The Occupy Wall Street movement in more than 20 cities across the United States held a national day of action Tuesday in New York city to focus attention on the plight of Americans who have lost their homes to foreclosures.
Hundreds of activists wound their way through the rainy streets of East Brooklyn for a tour of several foreclosed homes in the economically depressed neighborhood.
Standing on the steps of what was once her home, this woman thanked protesters for their support. Another man about to lose his home was distraught. And Kendall Jackmon told VOA she does not expect to get back the keys to her former home. “But I expect to be able to move into something soon, because as I said, there are more than enough vacant apartments in this city that none of us need to be in shelters, no one needs to be sleeping on the streets, no one needs to be sleeping doubled and tripled up in any apartment," he said.
Jackmon and others accuse banks of predatory lending, which is considered an unfair and deceptive practice that results in the eviction of victims from their homes. Pace University political science professor George Martinez says banks sold the bad loans, which Wall Street brokerage firms bundled into derivatives that quickly plummeted in value.
“It’s about banks who were doing dirty things who got bailed out and who sold out people’s homes. And this is an action about people who are going to reclaim their homes, their basic right to shelter and this is a very positive first step," he said.
Banking executives are accused of using government bailout money to give themselves multimillion dollar bonuses while people got foreclosure notices.
Protesters in more than 20 cities lent their support to individuals and families evicted by banks. A group in Atlanta Georgia occupied a county courthouse seeking to prevent this woman’s home from being sold at a foreclosure auction. And the attorneys general of California and Nevada, the states hardest hit by foreclosures, announced a joint investigation of possible mortgage fraud by banks.