Solidarity: In the U.S., Wood Co. man forced from foreclosed home

7 05 2010

UPDATE: The Stony Ridge 7 are out of jail and free. All were charged with criminal trespass and impeding police business, both misdemeanors, and released.

STONY RIDGE, OHIO — Wood County Sheriff’s deputies swarmed the home of Keith Sadler Friday morning in an attempt to force him out of the foreclosed property.

Sadler and five others barricaded themselves inside the Stony Ridge home five days ago in protest of his bank’s foreclosure of the US 20 (Fremont Pike) property.  Sadler’s home was sold after he was unable to keep up with the payments.  According to protesters with The Toledo Foreclosure Defense League (TFDL), Sadler exhausted all other options.

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Solidarity: In the U.S., Take Back the Land begins May Month of Action

7 05 2010

May 3, 2010
For immediate release

Groups Take Back the Land During May 2010 Month of Action

May 3, 2010- Today, the Take Back the Land Movement (TBLM, announced a May 2010 Month of Action in direct response to the ongoing economic and housing crisis. The month of action commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first Civil rights era sit-ins in Greensboro, NC. Thousands from across the country will participate in “live-ins” to demand the fundamental human right to housing. Groups in over a dozen cities across the country will move families into vacant government-owned and foreclosed homes, without permission, or physically defend families from eviction and foreclosure.

The objective of the coordinated civil disobedience campaigns is to build a national movement to elevate housing to the level of a human right and gain community control over land.

“We are defending families facing eviction and moving homeless people into people-less homes,” said Max Rameau of Take Back the Land-Miami. “While banks enjoy bailouts, executive bonuses and record profits, human beings and entire communities are suffering. The government does not appear interested in helping poor people, so we have no other choice.”

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Fighting Evictions and Taking Back the Land

27 03 2010

Café Society will meet at Chicago Cultural Center on Wednesday, March 17.

Special guest Frank Edwards, a Rogers Park anti-eviction activist and ally to the Anti-Eviction Campaign, will kick-off this intimate, facilitated discussion.

The number of families displaced by foreclosure continues to grow. “Chicago weathered a third year of economic turmoil in 2009 with an average of one new foreclosure filing every 22 minutes,” according to a report released by the organizing, policy, research, and training group National People’s Action. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Fighting Foreclosure in South Africa’

8 04 2009

An Open Letter to US Activists
By The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign
April 7, 2009 – The Nation Magazine

Editor’s Note: As the worldwide economic meltdown continues, it’s becoming clear that the fight against foreclosures is not simply an American issue; it is a global issue. And as US activists come to terms with the human consequences of the crisis, there is much to be learned from activists elsewhere who have been grappling with these issues for years.

The following open letter to US activists is a response to Ben Ehrenreich’s “Foreclosure Fightback,” published February 9 in The Nation. It is a letter of support and solidarity from a group of South African activists who have considerable experience fighting for the rights of the poor and dispossessed in post-apartheid South Africa.

The Nation welcomes responses from community activists around the world about your efforts to fight foreclosure and protect the most vulnerable from economic disaster. Use the e-form at the bottom of this page to tell your story. We’ll publish as many of your responses as possible in our ongoing “Tell The Nation” series.

To: All poor Americans and their communities in resistance

The privatization of land–a public resource for all that has now become a false commodity–was the original sin, the original cause of this financial crisis. With the privatization of land comes the dispossession of people from their land which was held in common by communities. With the privatization of land comes the privatization of everything else, because once land can be bought and sold, almost anything else can eventually be bought and sold.

As the poor of South Africa, we know this because we live it. Colonialism and apartheid dispossessed us of our land and gave it to whites to be bought and sold for profit. When apartheid as a systematic racial instrument ended in 1994, we did not get our land back. Some blacks are now able to own land as long as they have the money to do so. But as the poor living in council homes, renting flats or living in the shacks, we became even more vulnerable to the property market.

It is chilling to hear many people today speak with nostalgia about how it was better during apartheid–as if it was not apartheid that stole their land in the first place. But, in an obscure way, it makes sense. Back then in the cities there was less competition for land and housing. Because many of us were kept in the bantustans by a combination of force and economic compulsion (such as subsidized rural factories), the informal settlements in the cities were smaller and land less scarce.

But in the new South Africa (what some call post-apartheid South Africa and others call neoliberal South Africa), the elite have decided it is every man–or woman or multinational company–for him or herself. And thus, the poor end up fighting with the rich as well as with themselves. The elite use their wealth and their connections to all South African political parties in the pursuit of profit. There is very little regulation of this, and where there is regulation, corrupt and authoritarian government officials get around it in a heartbeat. People say that we have the best constitution in the world–but what kind of constitution enshrines the pursuit of profit above anything else? They claim it was written for us. That may be. But it obviously was not written by us–the poor. Read the rest of this entry »

Solidarity: Squatters See Silver Lining in Foreclosed Homes

19 02 2009
By Matthew Cardinale
Source: IPS

MIAMI, Florida, Feb 18 (IPS) – With foreclosures skyrocketing and U.S. families sinking deeper into poverty, a number of organisations are turning to a new strategy to end homelessness: moving families into vacant, foreclosed houses that are currently owned by banks or the government.

About 15 percent of the housing units in the United States in the fourth quarter 2008 were vacant, representing 19 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Read the rest of this entry »


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