Occupy Homes protest blocks traffic in downtown Minneapolis [PHOTOS]

occupyHomesprotest.jpg
occupyhomesmn on Instagram
An Occupy Homes protest over the evictions of two south Minneapolis residents by Chase Bank has blocked traffic along some streets in downtown Minneapolis this afternoon.

SEE ALSO: Occupy MN cuts ties with Occupy Homes MN, calls the group "commercial" and "classist"

The protest is part of Occupy Homes' "Beat Back the Bank Attack," an event that began at noon outside the Hennepin County Government Center.

"Demand justice for Jaymie Kelly and Sergio Ceballos, two neighbors who are resisting eviction by Chase Bank," a Facebook post about the event says. "We'll have some stunning visuals and new tactics - lets [sic] make this big. This event will be an escalation of past bank actions - we shall not be moved! March will start from government center."

This photo was posted to the Facebook page shortly after the event began:

occupyhomesman.jpg
Facebook

And here's a handful of additional images from the scene: Today's Occupy Homes action will continue with an event beginning at 5 p.m. this evening at 3753 11th Ave. S. Here's how an Occupy Homes Facebook post previews that event:
Active eviction defense at Sergio Ceballos home for over 30 days has inspired South Minneapolis into action. Eviction Free Zone resident Jaymie Kelly will now resist eviction at her home.

Join community leaders, union members, and Eviction Free Zone residents for a show of force. Eviction Free Zone march between occupied homes.

Chase should negotiate with Sergio now! His children should start this school this year knowing they can safely stay in their home. Sergio's house is under constant threat of eviction - the police could come at any moment. The city must stop using tax payer resources to carry out unjust evictions for Wall St.

Take a stand for remaining in our homes, reclaiming our dignity and rebuilding housing as a human right.
Occupy Homes has had success resisting evictions using similar tactics in the past.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.



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27 comments
josh019
josh019

While I agree that people who don't pay their mortgage should not be complaining when they get kicked out, that doesn't tell the entire story.  In 2008 My wife lost her job and I was forced to take a paycut at my job we fell behind in our mortgage.  Things improved for me and I was able to start paying my mortgage, however when I called BOA they refused to take partial payment from me, saying the only way they would accept payment was if I got a modification.  I applied no less than 6 times (each time their was a new excuse) only to find that our income was .1% (thats right .1%) more than the guidelines for the federal modification. A representative for BOA assured me that they have in-house modification programs and that they wouldn't proceed with the Sheriff's sale until my request for an In-House mod was processed.  This was in October 2011 (and the sheriff's sale was December 6th) - in between October and December I could not reach my case worker at BOA 1 time and my lawyer and I left messages for her at least once per week. BOA acted like we didn't even exist and sure as shit December 6th came and our house was sold in minutes at the sheriff's sale and 6 months later to the day - the lock was on our door and we were removed.  I know I fell behind but I also know that Bank of America stole my house I owned for 14 years and I had to uproot my family.  They gave me false hope and lied to my face and then stole my house.  These giant mortgage providers were given huge money from the feds to be able to help people out but in reality they took the money and then doubled down by (in a shady fashion) taking peoples houses.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

My wife and I bought a home we could afford, and so far we're doing quite well on the deal; sold it, got a lot of money; put a lot down on the next home; have a lot of equity; all good.  We live beneath our means. We also know plenty of people who bought more than they could afford, or had bad luck, or used their homes as cash machines; and when they lost their homes, we couldn't really call it unfair, though the banks were perfectly happy togive them the money, take their payments as long as they could pay, then take the house back and re-sell it again.

But there's one story I know happened just this way.  Couple who works for a bank gets downsized by the same bank in 2009. They get new jobs at lower pay, and ask bank/former employer if they could get a little bit of breathing room.  Bank says, "Sure!", except to qualify they have to skip a payment. They skip the payment, then resume payments.  Bank says, "Pay $500 a month less, since that'll be the new amount once we do the modification."  They do as directed.  Bank loses their paperwork 6 times in the next year.  Every time they check progress it's a new person, and it's as if they have to start from scratch.  Finally, 13 months on, the guy gets a call on his cell phone.  "Hi, I'm from Fannie Mae.  I'd like to know why you haven't made a single payment in 13 months."  The guy says, "Au Contraire, and I've got the check stubs to prove it."  The next week, the guy and his wife get a letter from the bank, telling them their modification has been denied, and they have to pay back that $500 a month less x 13 months in 7 days or lose the house.  They were able to do it, through sheer luck. They had owned the house for nearly 20 years and had huge equity.  Wells Fargo fired them, knew everything about their financial situation, and decided to take their equity, their house, and sell the house again.

Crap like that is why the French Revolution got so ugly.  And when the Attorney General says he won't prosecute white collar crime because it might disrupt large job-providing corporations, we know the rule of law means nothing unless you are very wealthy and can afford lobbyists.  And the way the Department of Justice colluded with corporate security departments to break up Occupy is proof of the merger of corporate and State power.  Occupy indeed.   This rotten corrupt system of finance can't sink under its own weight fast enough.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

I agree Melissa. Why were they evicted? If it was for a BS reason then I understand the protest, but if they got evicted for not paying their mortgage then I don't understand it. I have a mortgage myself, if I don't pay the bank has a right to foreclose. Thats reality folks. Would like more info in this story.

