In what is fast becoming the most prominent, and promising, new front in the Occupy Wall Street movement, the effort to forestall foreclosures is taking center stage as Occupations from Los Angeles to Minneapolis to Atlanta to Boston are turning empty and unused buildings into commonly held resources for local communities.
The defense of homes from foreclosure and forcible eviction could cement OWS’s relevance in a new post-encampment period. That’s why December 6, the National Day of Action to Occupy Our Homes, is shaping up as one of the movement’s most important actions to date. Hopes are riding high that the day can galvanize a new frontier for the occupy movement: the liberation of vacant bank-owned homes for those in need.
The new Occupy Our Homes movement also aims to shed light on the housing and mortgage crisis which precipitated the great recession in 2008. Activists say that the Obama administration’s efforts to help homeowners with “underwater” properties is woefully inadequate and drastic action is needed to prevent more human suffering from this persistent recession.
Numerous actions planned take place in some of America’s most impoverished urban neighborhoods. In my hometown of Brooklyn, activists will gather in East New York (L train to Livonia) to tour foreclosed properties for the growing Occupy REAL Estate Listing Service, donate holiday gifts and food, and connect with allies at a house warming and block party.