USuncutMN says: Tax the corporations! Tax the rich! Stop the cuts, fight for social justice for all. Standing in solidarity with http://www.usuncut.org/ and other Uncutters worldwide. FIGHT for a Foreclosure Moratorium! Foreclosure = homelessness. Resist the American Legislative Exchange Council, Grover Norquist and Citizen's United. #Austerity for the wheeler dealers, NOT the people.



We Are The 99% event

USuncutMN supports #occupyWallStreet, #occupyDC, the XL Pipeline resistance Yes, We, the People, are going to put democracy in all its forms up front and center. Open mic, diversity, nonviolent tactics .. Social media, economic democracy, repeal Citizen's United, single-payer healthcare, State Bank, Operation Feed the Homeless, anti-racism, homophobia, sexISM, war budgetting, lack of transparency, et al. Once we identify who we are and what we've lost, We can move forward.



Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sugarland! Stand up



 "Stand Up"

All the lonely people cryin'
It could change if we just get started
Life the darkness, light a fire
For the silent and the broken hearted

Won't you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won't you stand up you girls and boys?

Won't you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won't you stand up and use your voice?

There's a comfort
There's healing
High above the pain and sorrow
Change is coming
Can you feel it?
Calling us into a new tomorrow

Won't you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won't you stand up you girls and boys?

Won't you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won't you stand up and use your voice?

When the walls fall all around you
When your hope has turned to dust
Let the sound of love surround you
Beat like a heart in each of us

Won't you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won't you stand up you girls and boys?

Won't you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won't you stand up and use your voice?

Won't you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won't you stand up you girls and boys?

Won't you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won't you stand up

Won't you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won't you stand up and use your voice?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Press conference and rally denouncing trumped up charges against Occupy Homes activist Nick Espinosa

Press conference and rally denouncing trumped up charges against Occupy Homes activist Nick Espinosa

Comrades,
As defendants from the Cruz house actions move through the “justice” system, it’s imperative that we keep pressure on the city. We’re all busy and working ourselves to the bone, but if you can, take a moment to defend each other and our movements from state repression. Let’s fight these charges so we can all keep doing the work that means so much to us. There’s a few things you can do:
ATTEND A RALLY TOMORROW:
  • When: Wednesday, August 1, 12:30
  • Where: in front of the Hennepin County Gov’t Center
  • Who: supporters from the Occupy movement and the community at large
  • What: Nick Espinosa pretrial hearing on trumped up charges Hennepin County Government Center
Nick Espinosa has been charged with third degree riot, along with several other Occupy Homes activists. The charge is baseless. Espinosa is only guilty of trying to be his brothers’ keeper by struggling to keep banks from foreclosing on the homes of fellow human beings – many who actually have the ability to pay.
However this charge and the others are simply trumped up charges in an attempt by authorities to stifle and shut down the anti-foreclosure work of Occupy Homes. In fact, the charges are an attempt to stifle all free speech and freedom of expression.
The city of Minneapolis, while saying it is sympathetic to the work of Occupy Homes in its efforts to keep homeowners in their homes, has nevertheless employed thousands of police man hours to intervene in what is an essentially a dispute between the homeowner in this case the Cruz family and Freddie Mac who owns the property.
This young man and others should be commended for doing what the government refuses to do, which is to stand up to the bullying of the big banks, which have used all kinds of trickery and chicanery to steal homes out from under hard working people.
CALL THE MAYOR AND CITY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE.
Continue the call in campaign and demand that:
-All charges against community members defending the Cruz family home be dropped.
-All police, including Chief Dolan, who used violence against peaceful protesters be formally disciplined.
-No more public resources be used to help banks evict our neighbors!
Please call the following people with the above demands:
Mayor R.T. Rybak (612) 673-2100
City Attorney Susan L. Segal (612) 673-3272
Deputy City Attorney Mary Ellen Heng (612) 673-2270
Thank you,
The Cruz Defenders Support Committee

Rhode Island lawmakers pass 'homeless bill of rights'

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rhode Island lawmakers pass 'homeless bill of rights'
Rebecca DiLeonardo at 10:09 AM ET


Photo source or description
[JURIST] The Rhode Island Senate on Wednesday passed a bill [S-2052 text, PDF; materials] that is designed to affirm the rights of homeless individuals and prevent discrimination. The "Homeless Bill of Rights" was passed to ensure that "no person should suffer unnecessarily or be subject to unfair discrimination based on his or her homeless status." Among the rights ensured by the bill are the right to move freely in public spaces and on public transportation, the right to obtain identification and register to vote, and the right to be free from harassment by law enforcement. It also forbids employment discrimination based on homeless status and grants a "reasonable expectation of privacy in ...personal property to the same extent as personal property in a permanent residence." Supporters of the bill say it is the first law of its kind [Providence Journal report] in the US. The bill will now pass to Governor Lincoln Chafee [official website] for final approval. 
 
States have struggled to define the rights and responsibilities of the homeless. In April the US Department of Justice [official website] found that ordinances criminalizing homelessness may violate human rights [JURIST report] as well as the Fourth and Eighth Amendments [text]. The Supreme Court of Georgia ruled in 2008 that current state laws regarding sex offenders are unconstitutional as applied to homeless people [JURIST report]. The state court determined that the law, which did not permit listing "homeless" as an acceptable address, "[did] not give homeless sexual offenders without a residence address fair notice of how they can comply with the statute's registration requirement." In 2008, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that his administration had reached a settlement [press release' JURIST report] in a long-standing lawsuit over homeless families' right to use shelters throughout the city. The main lawsuit, McCain v. Koch [decision], was initially filed in 1983 by the Legal Aid Society [official website]. As that lawsuit progressed through the court system other complaints were filed, prompting the city to declare a right to shelter [Coalition for the Homeless report, PDF] which was enforced through the court system. The new agreement allowed the City to resume complete control in setting its policy for dealing with its estimated 9,000 homeless families.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

American Indian Movement Stands with Foreclosed Anishinabe Homeowner | The UpTake

American Indian Movement Stands with Foreclosed Anishinabe Homeowner | The UpTake


Click on this picture to see Troy's story.

Activist Troy Amlee, a Lakota whose native name is White Horse Warrior, responded to a request from Occupy Homes MN to meet with an Anishinabe woman, Anita Reyes-LeRey, whose south Minneapolis home had been foreclosed upon by Woodlands National Bank, even though she thought she had a deal to rent the home and then acquire a new mortgage two years later. Reyes-LeRey was four minutes late in calling the bank to finalize the agreement, and the deal was cancelled.

Amlee is a member of the American Indian Movement (AIM). AIM was involved last year with the Occupy movement, but had ceased until he skateboarded to Reyes-LeRey’s home. “So now I’m thinking that this could mend the threads that have been broken so to speak,” he said.

