New York: Occupy Our Homes Moves Homeless Family Into Vacant Home

About 1,000 people flooded the streets of East New York on Tuesday, as Occupy Wall Street (OWS) arrived from the subway system from all five boroughs. Along with community organizations, the protesters took over a vacant foreclosed home in East New York for a homeless family of four.

Over 20 cities in the United States and numerous global cities as well participated in this collaborative effort. In the New York action, thousands marched from the subway on a real estate tour of five foreclosed buildings in the area, concluding in a block party. The protesters wanted to see vacant bank-owned homes utilized for those most in need.

The East New York neighborhood where demonstrators marched had changed over the years, having once been inhabited by working-class Italian, Jewish, and other European immigrants, now this part of Brooklyn is mostly Black and Latino and there is extremely high unemployment, and the foreclosure rate is very high.

When the march arrived on Vermont Street, a homeless family that would occupy the vacant home came forward. The family consisted of Alfredo Carrasquillo, Tasha Glasgow, and their 9-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. City Council members Charles Barron and Ydanis Rodriquez addressed the crowd, rallying to the side of the family. A variety of community organizations such Take Back The Land, VOCAL-NY, Union Healthcare Workers East, Organizing for Occupation, Picture the Homeless also joined these city leaders.

This Occupy Your Homes initiative was also supported by former ACORN president Bertha Lewis. She said of the choice to occupy in East New York, “It is no mistake that we are here in East New York today…East New York has become Ground Zero for predatory lending.” Occupy Wall Street’s live stream Working Group broadcast all throughout the march and was in the house in the morning setting up to stream the event of the family being in the home. The family entered the home at 4 p.m., and resolved to stay. Watch the video of the march and the occupation of the vacant home:

The house is being continually livestreamed and OWS is there to help the family in numerous ways both to protect them against eviction and to help them in fixing up and cleaning the house. Seven additional families have already asked OWS for help regarding foreclosure issues.