Occupy Wall Street has spun off a new movement: Occupy Homes. It is coming to a park in your city. Or maybe an empty house in your neighborhood. Be prepared.
These people are not going to pay for motel rooms — not when there is an empty house or abandoned strip mall. Why pay, when you can get free rent?
The Occupy Wall Street protests are moving into the neighborhood. Finding it increasingly difficult to camp in public spaces, Occupy protesters across the country are reclaiming foreclosed homes and boarded-up properties, signaling a tactical shift for the movement against wealth inequality.
Groups in more than 25 cities held protests Tuesday on behalf of homeowners facing evictions.
What happens to your neighborhood after the squatters arrive?
In Atlanta, protesters held a boisterous rally at a county courthouse and used whistles and sirens to disrupt an auction of seized houses. In New York, they marched through a residential neighborhood in Brooklyn carrying signs that read “Foreclose on banks, not people.” Southern California protesters rallied around a family of six that reclaimed the home they lost six months ago in foreclosure.
“It’s pretty clear that the fight is against the banks, and the Occupy movement is about occupying spaces. So occupying a space that should belong to homeowners but belongs to the banks seems like the logical next step for the Occupy movement,” said Jeff Ordower, one of the organizers of Occupy Homes.
When they move in, what will happen to property values in your neighborhood?
How will you be able to evict them? You don’t own the occupied property. You have no legal standing to sue. If the bank chooses to ignore this, you’re stuck.
Seattle has become a leader in the anti-foreclosure movement as protesters took over a formerly boarded-up duplex last month. They painted the bare wood sidings with green, black and red paint, and strung up a banner that says “Occupy Everything – No Banks No Landlords.”While arrests have already been made in a couple of squatting cases in Seattle and Portland, it remains to be seen how authorities will react to this latest tactic.
These people are well organized.
Atlanta protesters took a more aggressive approach in trying to disrupt the home auction. The auction went on but the whistles and sirens made it difficult for the auctioneers to communicate, said Occupy Atlanta spokesman Tim Franzen.