Four-Minute Late Phone Call to Bank Could Cost Anita Her Home | The UpTake

Click on Anita's Picture to See Video.

Video by Bill Sorem, Text by Jacob Wheeler

Anita Reyes-LeRey’s phone call to the Vice President at Woodlands National Bank, was four minutes late, and as a result, the Native American might lose the south Minneapolis home for which she and the Occupy Homes MN movement have fought.

Reyes-LeRey has owned her home for 17 years and has $50,000 in equity. She endured a series of financial and health setbacks when her job hours were cut and vertigo prevented her from making the 100 mile, one-way drive to work, prompting her to fall behind on her mortgage payments. Anita tried to negotiate a new mortgage with Woodlands National Bank in Onamia, Minn., which holds the mortgage, but was unable to do so.

Woodland’s National Bank Vice President Cindy Koonce, told Reyes-LeRey that she would do everything she could to help the homeowner. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson offered to look over Reyes-LeRey’s loan documents for the bank. She returned to work and earned more than enough to afford her mortgage. But to Reyes-LeRey’s shock, on the end date of her redemption period, Koonce called and told her she needed to leave her home.


With the help of Occupy Homes MN, Reyes-LeRey began building a public pressure campaign, including call-ins and a petition for Woodlands National Bank to renegotiate her mortgage and keep her in her home. The bank tentatively offered to rent her the home and, after two years, prepare a new mortgage so she could buy it back. The deal required an up-front $2,100 payment — an amount that Reyes-LeRey was uncertain she could raise the money but nevertheless did. But her phone call was four minutes after noon, and Koonce told her the deal was off.

A video from Occupy Homes MN shows a bank official confirming the deal was off because Reyes-LeRey called in “after noon.”

This discussion begins at 4:02 on the above video:
Occupy Homes MN Cameraman Ben Egerman: So can we just note that yesterday we were told by Cindy Koonce, that at 12 (noon) today we would meet with her or talk to her…
Minneapolis Branch Manager Joanne Whiterabbit: What Woodlands bank was negotiating with Anita to do was to allow her to rent her home.
Egerman: Yes and…
Whiterabbit: She needed to let us know by noon today if she had the money that they had discussed for rental purposes…
Egerman: and when did she…
Whiterabbit: the home ownership, the home ownership, that issue is already been done. And that was finalized on April 23rd
Egerman: And when did she call to do that? When did she come to actually do that? It was noon.
Supporter: You needed her to respond to say that she had the money for the deal.
Whiterabbit: Right.
Supporter: And she did.
Egerman: And she did.
Whiterabbit: It was not before noon.
Egerman: When was it?
Whiterabbit: Pardon?
Egerman: When was it?
Whiterabbit: I’m not sure of the exact time. I just heard from Cindy that it was after noon.
Egerman: It was 12:04
Supporter: It was 12:04 when she called.
Whiterabbit: OK
Egerman: So do you think that’s a legitimate thing to say that 12:04 is too far after?
Whiterabbit: It’s not my call to say whether it’s legitimate or not. But the agreement that you had was that it would be done by noon.
Supporter: Why wouldn’t you do a new agreement then?
Whiterabbit: It, it… we’re done.
Egerman: So you’re not going to help?
Supporter: We’re just starting.
Whiterabbit: OK that’s fine. But I just want to acknowledge Anita that I’ve been here for you and worked with you and helped you and I have tried to help you keep your home. And this is not the first time you’ve been in this situation.


While the eviction notice has been put on hold, it could be enabled at any time by the Woodlands Bank. Instead of relenting, Reyes-LeRey has stopped packing as she waits in hope that a solution can be reached.

Contacted by The UpTake, Koonce at Woodlands National Bank said she she couldn’t comment at this time.

Reyes-LeRey says that if she is able to keep her home, she will offer a free room for at least a year to someone who is willing to help people stay in their homes and fight foreclosure. “I just want them to have that time and that energy to be used towards something that’s meaningful.” 

Related Links:
Change.org petition to Woodlands Vice President Cindy Koonce: Negotiate with Anita Reyes to stop her foreclosure

American Indian Movement supports Reyes-LeRey in her foreclosure fight

Why do the police protect the Bank$ter$?

FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND THIS MISUSE OF POLICE ON THE BEHALF OF FRAUDULENT BANKERS YOU WOULD HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE DESIGN AND IT'S USE AGAINST ALL UNITED STATES CITIZENS REGARDLESS OF BANK OR LENDER.
IT'S A LOAN TO OWN SCHEME SOLD TO OVER 100 BANKS FOR WHICH YOU ARE MADE POWERLESS IN FINDING LAWYERS OR DOING PRO SE ACTIONS BECAUSE JUDGES ARE ALSO USED BY THEM IN THESE SCHEMES. 
For GOD Sakes!.. Make sure that Bank is safe from those Savages!..

Government and Corporations have united against the people...  WELCOME to the modern day feudal system, the knights are protecting their lord.

Protest demands drop the charges against anti-foreclosure activists | Fight Back!

Protest demands drop the charges against anti-foreclosure activists | Fight Back!

14 face ‘riot’ charges 
 
By Staff |
July 24, 2012
 
Read more articles in
Rachel Lang of the National Lawyers Guild speaking at City Hall protest
Rachel Lang of the National Lawyers 
Guild speaking at City Hall protest 
(Fight Back! News/Staff) 
 
Minneapolis, MN – More than 50 people rallied inside City Hall here, July 24 to demand all charges be dropped against members and supporters of Occupy Homes who were arrested defending the Cruz family home. In recent weeks, city prosecutors added the charge of third degree riot - a gross misdemeanor which carries a sentence of up to one year in prison and a $3000 fine - to the original trespassing charge. The 14 were arrested May 30 in a peaceful protest at the Cruz family home.

Speaking in City Hall, Rachel Lang of the National Lawyers Guild announced the start of a campaign to press city officials to drop the charges. Other speakers included hip-hop artist Brother Ali, Michael Friedman of the Legal Rights Center and Dave Bicking, formerly of the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority.

The decision of city officials to escalate the charges against anti-foreclosure protesters is an attempt to attempt to intimidate activists. The protests organized by Occupy Homes have garnered international media coverage and has been successful in saving the homes of those hit by foreclosures.

Other demands put forward at the protest were that, “All police, including Chief Dolan, who used violence against peaceful protesters be formally disciplined,” and that “no more public resources be used to help banks evict our neighbors.”

Monday, July 23, 2012

Say NO to political prosecution of anti-foreclosure protesters! « MN Coalition for a People's Bailout

Say NO to political prosecution of anti-foreclosure protesters! « MN Coalition for a People's Bailout

 We need to stand up for the right to protest!

