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The Occupy movement in the States has taken a radical new direction. On Tuesday (6th) displaced Occupy activists, with other community groups, liberated houses repossessed (aka 'foreclosed' in US English) by banks to accommodate homeless families. In other cases activists mobilised for anti-eviction protests for families about to be kicked out.
The ballsy new-phase demos, which activists are calling a ‘new frontier’ in the movement, took place in over 25 cities including New York, Seattle, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta.
In California, a family of six who’d been evicted turned up at their house with a hire van full of furniture – and about forty supporters – broke the lock, and moved back in. In Brooklyn, a homeless family with two young kids moved into a house that the Bank of America had left to go to rot for over three years. They’d been living in and out of NY’s homeless shelters for a decade. And at an Altanta foreclosure auction, protesters’ bells and sirens stopped the vultures from communicating until the auction had to be abandoned, leaving 12 homes safer ‘til after the holiday period.
The day of action was not without precedent. Since 2007, the Miami-based group Take Back the Land have been busy blocking evictions and rehousing people in foreclosed homes. Last month Seattle activists occupied a bank-owned abandoned duplex, painted the boards green, red and black and hung up a banner saying ‘Occupy Everything – No Banks No Landlords’. The cities saw another attempt at a mass crack last weekend with a derelict warehouse reopened for use as a community centre, but protesters were ousted by police with 16 arrests.
Nearly a quarter of home-owners in the US are behind with mortgage repayments. Some have committed the heinous crimes of getting cancer or losing their jobs. Many of the most vulnerable belong to the low income category, sold high interest mortgages by predatory banks with a ‘fuck the poor’ mentality before the sub-prime mortgage crash.
Most state authorities have yet to formulate a response to the new tactics, which are taking direct action and mutual aid away from parks and into the neighbourhoods of the ‘99%’. Although one thing’s for certain: the celebratory doughnuts for clearing Zuccotti Park were more than a little premature.... Viva la occupation!
Russian anti-fascist unfairly imprisoned under Putin's new house rules.
Squatted community social centre and veg shop opens in Lewes.
UPDATE: They finally coughed up. After two days of consistent hassling by activists at the Department for Transport earlier last month, during which one person got nicked, the DfT sheepishly released the previously top secret (read: problematic and embarrassing) documents about the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road.
Anti-cuts protesters block Lord Freud's Highgate London home and stage "evict a millionaire" demo.
New Squat Law Fails In Court
If the “world leaders” heading to Enniskillen in June were hoping for an easy protest-free ride they were sadly mistaken
National Front demonstration has a poor turn out in Swansea, followed by a Blood & Honour gig in the valleys.
Anti-cull travellers and squatters plot land seizures.