street Press Working Group, the activists say it would be a “grave injustice” to abused homeowners to grant banks immunity in exchange for a small settlement:
President Obama is on the brink of cutting a backroom deal that would give bankers broad immunity for illegally throwing tens of thousands of Americans out of their homes. The Administration is pressuring state attorneys general to abandon an ongoing investigation into the massive “robo-signing” fraud, in exchange for a relatively small payoff by the banks.
Numerous investigations by state and federal authorities have demonstrated that banks used illegal procedures to make tens of thousands of foreclosures over the past decade. Rushing to a settlement before the full extent of the fraud is known would be a grave injustice to those who were illegally foreclosed upon and those still struggling to stay in their homes. “This is a clear, moral issue that cuts to the core of why we occupy,” said Max Berger, an Occupy Wall Street participant helping to plan the event. “Instead of throwing corrupt bankers in jail, the administration is pushing to give them a get-out-of jail-free card.”
The settlement being negotiated between the nation’s biggest banks and state and federal investigators reportedly could be as high as $29 billion. A growing number of state attorneys general, like New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D), have opposed the settlement, saying it would amount to lenient treatment of the financial industry. “Ongoing investigations by attorneys general cannot be shut down by efforts to settle quickly and those responsible must be held accountable,” said a spokesman for Schneiderman earlier this year.