CALL…Mayor R.T. Rybak at 612-673-2100,
Assistant City Attorney Mary Ellen Heng at 612-673-2270
City Attorney Susan Segal at 612-673-3272
  • Ask them why Occupy protesters are facing unusually harsh charges.
  • Demand that they drop ALL CHARGES on anti-foreclosure protesters

On October 20, 2011, hundreds of people participated in a demonstration in front of U.S. Bank in downtown Minneapolis to draw attention to the fact that over 25,000 Minnesotans lost their homes to foreclosure in 2010 alone. 7 people were arrested in the intersection in front of the bank and charged with “interfering with pedestrian and vehicular traffic.”

Four of them are scheduled to go to trial on July 30th, but on July 20th they had 3 more charges added (unlawful assembly, public nuisance and not complying with a “peace officer”)!

Nationally, the Occupy movement is facing increasing police brutality, police infiltration, and trumped up charges. Locally the Minneapolis city attorney’s office has decided to try to shut down the growing movement of people standing in solidarity with families struggling to save their homes from foreclosure by giving protesters outrageous charges. For example, the city prosecutors have escalated charges on the 14 protesters who defended the Cruz family home on May 30th. Prosecutors at the City Attorney’s office originally charged supporters with trespassing, but have now moved to significantly more serious charges including 3rd degree riot – a gross misdemeanor which carries a sentence of up to one year in prison and a $3,000 fine.

The city of Minneapolis is trying to scare people from standing in solidarity with people being thrown out of their own homes. 

Solidarity is not a crime! 

Don’t jail the movement, jail the bankers! 

We, the People’s Bailout Coalition, know from our work defending the homes of Rosemary Williams and Leslie Parks that it is essential to our movement for people to be able to protest home foreclosures. The foreclosure crisis is a central issue in the U.S. economic crisis – we cannot be scared away from this important issue and from the tactic of civil disobedience!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Woman Almost Evicted By Company That Didn’t Own Her Home | The UpTake

Woman Almost Evicted By Company That Didn’t Own Her Home | The UpTake

Connie Gretsch In front of her Minneapolis home-photo courtesy Occupy Homes MN
Video by Bill Sorem, text by Mike McIntee
Minneapolis resident Connie Gretsch was bracing to be evicted from her longtime Minneapolis home.
Gretsch Eviction Timeline
“I had this plan that when they came to take me out of my house that I was going to chain myself to my washer and dryer,” said Gretsch. “And when they would take me away I’d ask them to put the load in the dryer for me.”
Gretsch then laughed at the thought. She could laugh now, because she had discovered the company trying to evict her had no right to do so. Pacifica didn’t own the mortgage on her home.
Hennepin County property tax records show the company hadn’t owned the home since at least May 15 and may have sold the home as early as February (see timeline at right.) Yet lawyers for the company signed documents on June 14, nearly a month after title on the home had changed hands, swearing to the court that the company still owned the home.
The gaffe, once discovered, may have led to the quick dismissal of eviction proceedings against Gretsch. But the case opens a whole host of questions about how foreclosure and eviction cases are handled as well as the incentives some companies have to ignore government rules and foreclose anyhow.
Lenders slow to negotiate as homeowner racks up thousands in late fees.
A lawyer for Pacifica swear it owns Gretsch's House. Turns out it doesn't.
Gretsch bought her home about 17 years ago. She refinanced in in 2006 but then lost her job in 2009. At the time, Citimortgage serviced her mortgage.
Court records show Citimortgage granted her a loan extension agreement, which lowered her monthly payments to $615 a month and put the amount she still owed back into the loan.
However, as part of the 2008 bailout of the banks, the federal government requires financial companies to modify qualified unemployed homeowners mortgages to an even lower monthly payment than Gretsch had agreed to. In April 2010, Citimortgage told Gretsch she had been accepted into the program and her monthly payments would now be $300.
Unfortunately, Gretsch said she now owed an additional $30,000 dollars on the mortgage in back payments and late fees.
Mortgage sale to Pacifica complicates matters
According to a class action lawsuit, what happened to Connie Gretsch next may have violated multiple provisions of the federal Frank-Dodd Act that’s designed to protect homeowners… including a provision that prevents mortgage companies from foreclosing on a home while the borrower is being considered for mortgage assistance.
“I paid one month and they sold the loan to another company (Pacifica),” Gretsch said. “(Citimortgage) did not send any of the records and told them (Pacifica) that I had not paid anything for a year.”
Pacifica entered into a contract with Acqura Loan Services to collect the monthly payments and process the paperwork on the mortgage.
Hennepin County Tax Record- Gretsch Home
Property Tax Records Show Citibank, Not Pacifica, Owns the Gretsch Home
Court records say Acqura notified Gretsch it would no longer accept her payments, which Gretsch’s attorneys say “artificially and illegally caused a purported default” which they say is a violation of federal law.
Gretsch says Aquira moved to foreclose on her home instead of working with her to modify the loan as required by the federal Frank-Dodd Act. She made repeated requests for mortgage assistance to Acqura, but she says all of them were ignored or denied without notice or explanation…which is also a violation of federal law, according to her attorneys. A lawsuit filed by Gretsch says Acqura has offered no written explanation for its conduct.
Foreclosed and ready to quit
Her home was sold at Sheriff’s auction in November 2011. She says Pacifica tacked about $100,000 on to the original mortgage of $240,000 and then bought the home from itself.
“I felt that I had lost my fight. And I started looking at other places to live. My credit rating was so terrible, I couldn’t find a place to rent,” said Gretsch.
“One day I was packing and I just decided I wasn’t going to leave. And I went to the Occupy Homes meeting at the Cruz’ house on Cedar.”
It was there she found encouragement to fight back. Other foreclosed homeowners convinced her she shouldn’t be embarrassed by her situation. She used that encouragement to contact the Minnesota Attorney General’s office about Acqura’s actions.
Minnesota Attorney General’s office to the rescue
The Attorney General’s office seemed to agree with Gretsch that Acqura had not followed the rules and told mortgage owner Pacifica that in a letter. “Acqura Loan Servicing failed to respond in a proper manner to Ms. Gretsch’s request,” wrote William Gosinger, who works in the Attorney General’s consumer services division. “Ms. Gretsch now requests Pacifica Mortgage halt all foreclosure action and provide a mutually acceptable option allowing her to remain in her property.”
It was about this time that Gretsch discovered that Pacifica no longer owned the home and could not evict her. Pacifica had sold the mortgage to Citibank at least a month earlier. Two days after the Attorney General’s office sent the letter, Pacifica asked the court to dismiss the eviction proceedings against Gretsch.
It’s unclear if Pacifica asked for dismissal because of the letter or because it no longer owned the loan. Pacifica’s lawyers would not answer those questions without speaking to their clients and have yet to call The UpTake back with an explanation.
Birdhouse
For saving her home, Connie Gretsch is sending a birdhouse to the MN Attorney General's office
A broken system “It just only proves that this is not being dealt with properly. I don’t think anybody’s is being dealt with properly,” says Gretsch.
“It’s ruined people’s lives. And nobody has backed up and said we’re going to do it any differently. Gone are the days where you know your banker and you have to face the people that you do business with.”
The foreclosure business is impersonal. Gretsch recalled talking to the person who served her with an eviction notice. “I asked the server why he even does this and he says, ‘well, I have to make my money and last week I delivered one to my sister.’”
Gretsch is giving the Attorney General’s office credit for keeping her in her home. She has a small birdhouse she plans to give the office as thanks for their help.
But while the immediate threat to evict Gretsch from her home may be gone, she still has to negotiate with Citibank to either modify or give her a new mortgage on her home. Tax records say its market value is $196,000. Pacifica paid $240,000 for it before it sold it to Citibank.
Gretsch is also waiting for a judge to rule on her class action lawsuit that could impact her and as many as 50 to 100 other people who may have been wronged by Acqura, many of them in Hennepin County.
Class action lawsuit alleges loan companies have incentive to game the system
That class action lawsuit says the mortgage system makes it more profitable for third party loan servicers such as Acqura to avoid modification, keeping the mortgage in a “state of default or distress” or pushing the loan toward foreclosure. The lawsuit says that profit the loan servers make by delaying loan modification is more than the $1,000 the federal government pays to have the loan modified. Therefore, there is not enough financial incentive to modify the loan.
The lawsuit says Acqura has illegally ignored or denied loan modification requests from Gretsch and other homeowners facing foreclosure. It also says that Acqura violated federal law by not checking to see if homeowners were eligible for federal assistance before starting to foreclose on them.
Acqura is also accused of violating Minnesota laws that regulate the standards of conduct for loan servicers.
Acqura disputed Gretsch’s claim and tried to have the case moved to a federal court. That move failed and it was heard before Hennepin County Judge Susan Robiner in March. She is expected to rule on Gretsch’s class action suit by July 20.
The human toll
Gretsch is a health care worker. She says the toll foreclosures are taking on people is more than just financial.
“One area that hasn’t been really talked about, and I’m a health care provider, is the emotional and physical stress that is put on people and children. And once I get my feet on the ground and get to a point where I think I have this place saved, I want to develop some health care for people that have been totally brutalized by this system.
“People are killing themselves. And it’s not their fault.”
Links to documents and sources used for this story:


