Occupy Wall Street protesters take to vacant, foreclosed homes
As the Occupy Wall Street protests dwindle, beset by winter weather and police actions, they're trying a different tack, one that they hope will help reduce homelessness and help some people keep their homes from being foreclosed upon.
As the Occupy Wall Street encampments around the country get dismantled by local law enforcement, some members of the movement are turning their gaze in a different direction: homes.
Specifically, the homes of people who are about to be evicted because of foreclosure. "Foreclose on banks, not people" is the maxim of a new viral video from Occupy Our Homes, the next iteration of the movement.
"With this, out intention is not to violate the law. Our intention is to show the housing system in this country is not working for the 99 percent," said Sean Barry, with Occupy Our Homes.
Since Tuesday, the Occupy Our Homes movement has been trying to open up already foreclosed homes and install homeless families in them, as well as to occupy the homes of those about to be foreclosed to try and prevent the proceedings from going forward.
Actions have taken place in more than 25 cities from coast to coast.
Tasha Glasgow, a homeless mother of two, is hoping to move into a foreclosed home that was part of an Occupy Our Homes march on Tuesday.
"There was a lot of people who supported me," she said. "There were a lot of people there to support me. It felt great."
Glasgow said her kids were very happy to have a place to stay. She said, though they're young, they know they've moved around a lot.
"They're too young to even have to go through this," she said.
Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for The New York Times, said local city council members even showed up to help the Occupy protesters clean up the house that Glasgow will move into.
"For the banks, it's going to be a very tough decision, how they respond to this," Story said. "If someone breaks in and puts homeless people in these homes, do the banks kick them out if there are local city councilmembers cheering them on."
Some neighbors are also cheering the idea because they've been suffering with deteriorating homes, sometimes even for years. And the idea isn't exactly unheard of. Last summer, Story said, President Barack Obama floated a plan to have Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac convert some of the millions of homes they own into rental homes for those who are homeless.
Glasgow said there are a lot of people who are homeless now and that, they should be able to move into homes and apartments that banks have taken over and aren't using.
"It's not fair for people to be homeless," she said.
Glasgow hopes to be moved in this weekend.
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