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Occupy Our Homes shows flexibility of movement, tents not required

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Today is a national day of action organized by OccupyOurHomes.org. It's the spreading nationwide of what so far has been a local tactic: a showdown with banks to disrupt foreclosure auctions and evictions. A list of events you can join in more than 25 cities across the nation can be found here. There is a map here.

If you support this effort to prevent evictions of people who were often victims of scams and frauds or you face foreclosure yourself, sign the Occupy Our Homes pledge.

Banks are expected to repossess some 800,000 homes this year, down from more than 1 million last year, said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio. But the number of U.S. homes that received a first-time default notice during the July to September quarter increased 14 percent compared to the second quarter of the year, according to the firm.

 The increase is a sign that banks are now moving more aggressively against borrowers who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments following industrywide foreclosure processing problems that emerged last fall. Those problems resulted in a sharp drop in foreclosure activity early this year.

The "ultimate message" of the anti-foreclosure protests is "bank reform," said Anthony Newby, a community organizer with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change in Minneapolis.

How far this escalation in Occupy tactics will go is, like so much about the movement, anybody's guess. But at least one cog in the megamedia machine, which ignored the movement for a long time, has taken notice:

A number of organizations linking local residents, housing advocates and others are springing up to resist foreclosures. No One Leaves! of Springfield, Mass., uses tactics ranging from property blockades to resisting foreclosures in court. In New York, Organizing for Occupation is also encouraging "non-violent direct action" to stop foreclosures.

"Occupiers" in California, Georgia, Ohio and elsewhere have had some success temporarily blocking foreclosures or re-taking seized homes. On occasion, they've even gotten help from local law enforcement authorities, such as the sheriff's deputies and movers who last month refused to kick a 103-year-old Atlanta woman and her daughter out of their home. ...

The Occupy campaign's focus on wrongful evictions could help the group -- and the country -- in another way. Friends and foes of the movement have called on protesters to clarify the group's agenda and demands. In wake of the greatest housing crash in U.S. history, fighting foreclosure is about as clear as it gets. Meanwhile, pinning down policymakers on where they stand on issues such as cram-down legislation could push the debate in the right direction.

Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge points to an internal memo at Bank of America, which suggests that it at least takes the Occupy Our Homes tactics seriously because it could "impact our industry":

Aside from the superficial implications, what is more important is that the big banks are showing precisely what the weakest links in the system are, and what makes them the most nervous: it is not protesters living in tents in a major metropolitan city: it is protesters disrupting the lifeblood of the broken banking system—the home selling/repossession pathway. Expect many more such protests now that Bank of America has tipped its hand.

There is a story by Josh Harkinson as he joins an Occupy team here. There's a good discussion of today's action in JPMassar's post on the subject here.

Occupy Our Homes shows flexibility of movement, tents not required
Occupy Our Homes shows flexibility of movement, tents not required

Occupy Our Homes shows flexibility of movement, tents not required
Occupy Our Homes shows flexibility of movement, tents not required
Posted: 2011-12-06 11:46:37Author: