When We Fight, WE WIN! Springfield blockade forces Fannie Mae to cancel 2nd eviction in 2 weeksBecky Dernbach on January 24, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, MA - Close to 50 Springfield residents braved negative five (-5) degree wind chills Wednesday to link arms and hold a sit-in in front of the home of Jeffery Solivan at 32 Edgemont St. Fannie Mae, a taxpayer owned mortgage giant, had scheduled an eviction for 9:00 AM. Rousing speeches by foreclosed homeowners, neighbors and Mr. Solivan fired up the crowd, and loud chants and picketing kept the crowd warm. At 9:15 AM, the Hampden County Sheriff's office informed the group via telephone that Fannie Mae had instructed its lawyers to cancel the eviction. No date has been given for a new eviction as of this release.
“After calling for a sit-in and making direct demands to Fannie Mae’s higher ups, the Bank Tenant Association won a major victory today in our fight against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” says Springfield Bank Tenants Association Leader Candejah Pink. “But the fight won’t stop today.”
For the second time in two weeks, members of the SBTA were prepared to resist an eviction being carried out by Fannie Mae, and for the second time in two weeks they were victorious. On January 11th, Fannie Mae called off the eviction of the Clark family facing an eviction blockade by the group.
“Fannie Mae continues to disregard the rights and needs of our brothers and sisters and carry out evictions in the middle of the winter, threatening to leave children, families and individuals on the street,” says Roberto Garcia Ceballos, an organizer with the SBTA. “But hundreds of people have stood together to raise our voices to that Fannie Mae put people before profit. When we come together we are powerful!”
“Today it was me, but it could be anyone else tomorrow. I’m going to continue to stand and fight with all of you, whether I’m able to keep my home or not,” Jeffery Solivan told supporters after news of the victory.
Tomorrow, a delegation from the Right To The City Alliance, the Home Defenders League and NEW ROAD coalition, all of whom Springfield No One Leaves is a member, will meet with two high-level Fannie Mae Vice Presidents in Washington D.C. The meeting comes on the heels of a coordinated national campaign that featured a sit-in outside of Fannie Mae’s regional headquarters in D.C. last September and countless local actions in Springfield and across the country.
They will discuss hundreds of foreclosure and eviction cases and advocate for key housing policy changes from the agency, including loan modifications with principal reduction, an end to no-fault evictions, and the transfer of vacant foreclosed homes to community organizations to be used for affordable housing.
Springfield No One Leaves/Nadie Se Mude is a member-led organization organizing families being evicted by banks after foreclosure to stop no-fault evictions, protest unnecessary foreclosure and build community power to put our communities before profit. For more information visit www.springfieldnooneleaves.org