Today Occupy Atlanta and Occupy Gwinnett successfully disrupted foreclosure auctions in three metro counties, Fulton, DeKalb, and Gwinnett, by shouting, blowing whistles, and drumming until the auctions were forced to move. In DeKalb and Gwinnett police asked the protesters to disperse; in Fulton the police stood by while speculators assaulted several protesters by punching, elbowing and shoving them. None of the assailants were arrested; however, Occupy Atlanta participant Ron Allen was arrested for having a bullhorn. He was carried away chanting “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out.”
At 10:30 a.m. Civil Rights hero and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient the Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery spoke from the Fulton County Courthouse steps, calling for a six- to nine-month moratorium on foreclosures and for property values to be assessed in order to bring all mortgages above water. He said the banks must start helping poor people or expect communities to withdraw support from the banks. Watch video of Lowery addressing protesters:
At 3 p.m., Occupy Atlanta held a press conference at the home of Valerie Pitman in Atlanta’s Old 4th Ward neighborhood. Her mother, who recently passed away, was the victim of predatory lending which left the family’s home under threat of immediate foreclosure. State Sen. Vincent Fort spoke, saying, “I don’t want to thank Occupy Atlanta like they are something distant. We are Occupy Atlanta. We wouldn’t let you steal a house from a 103 year old woman, and we won’t let you foreclose on this family.”
At 7 p.m., Joe Beasley, Fort, Brigitte Walker, and her partner Ajai all spoke passionately about the need to address the foreclosure crisis in general and the needs of disabled veterans in particular while at the Riverdale home of Walker, who is a disabled veteran.