Protesters occupy home facing foreclosure

This is a story about a police officer and protesters organizing in the Occupy movement. And it doesn’t involve pepper spray.

Zaid Jilani of Think Progress reports, “Occupy Atlanta Encamps In Neighborhood To Save Police Officer’s Home From Foreclosure“:

Last week, Tawanna Rorey’s husband, a police officer based in Gwinnett County, e-mailed Occupy Atlanta to explain that his home was going to be foreclosed on and his family was in danger of being evicted on Monday. So within a few hours Occupy Atlanta developed an action plan to move to Snellville, Georgia on Monday to stop the foreclosure. At least two dozen protesters encamped on the family’s lawn, to the applause of neighbors and bystanders:

Nearly two dozen protesters assembled Monday afternoon at Tawanna Rorey’s four-bedroom home in a neighborhood just south of Snellville, clogging the narrow, winding street that runs in front of the house with cars, vans and TV trucks. Many neighbors stopped to gawk at the spectacle and even honked their car horns in support of the crowd. [...] [The protesters] set up two tents in the front yard, draped a “This Home is Occupied” sign over the porch railing and handed out bottled water and granola bars to other members.

The Sheriff’s Department did not come to evict the Roreys that day. A spokesman for the department told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the foreclosure process is still ongoing and that it has not scheduled an eviction. “It’s a good cause,” said Diona Murray, one of the Roreys’ neighbors, about the occupation. “If we don’t take a stand, who will?”

The family of five was evicted yesterday, the Journal-Constitution’s Joel Anderson reports, after the local sheriff threatened to arrest the family unless the Occupy protesters left the property:

Occupy Atlanta vowed to intensify their fight against foreclosures Thursday, hours after a family of five was evicted from a south Gwinnett home where several protesters congregated this week.

Some demonstrators have shifted their attention to suburban communities after a month spent staging protests  in downtown Atlanta against Wall Street’s influence in U.S. politics. Occupy Atlanta said it’s now hopes to bring attention to the foreclosure crisis.

“We’ve shined a light on injustice,” said Tim Franzen, one of the group’s organizers. “The Rorey family is a symbol of what’s happening all over this country.”

The Roreys were evicted Thursday from their four-bedroom home just south of Snellville. Minutes before about a dozen protesters gathered in front of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville to decry threats they said Gwinnett Sheriff Butch Conway made to the family.

Franzen said the Rorey family was willing to allow the demonstrators to stay, but the group left because they didn’t want to risk anyone in the family going to jail.

Franzen said Conway told Tawanna Rorey and her husband, a law enforcement officer with DeKalb County, that he would have them arrested for being accessories to trespassers.

If this becomes the next big wave of Occupy protests — fighting foreclosures house-by-house, then I can’t see the protesters losing the battle for public opinion, even if they don’t always defeat a particular foreclosure effort. This action makes it clear what side they’re on and what they’re for. And whose side they’re on and who they’re for. Even the tea partiers — who, remember, were originally organized in a backlash driven by envy and a seething resentment against the idea that homeowners facing foreclosure might receive any form of assistance — can’t forever sustain the crabs-in-a-bucket indignation it would take to side with the fraudulent banksters on this issue.

Occupy Atlanta and Occupy Gwinett say they’re looking to repeat this tactic elsewhere in the region. As the Snellville Patch reports, they won’t have to look far:

On the Roreys’ street alone, six homes of 24 are in foreclosure proceedings. … Georgia remains in the top ten of states’ foreclosure rates, according to a November 10 report by market researcher RealtyTrac. Nationwide, there was an increase of 7 percent in October over the previous month in foreclosure filings, which includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Very reminiscent of El Barzon in Mexico that sprouted up about 15 years ago (1994). For Mexicans it was even worse because they had borrowed in dollars, converted to pesos at the exchange rate then in force, then due to the economic crash, the exchange rate shifted and suddenly their debts were worth many times more – and were expected to pay these debts when they were struggling to survive after the crash of 1994.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Barz%C3%B3n

    Franzen said Conway told Tawanna Rorey and her husband, a law enforcement officer with DeKalb County, that he would have them arrested for being accessories to trespassers.

    Also, this?

    Whatever happened to those “castle laws”? Oh, wait. That’s only for when you want to shoot people on your property. Too bad this sanctification of property doesn’t extend to people trying to keep their houses.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been trying to put a frame on this and failing. In some ways it’s a smaller-scale action than what we’ve been seeing … but that may actually make it better in some ways.

    The problem with Occupy is that there’s *so* many battles to fight, even if you just focus on issues associated with financial inequality. I keep hoping this sustains itself. I was in Madison during the protests and there was an energy there that I’ve never seen before. Let’s hope this keeps up — I think it’s the best hope we have for our country.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The Mexican people have a lot they could teach us, actually, because they went through all this in the 1990s. At the same time as the USA and Canada were lollygagging along, secure in our own peace and prosperity, Mexico was recovering from a serious economic crash, and in many cases Mexicans were questioning why they had to bear the brunt of debts run up by a government in collusion with international speculators investors.

    William Greider’s One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism explained a lot about what was going on in Mexico at the time, and much of the logic of the Occupy people, as well as the debt-cancellation people, accords with what some Mexicans were saying in 1994/1995.

  • Anonymous

     

    I can’t see the protesters losing the battle for public opinion, even if
    they don’t always defeat a particular foreclosure effort.

    I can.  The only thing people hate more than subsidizing bankers is subsidizing their neighbors.  (especially THOSE neighbors.)

  • http://brandiweed.livejournal.com/ Brandi

    Even the tea partiers — who, remember, were originally organized in a backlash driven by envy and a seething resentment against the idea that homeowners facing foreclosure might receive any form of assistance — can’t forever sustain the crabs-in-a-bucket indignation it would take to side with the fraudulent banksters on this issue.

    You’re tempting fate here, Fred. These are the people who cheered at the thought of the undeserving poor dying.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irx_QXsJiao

    [Edit: I don't know why I thought it was about starvation rather than health care.]

  • Lori

     [Edit: I don't know why I thought it was about starvation rather than health care.]   

     

    I suspect you merged the Tea Partiers cheering for allowing the uninsured to die with Michelle Bachmann, Tea Party Queen Bee, saying that people who don’t work shouldn’t eat. Totally understandable. At this point there have been so many horrifying demonstrations of soullessness that it’s difficult to keep them straight. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Pelikan/100000903137143 Jonathan Pelikan

    There could not be a starker contrast today between liberals and conservatives. We cheer when protesters rally to fight a police officer and his family losing their home, they cheer at the thought of leaving fellow human beings to die in the streets of sickness. I cannot make this clearer: if you are on the side of the ‘let em fucking die’ people, then you are a bad person, a bad Christian, and a bad American, period.

    Fred, thanks for the ‘gives me hope’ posts alongside the usual outrage-of-the-day. This country is only lost when every single liberal throws up their hands and says so, and that day sure as hell isn’t coming soon.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    In addition I want to point out that the Mexican welfare state was considerably less robust than the US or Canadian one; a large component of the welfare such as it existed was a subsidy to tortilla prices, because tortilla is a staple of the Mexican diet. As I understand it when this subsidy was cut a lot of people ran into trouble trying to keep themselves decently fed.

  • http://www.mycaal.com Making Home affordable

    I think that the Government has to put in a little more effect to stop situations that create foreclosures.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X