|From:||David DeGraw <David@AmpedStatus.com>|
|Sent time:||Tuesday, October 18, 2011 9:25:25 PM|
|Subject:||[september17discuss] A Demand From Occupy Detroit: Stop Foreclosures|
From: Pan-African News Wire
Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 7:15 PM
Subject: A Demand From Occupy Detroit: Stop Foreclosures
A demand from Occupy Detroit: Stop foreclosures
October 18, 2011
By Ryan Felton
Detroit Metro Times
Demonstrators gathered in front of the Guardian Building and chanted
the open letter to Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan by means of
the "human microphone."
The Occupy Detroit group has potentially set a precedent for groups
aligned with the flagship in New York City.
After their first weekend in Grand Circus Park, the group organized a
demonstration with Moratorium NOW!, a pre-existing coalition that
seeks to stop foreclosures, evictions and utility shutoffs. (See “Up
Against the banks,” MT News Editor Curt Guyette’s cover story about
the group.) Occupy Detroit adopted the end of foreclosures in Detroit
and throughout Michigan as a demand, and took that demand on Tuesday
to Bank of America’s downtown offices on Griswold.
An open letter was sent to Brian T. Moyinhan, CEO of Bank of America,
which detailed the reasoning for the demand.
“Foreclosures are destroying are communities,” the letter dated Oct.
16 said. “No city has been hit harder than Detroit, where vacant home
as a result of foreclosures are everywhere.”
The letter concluded by saying if the bank didn’t implement a
moratorium, another demonstration will follow at noon Friday, Oct. 21,
with an invitation to “all those affected by the foreclosure
“We have a definite demand and want an immediate halt,” said Abayomi
Azikiwe of Moratorium NOW! “We’ve been battling the banks now for four
years. [Friday's] going to be a larger demonstration.”
Azikiwe, who’s been down to the Detroit encampment every day said the
group is sending out press releases, Facebook posts and networking
through Occupy Detroit supporters staying in Grand Circus Park.
The 80-100 protesters from the camp who marched, went down Woodward
toward Congress in similar fashion to Friday’s Occupy Detroit
inception march, chanting: “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!”
and “Bail out the people, not the banks!”
After turning on to Griswold Avenue, the group stopped in front of the
Guardian Building, forming a picket line for a half hour. Passersby
gawked and watched as a handful of Detroit Police vehicles guided
traffic. During the time in front of the Guardian Building, the Occupy
Detroit Twitter page was updated saying “#occupydetroit police are
Around 1 p.m. students, lawyers, and demonstrators spoke to the crowd
via megaphone — with phrases repeated by the crowd in the “human
microphone” style — giving their reasons for being present. Credit
cards were ripped and cut, while volunteers urged others to bring more
people back with them Friday.
The Occupy Detroit encampment on Grand Circus Park’s west-side has
become an impressive display since being set up Friday. With a legal
permit in place, the group can use tarps, tents and structural setups
allowing for a sliver of extra comfort with cold weather creeping
through the door.
About 50 tents surround the information station, a small library in
the process of construction and a stocked kitchen which was serving
coffee and French toast Tuesday.
“This is the civil rights of the 21st century,” said retired priest
the Rev. Leo Reilly. “Just as we fought racism, we’re fighting
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