-- an over-militarization of police and private security forces Say FRAUD loud and clearly. This is not a handout. This was a decision made to quell opposition that was getting loud as President Obama and the other politicos tried to sweep our legitimate anger under the rug. Banks got bailed out; we got sold out - to the tune of $17 trillion dollars. We are not criminals; we are people striving for justice.
Our foreclosure fighters at occupations are beaten and sexually abused, denied medications, fed drugs by police (the DRE program), their belongings tossed into dumpsters (illegal!) - and the bail amounts continue to escalate.
It is easy to stay wound up and lose focus. This is not an effort to "get arrested" nor rant about "state power" the entire time. We need a good, firm CENTER, a mass of support to win even basic justice. Civil disobedience is a personal choice.
But a petition drive -- backed up by phone calls, oped letters, national actions - can help us drive up the necessary numbers to build a movement to stop foreclosure once and for all.
Write opeds, post comments -- even to the teensiest of local papers. Educate, agitate, ORGANIZE. Offer your email address as a contact point. People will show interest, but they need direction.
We are getting precious little Good Press. Try to find a media outlet that will explain WHY Occupy Homes exists. Therefore: When a paper posts articles, post comments. Say clearly - "This has all been about fraud and we must not blame the victims nor their supporters."
Continue to educate yourself. Example: look at how companies are enriching themselves buying up HUGE lots of foreclosed properties, getting city permissions. Know that without our ACTION, nothing is going to change and more misery is the inevitable result.
Notes about the foreclosures and homelessness -- TRAUMA and our priorities
Many of us foreclosure activists are homeless. For me, this time, it was huge overdraft charges on an account for which I had never signed for an overdraft. I've been homeless nine months. But TCF Bank got $100's in overdraft charges on a $1.88 overdraft because I had direct deposit on my disability check. They ruined my credit --and after nine months, have never even sent me a bank statement saying how much they CLAIM I still owe.
I was a holder of a mortgage in Ontario and lost my house way back in 2006, They wouldn't pay up when my husband got ill, even though I had insurance. I had paid $46,000+ in CASH, and didn't even get eight months of residency. I lost $25,000 on the sale of the house besides. I was framed. Now I have moved more times than I care to remember. It just never seems to stop.
I am a 63-year old disabled widow. This homelessness hurts! In these nine months, not one of three counties have helped me. The indignities I suffer would make for an entire book. Too many places to stay has made me even more traumatized; the doctor(s) say so. I stay sane by " you guessed it! " fighting back.
Articulation of our pain should be taken seriously - particularly the pain of homeless children. We must speak up for those who are inarticulate, invisible, disabled, too young to speak for themselves. Advocacy is a talent and a gift when it comes to these issues, particularly right now as right-wingers point fingers at victims. One more time: the bulk of the homeless are children. We are speaking for them.
Many frontline poverty workers are not helping out in ways that work, although they see the consequences of destroyed urban areas -- and increasingly the devastation growing in the suburbs. Make sure you see that empowerment of ourselves is paramount. Suffering needs to be listened to and then acted upon. Don't further victimize the homeless. Listen with three ears open. And _just _stay _active _yourself.
Don't join the chorus that's been set in motion: Victims are NOT to blame
Homeless people are deeply traumatized. And foreclosure victims' wounds are close to the surface. They are grieving people. Each day is a trial. Try to help them; not judge. You wouldn't want to be walking in their shoes.
Yet they are more traumatized as their efforts to empower themselves are met with scorn, derision, brutality, and harassment on the part of City Councils, cops and media. I could give a hundred more links of this part of the "story.". Cops are not living in foreclosed communities in the cities. City Council members are taking money from banks and corporations to win elections; many are not standing with the tax-paying citizens who are fed up. Don't allow the coverup!