Homeowners supported by the Home Defenders League (HDL) and Occupy Our Homes participated in a third day of protest Wednesday, this time at the law firm Covington & Burling, which represents several major U.S. banks and is the former workplace of Attorney General Eric Holder, a key target of the week's protests. Eight more protesters were arrested, bringing the total for the three days to 34. A message on the HDL Facebook page Thursday said that all of those arrested were released and will not face charges stemming from the protests.
Organizers from the Home Defenders League, Occupy Our Homes and allied organizations estimate that more than 500 people attended a rally at the U.S. 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.
The Home Defenders League is holding a Wall Street Accountability Week of Action in Washington, D.C., from May 18-23. Families directly affected by the foreclosure crisis are traveling to the nation's capital to make their voices heard. On May 20, at 1:30 p.m., home defenders and their allies are rallying to "Bring Justice to Justice." The week also will include community organizing and training in home defense and other nonviolent tactics.
Wall Street wrecked the economy and banks still are refusing to work with people who are trying to stay in their homes. The Campaign for a Fair Settlement, along with other partners, is calling on President Obama over the next 100 days to champion an agenda that would:
1. Hold bankers accountable for their crimes.
2. Keep people in their homes by resetting their mortgages.
A growing chorus of voices across the country is calling for President Obama to replace the acting director of Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Edward J. DeMarco. DeMarco, a holdover from the Bush administration, is responsible for overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. President Obama’s nominee to replace him in 2010 was blocked by Republicans.
Ten of the nation’s largest banks agreed earlier this week to settle charges of foreclosure abuse with federal regulators. After the housing bubble burst, banks allegedly processed foreclosures improperly and mishandled homeowners’ applications for mortgage modifications. The resulting foreclosure crisis hurt all working families. Homes lost value, especially in communities of color that were among the hardest hit.
The bankruptcies of California cities Stockton and San Bernardino weren’t caused by unions, Washington Post op-ed columnist Harold Meyerson points out in a new column, “Bankrupt Cities? Don’t Blame Unions.” Contrary to reporting on the subject, the bankruptcies of these two cities were caused by Big Banks “peddling subprime mortgages to poorly paid workers.”
The $25 billion foreclosure settlement with five of the nation’s biggest banks, announced this morning by federal and state officials, is a “step in addressing the housing and foreclosure crisis that plagues our country,” says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.