  • Class action lawsuit Gretsch Vs Acqura Filed Jan 2012

  • Letter from Minnesota Attorney General’s office to Pacifica asking it to stop eviction.

  • Letter from Pacifica attorney asking judge to dismiss eviction proceedings against Connie Gretsch

  • Saturday, June 30, 2012

    Moratorium on Foreclosures NOW!

    (1933 vs. 2012) MORATORIUM ON FORECLOSURES NOW!

    By Nick Shillingford
    South Minneapolis Homeowner and member of the Canvassing Sub-Committee of Occupy Homes


    The call for an immediate moratorium (government imposed suspension of activity) on all foreclosures is not a new idea. In fact a moratorium was put in place by the Minnesota legislature to halt foreclosure proceedings in 1933 during the Great Depression. In the mid-west this movement was lead by radical farmers in the Farmers Holiday Association. But ultimately a total of 27 states would enact some form of foreclosure moratorium by the middle of 1934 for both urban and rural home owners. (Wheelock 2008)

    In 1932 it became clear that “sharply falling incomes made it increasingly difficult for farmers to pay the interest and principal on their outstanding debts, but falling property values made it less likely that farmers could sell their properties for more than the outstanding balance on their mortgages. The result was a sharp increase in farm mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures.” (Wheelock 2008)

    Similar to the 1930’s today many families have seen their incomes shrink while dropping property values have put their homes actual market worth well below what they still owe the banks on their mortgage. Unemployment, wage pressures and market pressures are now squeezing families across the country.
    In Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin the Farmers Holiday Association, which was made up of farmer radicals played a leading role in activating the wider community and pressuring the legislature to act. According to a paper by Kim Neilsen presented to the Minnesota Historical society “In the fall of 1933, Konrad K. Solberg, Minnesota’s lieutenant governor, told frustrated Douglas County farmers, ‘If you haven’t got 50 [cents] for the [Farm Holiday] membership, steal one of your mortgaged pigs and sell it!’” (Neilsen 1988) In addition to calling on farmers to join the Farmers Holiday Association he was also telling them to committee an act of non-violent civil disobedience in stealing a mortgaged pig back from the bank.


    Years of movement building accompanied by other direct action had been crucial in bringing about the situation in 1933 that ultimately resulted in the passage of the moratorium bill of that year. One popular direct-action technique that was widespread was the penny auction. “The concept was simple. Farm families gathered in large numbers at a foreclosure sale and quietly but confidently informed any prospective buyers that they were not to bid…When items came up on the auction block, only designated bidders were allowed to speak. Cars, tractors, and livestock were purchased for sums ranging from about 10 cents to 50 cents. At the end of the auction, all the goods were returned to the original owner.” Just the threat of this tactic in some cases was enough to convince the banks to renegotiate with the farm families before the date of the auction came. (Neilsen 1988)

    All the while the Farmers Holiday Association and other farm member organizations were also drafting and publicly speaking about legislation to halt foreclosures all together. It was the pressure on the banks that won gains for individual families but ultimately national public pressure on the politicians that brought about a moratorium in many states. Just days before the Minnesota moratorium was passed in November of 1933 Milo Reno, the original organizer of the Farmers Holiday Association, said “We have been patient and long suffering. We have been made a political football for jingo politicians, who are controlled by the money-lords of Wall Street.” (Neilsen 1988)

    Once again many Americans are now becoming aware of the stranglehold Wall Street and big banks have on our communities. We must seize this opportunity to call for a moratorium on all foreclosures while also making it difficult, if not impossible, for banks and the police to forcefully take us and our neighbors from our homes.

    Homelessness HURTS.  Help us prevent homelessness and fight the corrupt banks .. 
    The link to the 2012 foreclosure petition is on signon.org herePlease sign!

    An article about how to achieve a foreclosure moratorium in your state is at:
     http://www.opednews.com/articles/State-wide-Foreclosure-Mor-by-Virginia-Simson-120618-544.html

    Friday, June 29, 2012

    Help these Media-Savvy Homeless Occupiers Get to Philly ASAP

    HELP!! TIP CUP PLEA - Our ride to Philly fell through. I am BEGGING for donations to take a plane there. THERE IS A PAYPAL slot on this  www.USuncutMN.blogspot.com site. 

