The mortgage crisis is no accident. This is a symptom of a much
larger problem. Transnational economic cartels and corporate
criminals have taken control of the US congress, the executive
branch, and the judiciary. Regardless of who we vote for or what
we want, these entities control our lives and future. It is time we
take a stand and fight back. Si se puede!
Published on Oct 29, 2012
On May Day of this year Occupy and a
number of organizations including Veterans For Peace helped to put
Alicia back in her home and are continuing to stand by her against the
police attempts to evict her as she continues to battle the banks and
now the city as more pressure is being applied to remove her and the
activist who are standing guard.
"This is not a story of excess,"
said Angus Maguire, representing We Are Oregon, another group sponsoring
the action. "This is not a story of people who took out big mortgages
that they couldn't afford. It's people paying their mortgages for five
or six years and got hit by the economic crises. Banks refuse to take
responsibility, so the community is taking responsibility
Alicia Jackson has taken over the
house that was built on her land with the help of the community, and it
is being turned into a community center to organize against
gentrification and police brutality!
Portland, OR -- On Sunday, August 5th, residents of NE Portland held a
block party in the historically black Woodlawn neighborhood, to
celebrate the ongoing defense of Alicia Jackson's home from foreclosure,
and to publicly reclaim the new duplex built on her land. This property
is also on Ms. Jackson's land and was taken during the foreclosure
process. Community members plan to use the reclaimed duplex, which is
currently the subject of a legal dispute, as a base of organizing
against gentrification and police violence in the neighborhood.
"This property was illegally taken from me by the banks. This community
is strong. We will not sit by and watch developers destroy our
neighborhood, while the police harass our youth and drive families from
this community," said Alicia Jackson, member of the Black Working Group
and subject of much attention when her home was liberated by 500 people
on May 1 of this year.
Northeast is often called “the soul of
Portland” because of its historically black neighborhoods, but
gentrification, the replacement of locals by wealthier residents through
bank investment and uncontrolled development, has changed that. In
response, a growing number of people in NE are waging a public fight to
keep their homes, rather than be relocated by the banks. The action at
Ms. Jackson's home on May Day was the first of several community
supported home defenses in the city this year. On Friday, July 27th, 79
year old Annette Steele declared that she would resist eviction, saying
“This is my home. They can’t take it away from me. My neighbors support
me and if the sheriff comes, I’m ready… I don’t have a gun anymore, but I
keep hot water on the stove.”
“Housing must be defended to end
violence in working-class communities. Stable housing creates an
environment for community self-reliance and healthy relationships.
Without secure housing, families are displaced and communities are
fragmented,” said Lobo, co-founder of the Blazing Arrow Organization, a
group that formed to fight gentrification and police violence in North
and Northeast Portland. “Gentrification breaks the tie between
generations, and forces communities to depend more heavily on outsiders
such as the police to solve conflicts. Defending homes and stopping
eviction protects the community’s safety.”
exploitative development of NE Portland is tied directly to the PPB's
Gang Enforcement program. Since the program began, over 200 people,
mostly black youth, have been arrested each month along Killingsworth
between N Interstate Ave. and MLK Blvd. In addition to land and building
reclamation, Blazing Arrow Organization is beginning community patrols
to monitor arrests and support people as police conflicts arise. The
community patrols will be based out of the newly liberated center.
“Working people deserve to live without the fear of losing their home
or being brutalized by the police. The BAO will use this new organizing
center to stop gentrification and respond to police violence. It will be
open to anyone fighting for freedom from white supremacy and
oppression. We are working class, queer, and people of color, committed
to creating a society that both meets our basic needs and respects our
human dignity. We are prepared to defend ourselves and the work we are
doing, and invite others to work alongside us."
Arrow Organization was formed by a group of community members to address
gentrification by way of housing defense. To find out more and get
involved, contact Lobo at (925) 609-4815. To become part of the rapid
response network and defend homes, text @ploc-openrrn to 23559.
Wells Fargo Has Blood on Its Hands: Desperate Man Commits Suicide After Shocking Foreclosure Mistreatment
This is the story of what happens when an average couple is up against a giant, wealthy, powerful bank.
May 15, 2012 |
Photo Credit: AFP
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Norman and Oriane Rousseau were one more couple pushed by
a huge, greedy bank to the brink of homelessness. On Sunday, desperate
and with nowhere to go, Norman Rousseau shot himself.
This is the story of what happens when an average couple is up
against a giant, wealthy, powerful bank. Unfortunately the result is
what the result always is when people are on their own against the
wealthy and powerful: the bank ends up with all of their money, takes
their house to sell and throws them out onto the street. In this case
the bank is Wells Fargo.
The quick version of this terrible story is that Norman and Oriane
Rousseau of Newbury Park, California were scammed into a predatory
mortgage. But they made their payments anyway, always paying with a
cashier’s check in person at the same branch. Then one day the bank
misapplied their payment and said they still owed the money. This
started a long, nasty process that led to the bank evicting the
Rousseaus from their home.
Here’s the shocker: right at the start the Rousseaus came up with
proof that the bank had received the payment and had cashed the check.
But the bank continued to claim it had missed the payment, gave the
Rousseaus the runaround, started applying fees, and used it as an excuse
to foreclose on the house anyway.
The Rousseaus fought back, the bank dragged it out for so long and
pulled so many tricks, getting its way every step of the process,
until this last Sunday Norman Rousseau finally gave up and shot himself
in despair – two days before the scheduled eviction, Tuesday, May
15. (The Rousseau’s lawyer just said he was able to win a 2-week delay.)
It is a tragic story, but when you dig into the details it becomes much worse.