From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Our Homes

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December11, 2011; Source: Huffington Post | With Occupy Boston’s dismantle over the weekend and most of the large encampments facing evictions, what will be the Occupy movement’s next step? Occupy Wall Street has established a new national campaign called Occupy Our Homes, which aims to reach out to low-income individuals and families struggling with foreclosure on their homes.

Teresa Bolton was pleasantly surprised when she heard Occupy Wall Street was coming to her neighborhood to help with foreclosure crises they’ve been facing in Brooklyn, and was one of many to open her homes to the group of activists that marched on December 6, 2011. The neighborhood population consists of mostly African Americans and Caribbean immigrants, so when hundreds of white young protesters filled Vermont Avenue last Tuesday the demonstration was hard to miss. Activists across the nation joined the Occupy Our Homes National Day of Action, bringing attention to the plight of homelessness and sources of the foreclosure crisis.

In New York the occupiers held a marching tour of foreclosed homes in the Brooklyn area, embracing Occupy Our Homes and advocating for “Foreclosure on banks, not on people.” The final stop of the march was a block party where the group celebrated the occupation of a home that had been vacant due to foreclosure for three years, by a homeless family who moved in with the assistance of local activists. The protestors were well prepared for the occupation, equipped with a cleaning team, Christmas decorations and an emergency response team in case of any police interference or attacks.

The marching tour in New York City was very effective in bringing together the OWS spirit with passionate community groups that have been helping with foreclosure and eviction resistance in Brooklyn for years. quoted a protestor describing the magnitude of the march, “Today, the Occupy movement will move into the neighborhoods and communities that need this movement the most. Occupy Wall Street is going home.”—Aine Creedon