     I need $100 by tomorrow. Someone from Occupy Mpls/Mn needs to BE THERE, collecting info and getting people on The Page about how we are being "picked off" and criminalized. I have the foreclosure moratorium/prevent homelessness presentation to do. Please. Nickels and dimes add up. I need $100 by tomorrow and then I can fly there ... 

    I so wish Ziggy Vouraun could come too. So be generous, we would do a GREAT JOB between live streaming, videoing and putting this all in writing .......  

    Help me get support to prevent homelessness via the foreclosure moratorium, speak about the need for the Financial Transaction Tax/Robin Hood tax anduse the media to exposure this cynical ploy by RT Rybeck!!   Minnesota pioneered the foreclosure moratorium movement back in the Depression; we can so do it again.

    Here you can help by putting in a few keystrokes!  http://signon.org/sign/41-million-reasons-for?source=c.url&r_by=260770.

    Signing the petition will give a kickstart to a national demand, done via each state.

    008RNC Redux! http://www.occupyhomesmn.org/nonviolent-cruz-family-supporters-targeted-with-riot-charges-weeks-after-arrests/ three arrestees at Cruz house charged with third degree Riot gross misdemeanor. 3rd degree riot (gross misdemeanor) / Obstructing legal process / Disorderly conduct / Presence At An Unlawful Assembly / Trespassing. Bankster criminal ops continue unhindered with state, local & federal protection from bullies wearing nice clothes ....


    Occupy Homes protesters charged with rioting


    occupyriot.jpg
    Occupy Homes

    Several Occupy protesters have been charged with rioting for their demonstrations at the Cruz family home.
    Local protester Nick Espinosa, who made a name for himself by dropping pennies on Tom Emmer and glitter-bombing politicians across the county in addition to his work with Occupy Minnesota, was charged yesterday with third-degree riot (a gross misdemeanor), interfering with a peace officer, trespassing, disorderly conduct, and presence at unlawful assembly.

    Espinosa did not return phone calls seeking comment but Occupy Homes released a statement blasting the city attorney for "escalating" charges against the protesters.
    Initially, the protesters at the Cruz family home were charged with simple trespassing.
    "These charges are a clear and disgraceful attempt to suppress the Occupy Homes movement and 'make an example' of anti-foreclosure organizers who were arrested while non-violently protesting an unjust eviction," Occupy's statement read. "City Attorney Susan Segal, appointed by Mayor RT Rybak, has also made it a point to aggressively prosecute other political defendants, including a group arrested while protesting US Bank's foreclosure practices last fall."
    Despite the new charges, Occupy says it will continue its protests.
    "This attempt to silence and stifle anti-foreclosure organizing will not deter us from fighting for our homes, our families, our neighbors, and our futures," Occupy said.
    It is unknown at this time how many other protesters were hit with the new charges. Espinosa is one and the group acknowledges that "at least three arrestees (though likely more)" have been affected.
    Related coverage:
    -- Gary Schiff wants city of Minneapolis to send Cruz home police bill to PNC Bank
    -- Police efforts at now-foreclosed Cruz family home cost taxpayers $42,429
    -- Occupy Homes activist Nick Espinosa helps save his mom's Mpls home from foreclosure
    -- Occupy Homes can't defend Cruz family home from third eviction attempt
    -- Occupy Homes successfully defends foreclosed Mpls home against 4 a.m. eviction raid [PHOTOS]





    Nonviolent Cruz Family Supporters Targeted with Riot Charges Weeks After Arrests



    Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan steps on peaceful protesters outside the Cruz home May 30. Fourteen were arrested that night, and so far at least three have received riot charges.


    Yesterday, several activists with Occupy Homes MN discovered that the City Attorney has decided to escalate charges following their arrests defending the Cruz family home. Prosecutors at the City Attorney’s office originally charged the group of Cruz family supporters with trespassing, and have now moved to significantly more serious charges including 3rd degree riot–a gross misdemeanor which carries a sentence of up to one year in prison and a $3,000 fine.

    These charges are a clear and disgraceful attempt to suppress the Occupy Homes movement and ‘make an example’ of anti-foreclosure organizers who were arrested while non-violently protesting an unjust eviction. City Attorney Susan Segal, appointed by Mayor RT Rybak, has also made it a point to aggressively prosecute other political defendants, including a group arrested while protesting US Bank’s foreclosure practices last fall.

    As of now at least three arrestees (though likely more) are charged with the following:
    • 3rd degree riot (gross misdemeanor)
    • Obstructing legal process
    • Disorderly conduct
    • Presence At An Unlawful Assembly
    • Trespassing
    Instead of prosecuting the criminal fraud of the bankers that crashed our economy, or working to give relief to families devastated by the foreclosure crisis, our tax dollars are being spent to evict families at the banks’ behest, and to intimidate and prosecute neighbors fighting to keep more vacant homes out of their communities.

    The fight to defend the Cruz family from a wrongful and unnecessary eviction has garnered support from hundreds of thousands of supporters around the country with solidarity actions in over a dozen cities, and has sent a message to big banks everywhere that we won’t stand by and let them steal our homes.
    This attempt to silence and stifle anti-foreclosure organizing will not deter us from fighting for our homes, our families, our neighbors, and our futures.

    We shall not be moved.

    For more updates and ways to support the defendants, follow www.occupyhomesmn.org, http://www.facebook.com/OccupyHomesMN and www.twitter.com/OccupyHomesMN.
    Please donate to our legal fund here to help cover the costs of this attack on our movement.

    Thanks for your support,
    Occupy Homes MN


    Foreclosure Moratorium Flyer
    Please sign and SHARE


     
    Sitting on millions of dollars while people are being evicted is unacceptable. Be transparent with the National Mortgage
    Settlement and put a moratorium on foreclosures & evictions until the process is up, running, and proven to be working
    for at least one month.
    There has been at least $280 million available but on hold for over 6 months.  This money was obtained to keep people in their homes and as relief for victims of corrupt banking practices by Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, and GMAC/Ally Financial.
    Help us get this money working and stop foreclosures & evictions until it is.  Let’s prevent homelessness  For further information:  Please contact USuncutMN@gmail.com and/or see Virginia Deoccupy Homelessness Simson’s Facebook page.  Petition can be accessed at http://signon.org/sign/41-million-reasons-for?source=c.url&r_byS=260770
    Name        Email                                                                     Comment(s)

    Sunday, June 17, 2012

    Join Vagina is not a Dirty Word FB Group | Speaking of America | Scoop.it

    Join Vagina is not a Dirty Word FB Group | Speaking of America | Scoop.it

    DO IT NOW - I've made this so you can EASILY copy it and paste it around on Facebook. Let's show people vigorous vaginas rule!: COPY, Paste, SHARE WIDELY!!

    Check out the amazing action on the "Vagina is not a dirty word" FB group. The Phoenix IS rising. This is not just a group for *pussies* - it's for the bold and imaginative!