Osakis
Osakis

So does everyone think things should be free?  Or do I just not understand?  You take money as a loan to buy a house and then you cannot pay it back.  You take money as a loan to go to school and decide you should not have to pay it back.  This is unfortunate, but what is the arguement here?  Why are you entitled to things that others are not?  No one wants to see people kicked out of their homes, but if you cannot pay off your loan it is not your home.  Then they get mad and trash the place or steal the appliances and ruin it for others.  The whole thing is ridiculous.  Banks are not landlords, and the last thing they want is your house back. They do not make $$ from trying to resell your home.  They want you to pay them what you agreed to.

Melissa Dreier
Melissa Dreier

No where in the story does it say WHY those people were evicted.

Maggie Strugala
Maggie Strugala

It is such an important cause that affects so many people. I hope so too

Jessica Sullivan-Thomas
Jessica Sullivan-Thomas

Yeah they'll definitely be making some enemies with this. I have gotten irrationally irritated with people walking slowly in front of me on Nicollet Mall when I am in a hurry.. so I imagine the people going to and from work were none too happy. But hopefully it does more good than harm.

Maggie Strugala
Maggie Strugala

yeah, I totally agree with you. But when you upset people initially, its a bad strategy in getting them on your side of the issue.

Jessica Sullivan-Thomas
Jessica Sullivan-Thomas

Well nothing beyond participating or perhaps signing petitions, etc. But I think the point is just to get the average person to know what is happening so they can choose to participate or share the story to get more media attention.

Maggie Strugala
Maggie Strugala

Yeah but I thought they were demonstrating against CHASE, not the everyday worker

Maggie Strugala
Maggie Strugala

But what is the average working person supposed to do for them? we can't do anything about it.They have to go to the source

Jessica Sullivan-Thomas
Jessica Sullivan-Thomas

I don't think that would raise nearly as much awareness for the cause. It wouldn't be as noticeable. Do you think Chase would advertise the protest? heh

Lee Pietruszewski
Lee Pietruszewski

protest is not supposed to be convenient. when it is, you end up letting the people yr demonstrating against determine the agenda, yet again.

Maggie Strugala
Maggie Strugala

So they just pissed off a bunch of people, made them late for something, and that's the memory people are left with about "Occupy Homes". ( a group I agree with). Block off the elevators at Chase Bank or something, don't waste everyone elses time.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@josh019 never defend these institutions. you ought to stay far away from them. if you must deal with them, do exaclty as they say. do exaclty as they say after consulting a mortgage professional - FYI big banks dont have professionals

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@josh019 you didnt meet the guidlines...you didnt make the payment

that sucks

stay away from big banks

kennyX
kennyX

@swmnguy

"This rotten corrupt system of finance can't sink under its own weight fast enough."

You mean like Obamacare?

damian.amberg
damian.amberg

@Osakis Well said. I bought a house, shit changed, luck didn't go my way, lost job, divorced, fell behind.. banks were a pain in the ass to work with to get some kind of help, but when it came down to it, I could no longer afford it. Couldn't sell it for what I owed, it foreclosed. I lost money, lost my credit, bank lost money, no one wins, but I signed that contract, new the risks and don't hold the bank responsible for my hard luck in life. No one owes me anything, I work for what I have and hope my kids do that same and don't expect handouts like some people. Shit happens, pick yourself up and move on.

TC4L
TC4L

Too big.  They lost the paper work.  Had to start from scratch with different people.  Your home shouldn't be like a call to Comcast.  Smaller banks or Credit Unions have their benefits when it comes to this.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

@damian.amberg @Osakis While I agree with your statement, I would say that it oversimplifies the situation.  There needs to be responsibility on both sides of the transaction.  The anger and frustration comes from the fact that while these people are learning a lesson about not buying shit you can't afford, and as a result often times loosing everything they have,  the banks have suffered no consequences of their unscrupulous and often illegal practices that allowed people with no money down and 580 credit to buy a house.  The fact that they were able to then package those shit bag loans as "A paper"  and sell them off to fannie and freddie  and not one charge, prosecution or conviction for fraud has ever happened is frustrating.  Now while I may agree with the anger and frustration that these occupy protesters feel, I find the disorganization and method of protest here to be foolish and ineffective.  I agree with you guys but if I would have been on 6th, I would have been pissed.

josh019
josh019

If there is nothing illegal about it, why were those of us who were wrongfully forclosed on awarded a class action settlement?  And it must have been a lot of people because most people only received about $1000 each.

TC4L
TC4L

I graduated high school in 2003.  There was one time a teacher brought in a relative for an hr. to talk about investing and saving.  Other than that, there never was a class to educate about the different investments, savings, importance of saving, or rule of thumb for percentages of what you should spend on savings or a house.  It may be a good idea to have a high school class dedicated to this.  Because some of us may or know someone who is responsible but just got over their heads with all kinds of debt.  It's a hard lesson learned and preventable with a little knowledge.

kennyX
kennyX

@Drewey You are correct about the predatory business practices of the banks, however, no one put a knife to these people's throats and demanded that they take out a mortgage. Any person with half a brain knows that when somethings sounds too good to be true, it always is. When people fall for this shit, they have no one to blame but themselves. Businesses have been taking advantage of the poor since day #0. And there is nothing illegal about it.

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