Occupy Homes MN: S17 Action to Strike DebtOccupyOurHomes on September 17, 2012
From Occupy Homes MN on the one year anniversary of the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street movement:
One year ago, a movement known as Occupy Wall Street began, launching a movement of occupations across the country and the world . The 99% gathered to fight back against big banks foreclosing on our homes, killing our jobs, buying up our democracy, and polluting our planet. A year later, students and homeowners are still struggling, drowning in loans, student debt, and fraudulent mortgages to maintain the profits of the 1%. A s part of a national day of action to commemorate this anniversary, homeowners, students, and activists will gather in Government Plaza to march to demand debt relief.
In Minnesota, the Occupy movement has evolved to focus on helping homeowners fight back against big banks and save their homes from foreclosure. Occupy Homes MN has already successfully prevented the eviction of six families in Minnesota. In February, they saw their first victory with veteran Bobby Hull, and just last month won loan modifications from Bank of America for Ruby Brown, Frank and Kristina Clark, and Paul Lelii. At the Strike Debt rally and march, organizers hope to bridge students’ growing anger over student debt with homeowners' frustrations over mortgage debt to build power among those hit hardest by the financial crisis.
"Wall Street has engineered these colossal debt traps to force us all into their profit-generating treadmill," said Ty Moore, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. "Most people can't afford an education, a house, a car, or even sometimes the groceries, without going into debt to the big banks, paying outrageous interest, fees, and penalties. It's a modern form of indentured servitude, but this time on a globally coordinated scale."
Student debt has reached nearly $1 trillion in the US according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Student loan debt is increasing faster than all other forms of debt, wages, inflation, and even medical costs. Many former students and Americans are struggling with another form of debt as well. The housing crisis also rages on: it has left 31% of U.S. homeowners with a mortgage underwater, with debts totaling $1.15 trillion more than the worth of these underwater homes.
But as has been shown in the past year, the 99% is not going to take it anymore. Homeowners are standing up, demanding a moratorium on foreclosures and across-the-board principal reduction to market value. Students are organizing, from Quebec to California, demanding cancellation of student debt and free quality education. When these groups unite, their voice is louder than ever, and banks have to listen.
WHAT: March and rally against homeowner/student debt to commemorate one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. After homeowners and students share their personal stories, the crowd will burn their statements for student loans, mortgages, tuition, and credit cards. Then, they will march to Wells Fargo’s downtown Minneapolis offices, overtaking the skyways, and rallying in the lobby.
WHEN: Monday, September 17, 2012, 5:30 pm
WHERE: Government Plaza, 300 6th Street South, Minneapolis