    Since the right-wing rePUGlicans BANNED Representatives using the word(s) Vagina and Vasetomy, we are FIGHTING BACK!!

    Remember my old idea of TONS of mail to stop the war - clog up the DC system? Well in that very spirit, our buddy, Jace Bolger, in Michigan is about to find out what its like to get kotex in the mail.

    #vaginagate rocks!! So do #VaginaMovieTitles #VaginaMovieLines #VaginaBookTitles - which often trend No. 1 right now on twitter.

    Jase Bolger has a FB account. I managed to get 10,000 people last night tweeted telling them to apply to be his FB "friend". That should keep him too busy to insult women for awhile.

    The actions release the pent up 14-year olds in all sorts of progressive women - and guyz, too.
    After all, the Vagina is Not a Dirty Word FB group is not just for pussies!

    Everyone is invited to send Jace a card w/only the word VAGINA on it - and for the lazy, we also have an email to sign via The Daily Kos: http://campaigns.dailykos.com/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=161

    Jase Bolger
    Speaker of the House
    PO Box 30014
    Lansing, MI 48909-7514

    But becuz the legislature is in session: this provides where to reach him at home:
    Jase Bolger
    216 W Mansion Street
    Marshall, MI. 49068

    Pass it along! Invite your neighbors, your cats, people who won't be offended, people who WILL be offended - give it your best shot!

    State-wide Foreclosure Moratorium: How to get one!


    Foreclosure Arrestee (USuncutMN) Asks YOUR help

    VIRGINIA DEOCCUPY HOMELESSNESS SIMSONwww.USuncutMN.blogspot.com, scoop.it/Austerity?NO!!

    Saint Paul, Minnesota  By now, most are aware that the banks made enormous profits selling junk mortgages.  Inside Job won the Best Documentary award for exposing how the citizens were “played” by the banks and how the executives involved just did not hold themselves accountable for the consequences of their massive fraud. 

    Matt Taibbei of Rolling Stone magazine, made powerful comment at Occupy Wall Street on February 23rd in a teach-in as to why we in the United States MUST fight back and demand accountability.  The crisis is far from over. This chart explains why it will take a full four years for the effects to "settle":  It takes time for the entire process to finalize into homelessness!  Let's prevent some trauma!



    Because of activist pressure, a mortgage fraud settlement was obtained. The Bank$ter$ were convicted in The Court of Public Opinion.  Obama was forced to act -- because of We the People.  Try to remember that.

    But many people are not aware that a minimal payout was made available to homeowners via the States after a lawsuit was brought.

    It was an egregious settlement, but it was better than nothing after waiting four long years.

    Where is this money?  Sitting in the bankers’ accounts, collecting interest.  Is this acceptable?  We say NO!  In Minnesota, $280 million dollars has been available for six months, but the program is not working.

     We want and  are petitioning for an immediate foreclosure moratorium.  Here's the link.  Right up front:  I am asking YOU to sign!!  http://signon.org/sign/41-million-reasons-for?source=c.url&r_by=260770

    I write this in hopes you can learn from our Minnesota experience and grow a viable movement in your own communities.  Only through activism, through public pressure will we get justice. With just a little work, we can get foreclosure moratoriums in all our states if we work together.

    What is, Why is and Who are Occupy Homes?

    Journalist/activist Dan Feidt writes from a "think global, act local" vantage point: 

    What is Occupy Homes?  

    Firstly, banks use bookkeeping magic to electronically create money which they lend out to the public & government at compound interest. They don't actually have all that money - only a small fraction. This is called fractional reserve banking. It's intrinsically unstable because the economy can never grow exponentially along with the debt.

    Over the last 15 years the Federal Reserve under Greenspan suppressed the prime interest rate, causing an enormous bubble in home prices. Criminal 'control fraud' organizations such as Freddie Mac committed various crimes such as fraudulent inducement, securities fraud, fraudulent conveyance, etc., to bundle mortgages which were likely to collapse as AAA securities. They got fat bonuses and Freddie Mac used its government backing to basically create insurance for bondholders in the event of default, then resold these securities again. In Nov 2011 FreddieMac was forced to pay the federal govt tens of millions $$ for orchestrating staggering securities fraud at the executive level (bundling Alt-A mortgages as AAA etc)

    In order to create these fraudulent securities, the banks set up a go-between shell organization called MERS, Mortgage Electronic Registration System, which unlawfully poses as the legal entity with authority to foreclose on people for basically any reason, though it usually doesn't have the mortgage note in a valid chain of title. MERS was used to obfuscate any path to ameliorate housing issues, i.e. you could never even reach the responsible party on the phone, if you could determine who they even were.

    Housing prices across the US finally started to crash around 2007-2008. The whole system had been predicated on rising prices which only occurred because the money was magically created thru fractional reserve at suppressed interest rates. As prices fell, thousands of homes had mortgages where the principal demanded exceeded the value of the home - these went 'underwater' as homeowners entered negative equity despite making years of payments. If they quit paying they entered foreclosure, further depressing local prices, a vicious spiral. Today the banks possess millions of empty homes and keep them off the market in order to create the illusion that market prices have stabilized, but in fact price discovery has been halted and 'fake prices' rule the day.

    Don’t say the “F” word or else!

    In the political system 'regulatory capture' has taken over most levels wherein no official with any kind of power, i.e. Sheriff Stanek, Mayor Rybak, are willing to even say the word 'fraud' and defend the public welfare from organizations that orchestrate these crimes & no decisions are taken in favor of the Little People. The housing court in MN does not offer any redress for fraud or in the case of the Cruz house, bank errors wherein the bank demands an unachievable amount of money for their own mistake.

    Therefore a broad network of people have undertaken a direct action campaign to resist the political functions occurring under the regulatory capture such as sheriffs sales and evictions. Through demonstrations and occupying the homes directly, the figures who have the arbitrary power, such as the bookkeeping-magic powered banking industry & the feckless politicians who collect political contributions from the compound interest machine, are forced to let people retain their homes and reduce the principal due on the underwater mortgages, which was never necessary in any sense and was only a lever to consolidate wealth into an ever-smaller group of people.

    That's the theory anyway -- the authorities are willing to carry out extreme levels of state violence to maintain momentum in the regulatory capture & control fraud system which prevails today.

    People who care are forced to join Occupy Homes because:  

    The US federal government sent the Banksters $13T, the entities which created this mess.

    What did the Banksters’ do with their welfare?   It didn’t direct money to solve title problems, it gambled the trillions on more toxic debt around the world.

    Experts such as Ellen Brown urged full redress.  She and others suggested a massive settlement that left the banks feeling the sting -- along with the restructuring of banking itself.  Too Big To Fail meant Too Big To Manage.  The FRAUD was seen as systemic.  Robosigning/liar loans and the scourge of adjustable rate mortgages were to be abolished - whether by regulation or the imposition of State banks.

