Organizers from the Home Defenders League, Occupy Our Homes and allied organizations estimate that more than 500 people attended a rally at the Department of Justice on Monday, calling for Attorney General Eric Holder to begin arresting bankers accused of fraud and unscrupulous lending practices. As of Tuesday morning, at least 27 demonstrators had been arrested after an attempt to enter the Justice Department building was prevented by law enforcement.
Many at the rally said they were willing to risk arrest in order to raise awareness that the people who many blame for the foreclosure crisis are not being arrested:
‘I am here because I want the bankers jailed, the ones that caused this housing crisis and foreclosure crisis and are putting people out in the street,’ said Deborah Noel, of Springfield, Mass. ‘Right now it is time for them to pay, we are not going to stop, we are going to continue to work together and rally together until something is done.’
‘This is not how we are supposed to live, being pushed out of our homes, being depressed and upset every day,’ she continued. ‘We’re supposed to be able to live comfortably.’
Protesters were responding to the banks’ failure to pay even half of the $5.7 billion in required payments to homeowners who were victims of alleged bank fraud and various unscrupulous practices. Critics of the settlements say that number, which the banks have failed to reach, is only a small percentage of the overall harm done to homeowners during the financial crisis. Protesters continued to rally on Tuesday.
Pictures and videos of the rally are available at 100 Stories of What Wall Street Broke, as are the tales told by people who lost their homes in the crisis.
Tweets coming in directly from the rally:
The DOJ cop I talked to told me he is being forced to short-sell his home by Bank of America. #m20— Emily Crockett (@emilycrockett) May 21, 2013