Write an action alert, a 3-paragraph inspirational piece to send out to your occupy websites. Just be sure to include the petition link, a place to contact and perhaps a reference or two to show you do kinow what you are "speaking" about.
Make hard copies and
Start asking for signatures at food coops, your social justice actions, in ordinary conversation. Forward your link to all your FB and twitter friends. Ask them to get involved and figure out ways you can work together. I'll be outside our homelessness show here in Saint Paul this Tuesday, clipboard in hand with plenty of pens and maybe a small sign saying "You can help end homelessness. Please sign my petition." You can put flyers up on coffeehouse and coop bulletin boards - just be sure to pick them up or give a place to forward them to - maybe the Attorney General's office directly.
Think up talking points in advance: Writing a blurb for your petition to hand out to those that sign will help you focus your thoughts. Points such as this are incredibly helpful:
1. Foreclosure causes BLIGHT -- it brings in crackhouses, whore houses, boarded up windows, rodents -- and
3. Homelessness hurts. You might mention that for every homeless person, there are 24 empty houses now (Yikes!) One in seven people is homeless. Here in MN, the average of a homeless person is .. wait for it! .. six years old! One in four homeless persons is a veteran. BREAK those stereotypes! Most of the homeless are children. People who are homeless are not easy to "deal with". They are wounded and hurt - and often desperately poor. Sometimes, things get so bad, you really cannot predict what an ill homeless person will do and they become scary. That doesn't mean that we, as humane persons don't do everything we can possibly do to help them. Remember we are asking for monies and programs for people who were victims of FRAUD. The kids didn't sign .. The best way to stop homelessness is to prevent it. That is what we are doing w/this foreclosure moratorium campaign; trying to prevent it.
4. You might also mention that those of us who fight back and try to get the media to write about the outrage get arrested, but the fraudulent bank$ter$ do not. In fact, the media and policos lionize bank$ter$ -- turning them into rock star status. Here we see Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase wearing Presidential cufflinks. After four long years, we are seeing precious little accountability for banksters' FRAUD. Here is the article about the foreclosure victims arrests.
5. Our media and CONgress are not acting in the public's interest, but this is a preliminary step in gaining accountability and helping victims for now .. you get the idea. Only our pressure can change public policy. This is why the settlement was achieved. Public pressure.
6. Have people go to www.propublica.com for information if you are asked for verification. That's so easy!
7. Stay current on issues so you have plenty to talk about. Obviously, the foreclosure moratorium is just a bit of the solution to our corrupt and highly unregulated banking system. The articles abound and it can be very difficult to know which to read, which to omit -- but struggle on nevertheless. Find a good author in "the know" and subscribe! You can run a google alert and get regular, fresh information by the buckets. Just put in "foreclosure", "activism" or whatever strikes your fancy, and it will lead you to good, fresh and in-depth articles.
www.webofdebt.com and www.dandelionsalad.wordpress.com are two of my very favorite websites with economics about foreclosure. So is www.nakedcapitalism.com. There is also econtv.com for those who want punchy videos.
Give a donation -- food, money, office help, your bodily presence -- to a foreclosure occupation. Talk to the people, attend the barbeques, speak to your minister about hosting a teach-in on homelessness, the foreclosure crisis, about ACTivism. Go visit a homeless shelter; see first hand how demoralizing the environments are that your tax dollars are paying for. Get angry that homeless children are fed bad food, denied educational opportunities most take for granted and wonder where they will sleep that night. Thank those who volunteer their time in the most needed activity: helping the homeless. The best "gift" you ever give anyone is your time as you can never get it back.
Understand me -- I am on the side of COMPASSION. No one should be made homeless. Housing IS a human right; so is our personal property. So is the right to expect our governments to take our concerns seriously. Rhode Island has a Homeless Bill of Rights now.. An era of #austerity is being proposed. We need to work to ensure we don't have more unhoused, demoralized people.
Remember: this is a political struggle.
Over the months I have been fighting foreclosure, I have seen a most disturbing criminalization of dissent.