    Instead, the AGs in the US accepted a bandaid rather than rehab to the heavily-bleeding victims, the taxpayers and shareholders.
    .
    Hopefully - in the name of fairness -  local registrar of deeds and local judges will slap Banksters hard, because elected officials - many owned by Banksters and who could conceivably slap them - haven’t: and logic dictates, won’t.

    And in the urge for fairness, it would seem that banks that participated in fraud should not be collecting interest on the monies paid out for VICTIMS. But they are; that’s how State banking "regulation" is not working these days.  Make a fraudulent attack on the public: Get paid for it.

    So we say that each state should demand a foreclosure moratorium until the allocated money is allocated, and the programs for relief have been proven to work.   

    San Francisco set up a precedent. What We say is that this should go through each state, where the money is, through the Attorney Generals' offices.  So far that has been done only at the local level and to continue that as a strategy would take years.

    To see for yourself who that was done, here is some excellent video on the San Francisco experience provided by Carol Harvey.  A video is worth 1000 words; share her videos with people that care.  

    Learn and then maybe we can get mortgage foreclosure moratoriums in each state, and as we suggest, working through our Attorney Generals.

    Some of us get arrested occupying foreclosured homes, because we think the actions over the last four years are just plain shameful.   I am one of those cases - and I wanted to stand in solidarity with other occupiers.  So I am "guilty" of trespass - with an explanation!   Below is an "explanation" of what I am doing while I await a hearing.

    Here are action steps ACTivists can take

    Take this idea and this article to your next Coffee Party gathering.  (We have another one here in Saint Paul on July 7th.)  Take this to moveon.org and your #ows General Assemblies.  Take it to your church.  Take it to your union local.  Take it wherever people w/social justice concerns gather. Some won't hear you, but keep working it.  No one said life doesn't have its struggles.  You may need to remind yourself of that often, but the good responses on a daily basis will keep you buoyed.  We are rocking boats, talking, trusting and building a truly caring movement.

    It is important to remember, that at each step, you need to reach out to more and more people to gather enough people to get a foreclosure moratorium.  If people around you don’t understand what you are doing, just keep doing each step.  Trust me; we're after a winnable action.  More people will begin to support this idea as you go along.  Precedent has been set already!  ; )

    And then devise an action plan that includes the following:
     
    Plan a screening of the following two – Inside Job is available on Dvd, and the Matt Taibbei video is easily accessible on youtube .  (See links above.)  Even a couple of people watching this together can began to have a massive effect on how things go in your state after solidifying their commitment.  There are good homelessness videos coming out now, too.  Tip:  Start a video/youtube collection right away -  in early days.  Get some good photos of homeless persons together too. You may need them later.  Or be bold - go and make a video of your local foreclosure victims and homeless people and then post it on facebook.  Suggest this as a "group activity" for your initial contacts .. Look for and build a community spirit.  Sometimes media committees get a bit ruthless. Cooperation is key to success and this is the time to aim for that.  Include everyone who wants to be included in media efforts.

    Go to www.propublica.com and find out how much money your state has been allocated for foreclosure relief.

    Get an appointment with your Attorney General – and find out the amount the office says is on their books and has not been distributed.  Be prompt and cheerful and loaded with facts and an attitude of compassion for foreclosure victims and homeless people when you go in.  Know that public policy can be changed by YOU – you can make a difference, a very big difference.  It's not a tea party nor an action.  It is an information session at which YOU make a sensible request that will save time, money, social havoc and heartache.

    Ask for them for a foreclosure moratorium! until the money IS released and the program has been proven to work.  Offer to petition citizens showing that the population is on their side if they do that.  Going city to city would take a very long time. 

    Write a petition.  You can use moveon’s site, change.org, care2.org's petition site -- or any other that you’ve already linked up.  You can even post on all available  lists.  Be sure to mention the amount and give references to it as well as the propublica site.  Include a person’s email to return the names of signatories.  You don’t need addresses, or phone numbers from signatories on many of these, which will expand the base of those who will sign.  But be sure to get email addresses.  Tip:  About out-of-state signatories.  Go for it!  This is grassroots organizing at its finest and friends who will back you and your group up, get them on board! Show that this is truly an international issue.  Just aim for a higher number of signatures than you think you will need so that if their names are "disqualified" you have plenty.  Let this snowball by spreading it around.  I am so chuffed by my readers who have signed, that it makes my eyes tear over. They do care ...

    Create a FB “cause” – click it around a bit to your friends and good Occupy sites on the web.  Go to Occupy Homes and other sites and post it around.  We call that clicktavism.

    Write an action alert, a 3-paragraph inspirational piece to send out to your occupy websites.  Just be sure to include the petition link, a place to contact and perhaps a reference or two to show you do kinow what you are "speaking" about.

    Make hard copies and 

    Start asking for signatures at food coops, your social justice actions, in ordinary conversation.  Forward your link to all your FB and twitter friends.  Ask them to get involved and figure out ways you can work together.  I’ll be outside our homelessness show here in Saint Paul this Tuesday, clipboard in hand with plenty of pens and maybe a small sign saying “You can help end homelessness.  Please sign my petition.”  You can put flyers up on coffeehouse and coop bulletin boards - just be sure to pick them up or give a place to forward them to - maybe the Attorney General's office directly.

    Think up talking points in advance:  Writing a blurb for your petition to hand out to those that sign will help you focus your thoughts. Points such as this are incredibly helpful: 
    1. Foreclosure causes BLIGHT – it brings in crackhouses, whore houses, boarded up windows, rodents  – and

    3. Homelessness hurts.  You might mention that for every homeless person, there are 24 empty houses now (Yikes!) One in seven people is homeless.  Here in MN, the average of a homeless person is .. wait for it! .. six years old!  One in four homeless persons is a veteran.  BREAK those stereotypes!  Most of the homeless are children. People who are homeless are not easy to “deal with”. They are wounded and hurt - and often desperately poor. Sometimes, things get so bad, you really cannot predict what an ill homeless person will do and they become scary.  That doesn’t mean that we, as humane persons don’t do everything we can possibly do to help them.  Remember we are asking for monies and programs for people who were victims of FRAUD. The kids didn't sign .. The best way to stop homelessness is to prevent it. That is what we are doing w/this foreclosure moratorium campaign; trying to prevent it.

    4. You might also mention that those of us who fight back and try to get the media to write about the outrage get arrested, but the fraudulent bank$ter$ do not.  In fact, the media and policos lionize bank$ter$ – turning them into rock star status.  Here we see Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase wearing Presidential cufflinks.  After four long years, we are seeing precious little accountability for banksters' FRAUD.  Here is the article about the foreclosure victims arrests. 
    5.  Our media and CONgress are not acting in the public’s interest, but this is a preliminary step in gaining accountability and helping victims for now .. you get the idea.  Only our pressure can change public policy. This is why the settlement was achieved. Public pressure.
    6. Have people go to www.propublica.com for information if you are asked for verification. That’s so easy!

