Detroit Campaign Against Foreclosures and Evictions Escalates
Community volunteers move foreclosure victim back into home
by Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor
Pan-African News Wire
Activist speaking at eviction reversal on April 17, 2008
http://www. flickr. com/photos/53911892@N00/2431643976/
Photo of people moving eviction victim back into home
http://www. flickr. com/photos/53911892@N00/2431630924/
DETROIT, April 21, 2008--A delegation of Detroit activists traveled to
Washington, DC on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 to participate in the
national demonstration called by the Ad Hoc Network to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions.
The action took place outside the Mortgage Bankers
Association Annual Policy Summit held in a hotel just two blocks away from
Many of the people who were outside the Washington Court Hotel on April
16 provided firsthand accounts of how their households and communities
have been devastated by the mortgage banking crisis that has rendered
at least 2 million dwellings vacant throughout the country.
Sandra Hines of the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War &
Injustice (MECAWI) told the security personnel and bankers standing outside the
hotel where the summit was being held, that "you may think this is
funny but this crisis impacts people everyday in the city of Detroit.
Hines, who is a former Detroit Public School Social Worker, ran a
grassroots campaign for a district seat on the local school board and was
subsequently evicted from her childhood home as a result of predatory
As soon as the MECAWI delegation returned to Detroit on Thursday, April
17, a call went out about a young woman being evicted in the heavily
depressed Linwood Corridor area on the city's west side.
has three children and a 84-year-old mother, whose wheelchair was thrown
out of the home by thugs acting on behalf of the Wayne County baliffs
who enforce the mortgage banker's evictions against hundreds of
families through the region everyday.
It is estimated that approximately
72,000 homes are in foreclosure in southeastern Michigan alone.
Around 50 activists went to the young woman's home and took the
furniture, appliances, clothes, family photos and documents and moved them back into the house. These household items had been drug out of the home and thrown violently into a dumpster parked outside the property.
Furniture and appliances were broken in the eviction process.
bought for the children living at the home was thrown out.
were ripped out and a bathroom sink was knocked from the wall and
thrown outside in the yard by the agents hired to carry out the bidding of
the mortgage bankers, who incidently are represented by a Wall
Street-based security's firm.
Community meeting to build broad coalition
As a result of the national demonstration in Washington, DC and the
announcement by Michigan State Senator Hasen Clarke that he would
introduce legislation that would impose a two-year moratorium on foreclosures in the state, MECAWI called for a meeting to press for the formation of a broader coalition to push for the passage of the bill.
The meeting was attended by State Senator Hasen Clarke and members of
his staff along with other community activists in the areas of housing,
religion, education and labor. Rev.
Edward Rowe, Pastor of the Central
United Methodist Church, where the meeting was held in downtown
Detroit, pledged office space to house the new coalition which constituted
itself as the Moratorium Now Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions.
Coalition committees were established in the areas of eviction
reversals, legal strategies, publicity, outreach and office staffing.
being accumulated on city councils, county commissions, community
organizations and other institutions throughout the Detroit metropolitan area
and the state.
This data will be utilized in a massive mobilization
campaign to win the moratorium.
Jerome Goldberg, who along with another lawyer Vanessa Fluker,
discussed the persistent efforts on the part of the mortgage bankers to
drive thousands from their homes in the region.
"This moratorium will not be won through traditional lobbying but will
be achieved through putting people in the streets throughout the state
and at the capital in Lansing," said David Sole, President of UAW Local
Sole, who commited himself to work on the outreach committee for
the new coalition, said that seven homes were vacant as a result of
foreclosure on his block alone on the east side of the city.
A follow-up meeting of the Moratorium Now Coalition to Stop
Foreclosures and Evictions will be held on Saturday, May 3 at 3:00pm at Central United Methodist Church. By this time the activist are aiming to have set up the office at the Church with a phone and donated equipment.
office will be staffed by a team of volunteers.
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