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Occupy Atlanta shuts down Chase Bank with the People's Mic

OccupyOurHomes on February 10, 2012

Atlanta Independent Media Center reports on an action by Occupy Atlanta, Take Back the Block, and the Pittman family today at a Chase Bank branch.


Today, February 10th, 2012, Occupy Atlanta and Take Back the Block sat in at the Chase Bank located in the Edgewood Retail District. This action is part of a larger campaign against Chase Bank in getting the deed back from Chase to the Pittman family. Carmen Pittman, the granddaughter of the late Eloise Pittman, was arrested along with seven others. This was the first time--since the occupation movement shifted its focus to foreclosure--that a homeowner was involved in direct action. They are now known as the Chase Eight.

Eloise Pittman was given a predatory loan on a home that she and her family have lived in for over 50 years. She passed away in November, and her family is facing eviction. Since December 6th, 404 Glen Iris has been occupied in an effort to stop eviction.

"We have been in negotiations with Chase bank, but they have been completely unwilling to be reasonable. We have no other choice but to act today and in the future until the deed is in the Pittmans’ name," stated the occupiers. "Last month, along with shutting down a Chase branch, we announced our goal of escalation. Today’s sit in was the furthering of that action. Chase bank and the media should be aware that this is just the beginning. We have no plans to stop until there are no evictions and no foreclosures by Chase bank."

About 15 cop cars and a prisoner transport vehicle circled the bank, with over 20 police responding to the call. After kicking out all who were willing to leave the bank without being arrested, they caution-taped the bank entrance off and pulled down the blinds. Several minutes later, the Chase Eight were individually dragged out to the prisoner transport vehicle. The scene drew a crowd of about 30 people who were shocked that all of this commotion was due to a sit-in, and were angered by such excessive police force & presence--some police refused to identify themselves.

The police then told the crowd they must leave the Edgewood Retail District property or face arrest. Others were also told that they faced arrest by handing out flyers. One officer even gestured towards his weaponry as he told a protester to "turn that camera off."

This is the Mic Check they stated while inside Chase Bank:

Chase Bank’s practices are nothing short of criminal.
Holding the Pitmans family home of 57 years hostage
and forcing them to buy it back is reprehensible.
We will not stand by as Chase puts a family on the street
for profit. Chase Bank coerces those who seek a home into debilitating debt
and uses the money that hardworking americans deposit
to speculate on Wall Street.
All the while there are millions of foreclosed homes standing empty in neighborhoods torn apart.
This is savagery.

This is brutality on humanity.
We aren’t interested in shaming Chase.
They haven’t cared so far and there is no reason to believe they will now.
We are here taking back our communities beginning with the Pittman home.
We are here to show that another way is possible that we have the power to disrupt
Chase Bank and any other institution that harms us.
The state of Georgia and the world at large is in a budget crisis
engineered by big businesses and financial institutions.
The working class is getting robbed at an accelerated rate.
We won’t be complicit in our own immiseration,
our poverty and our homelessness for the absurd profit for a few.
Give the deed back to the Pittman family

We will take the block back for our community!