    7. Stay current on issues so you have plenty to talk about.  Obviously, the foreclosure moratorium is just a bit of the solution to our corrupt and highly unregulated banking system.  The articles abound and it can be very difficult to know which to read, which to omit – but struggle on nevertheless.  Find a good author in “the know” and subscribe!  You can run a google alert and get regular, fresh information by the buckets.  Just put in “foreclosure”, “activism” or whatever strikes your fancy, and it will lead you to good, fresh and in-depth articles.  www.webofdebt.com and www.dandelionsalad.wordpress.com are two of my very favorite websites with economics about foreclosure.  So is www.nakedcapitalism.com.  There is also econtv.com for those who want punchy videos.

    Give a donation – food, money, office help, your bodily presence – to a foreclosure occupation. Talk to the people, attend the barbeques, speak to your minister about hosting a teach-in on homelessness, the foreclosure crisis, about ACTivism.  Go visit a homeless shelter; see first hand how demoralizing the environments are that your tax dollars are paying for.  Get angry that homeless children are fed bad food, denied educational opportunities most take for granted and wonder where they will sleep that night. Thank those who volunteer their time in the most needed activity: helping the homeless.  The best "gift" you ever give anyone is your time as you can never get it back.

    Understand me – I am on the side of COMPASSION.  No one should be made homeless.  Housing IS a human right; so is our personal property. So is the right to expect our governments to take our concerns seriously. Rhode Island has a Homeless Bill of Rights now..  An era of #austerity is being proposed. We need to work to ensure we don't have more unhoused, demoralized people.

    Remember: this is a political struggle.

    Over the months I have been fighting foreclosure, I have seen a most disturbing criminalization of dissent.
      – an overmilitarization of police and private security forces Say FRAUD loud and clearly. This is not a handout.  This was a decision made to quell opposition that was getting loud as President Obama and the other politicos tried to sweep our legitimate anger under the rug.  Banks got bailed out; we got sold out - to the tune of $17 trillion dollars.  We are not criminals; we are people striving for justice.

    Our foreclosure fighters at occupations are beaten and sexually abused, denied medications, fed drugs by police (the DRE program), their belongings tossed into dumpsters (illegal!) - and the bail amounts continue to escalate. 

    It is easy to stay wound up and lose focus.  This is not an effort to “get arrested” nor rant about “state power” the entire time.  We need a good, firm CENTER, a mass of support to win even basic justice.  Civil disobedience is a personal choice. 

    But a petition drive – backed up by phone calls, oped letters, national actions - can help us drive up the necessary numbers to build a movement to stop foreclosure once and for all.

    Write opeds, post comments – even to the teensiest of local papers. Educate, agitate, ORGANIZE.   Offer your email address as a contact point. People will show interest, but they need direction.
    We are getting precious little Good Press.  Try to find a media outlet that will explain WHY Occupy Homes exists.  Therefore: When a paper posts articles, post comments.  Say clearly - "This has all been about fraud and we must not blame the victims nor their supporters."

    Continue to educate yourself.  Example:  look at how companies are enriching themselves buying up HUGE lots of foreclosed properties, getting city permissions. Know that without our ACTION, nothing is going to change and more misery is the inevitable result.

    Notes about the foreclosures and homelessness – TRAUMA and our priorities

    Many of us foreclosure activists are homeless.  For me, this time, it was huge overdraft charges on an account for which I had never signed for an overdraft. I’ve been homeless nine months.  But TCF Bank got $100’s in overdraft charges on a $1.88 overdraft because I had direct deposit on my disability check.  They ruined my credit –and after nine months, have never even sent me a bank statement saying how much they CLAIM I still owe. 

    I was a  holder of a mortgage in Ontario and lost my house way back in 2006, They wouldn’t pay up when my husband got ill, even though I had insurance.   I had paid $46,000+ in CASH, and didn’t even get eight months of residency.  I lost $25,000 on the sale of the house besides.  I was framed.  Now I have moved more times than I care to remember.  It just never seems to stop.

    I am 63, disabled, widowed and orphaned.  This homelessness hurts!  In these nine months, not one of three counties have helped me.  The indignities I suffer would make for an entire book.  Too many places to stay has made me even more traumatized; the doctor(s) say so.  I stay sane by … you guessed it!  … fighting back. 

    Articulation of our pain should be taken seriously - particularly the pain of homeless children.  We must speak up for those who are inarticulate, invisible, disabled, too young to speak for themselves.  Advocacy is a talent and a gift when it comes to these issues, particularly right now as right-wingers point fingers at victims.  One more time:  the bulk of the homeless are children.  We are speaking for them.

     Many frontline poverty workers are not helping out in ways that work, although they see the consequences of destroyed urban areas – and increasingly the devastation growing in the suburbs.  Make sure you see that empowerment of ourselves is paramount.  Suffering needs to be listened to and then acted upon.  Don’t further victimize the homeless.  Listen with three ears open.  And _just _stay _active _yourself.
    Don’t join the chorus that’s been set in motion:  Victims are NOT to blame
    Homeless people are deeply traumatized.  And foreclosure victims’ wounds are close to the surface. They are grieving people.  Each day is a trial.  Try to help them; not judge.  You wouldn’t want to be walking in their shoes.

    Yet they are more traumatized as their efforts to empower themselves are met with scorn, derision, brutality, and harassment on the part of City Councils, cops and media. I could give a hundred more links of this part of the "story.".  Cops are not living in foreclosed communities in the cities. City Council members are taking money from banks and corporations to win elections; many are not standing with the tax-paying citizens who are fed up.  Don't allow the coverup!
    Meanwhile, the foreclosure relief money continues to sit in accounts, not being used, unless We make something about public policy change.  Public policy should not be made in backrooms, bars and restaurants by bank$ter$ and politicians sharing drinks and lobster.  Our mayor actually locked his door, but continues to meet with those who want to subsidize a nearly $1 billion stadium!  But, doubtless our din gets on his nerves and we continue to say:  We will be back!

    We can win this!  We can “like” it.  We can “tweet” it.  We can “share” it. We will win with your own particular, special help involved.  You cannot stop the power of a Great Idea.

    I can be reached at USuncutMN@gmail.com.  Tell me how your Action Plan proceeds. 

    This is permanently archived at: http://bit.ly/MXjPP1

    Our Minnesota petition can be found here:  Please! Sign it!  Use it as a template for your State.  Many blessings as you help prevent more homelessness - and stand w/the afflicted.