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Take Back the Land Condemns Rochester Police “Shoot-to-Evict” Approach to Evict Formerly Homeless Man

Take Back the Land Rochester Calls for an Independent Investigation and Re-evaluation of Police Involvement in Evictions

Based on the facts currently known, Take Back the Land Rochester strongly condemns the shooting of Timothy Powell, a formerly homeless man,  by the Rochester police as a means of evicting him from his State St. apartment on January 29, 2013 in Rochester.  The shooting was 1) grossly disproportionate, 2) negligent in that neither the Family Crisis Intervention Team (FACIT) or the Emotionally Disturbed Person Response Team (EDPRT) were called to the incident—both teams specially designed to deescalate these situations and prevent these tragedies,  and 3) a grave escalation in Rochester Police Department’s frightening trend toward harsh tactics in handling evictions. Further, an independent investigator and Special prosecutor should be appointed to impartially investigate the shooting and police procedures around use of force and evictions.

Take Back the Land Rochester in the Chicago Sun Times With Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign

The Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign was born out almost out of necessity, according to founder and chair J.R. Fleming.

In 2009, Chicago - as was much of the nation - was bearing the brunt of the home foreclosure crisis. More and more people were evicted as property owners were losing their buildings to foreclosures. In October that year, a United Nations housing mission came to Chicago on a fact-finding trip to look at the housing crisis.

Toussaint Losier, CAEC vice chairperson, was organizing the mission on the U.N. side as a volunteer at the time.

J.R. Fleming, the CAEC chair, was involved in a steering committee that helped arrange for the U.N. group to visit Chicago. In 2009, he was doing anti-eviction work for the then still-standing Cabrini Green housing project.

"Chicago was our first stop," Losier said, on a tour of seven U.S. cities.

He was also doing work for the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign and fighting for residents in South Africa. He said he saw parallels in the Chicago housing troubles to those in Cape Town. After its fact-finding trip, the U.N. mission had challenged Chicago to get involved with anti-eviction work as a human rights issue, and the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign was born.

The CAEC and groups like it across the U.S. are starting to combine their efforts.

Ryan Acuff, founder of Take Bake the Land in Rochester, N.Y., said groups like his and the CAEC have a common goal to make housing permanently affordable.

"We're trying to turn around and reorganize housing as a human right," he said.

Victory on Barlett Street: Windom Family Get Back their Home for the Holidays after 18 year Struggle and Several Protests

Mary Windom Bey

 On Friday, December 21, 2012 at 1pm at 33 Bartlett St., Rochester, NY the Windom Bey family, Take Back the Land Rochester, and other community members will gather, hold a press conference and announce an incredible turnaround and victory for THE Windom Bey family.  The Windom’s struggle and the community protests became front page news of the Democrat and Chronicle and the Daily Record over the summer as the family became deadlocked with the City of Rochester in their fight to stay in their home of 40 years following an unjust tax foreclosure.  After two planned eviction blockades twice thwarted the eviction of the family from their home, the City and investor Sure Luck Homes 017, LLC changed their tuned as the Windom Bey family closed on the house last Friday getting the home back in their name.  After an 18 year struggle with the City of Rochester and later American Tax Funding and Sure Luck Homes 017, LLC the family now has the house back, giving them clean title for the time after being in the house almost 40 years. 

Timeline of the Protests


Take Back the Land Rochester Joins Family In Protest at City Hall to Defend Their Home

Windom-Bey Family Demands City of Rochester Stop Blocking Settlement for Family to Reacquire Their 40 Year Home

On Monday, September 10 at Noon, Eddie and Mary Windom Bey (who are facing imminent eviction), Take Back the Land Rochester, Band of Rebels, Metro Justice, and other community members will hold a protest at the front steps of Rochester City Hall at 30 Church St.  The Windom Bey family is taking their fight to defend their home at 33 Bartlett St. to City Hall in order to protest Mayor Richards administration's actions to block a settlement with the current owners which would allow the Windom Bey family to buy back their longtime home and fix it up.

Wells Fargo Scheduled to Show Cause on Fraudulent Foreclosure of Leonard Spears in State Supreme Court


On Wednesday, August 1, 10:00am Leonard Spears and Wells Fargo are scheduled to appear in State Supreme Court in front of Judge Bellini at the Hall of Justice, 99 Exchange Blvd.   The case was adjourned on July 11 when neither lawyers or a representative from Wells Fargo showed up to defend taking Mr. Spears home (see coverage in Democrat and ChronicleDaily Record, and Minority Reporter.

Judge Bellini has ordered that the eviction be halted and that Wells Fargo must show case for what appears to be fraudulent foreclosure.

Local Wells Fargo Officials Refuse to Speak to Leonard Spears about Foreclosing on His Home

On Monday May 7, 2012 about 70 people came out with Leonad Spears to deliver a demand letter to Wells Fargo and hopefully find a local bank official that would speak and work with Leonard on resolving his foreclosure.  However, officials from Wells Fargo refused to speak to Leonard at Wells Fargo Advistors branch at 1200 Pittsford-Victor Rd., Pittsford, NY and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage at 175 Sully Trail, Pittsford, NY.  Instead the Wells Fargo mobilized the police on their customer. 



Take Back the Land Movement calls for a 2012 Spring Offensive

We Must Occupy the 1% to Liberate the 99%

Existing economic policies protect the profits of bailed-out banks, big corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals above all else.  The resulting system is uninterested in and unable to meet basic human needs.  Consequently, there is -- simultaneously -- millions of homeless people and millions more people-less homes, all while the sick cycle of displacement continues on, today, forcibly dislodging homeowners and renters alike from their homes & communities.  Wall Street is exploiting us and “our” government is enforcing it.  So where do we turn?  We turn to us.

Call to Action

In this context, we call for a 2012 Spring Offensive, to take back our land and deliver our economy from the greed of the 1%. Across the country, our communities will come together to engage in locally-driven Positive Action campaigns designed to transform property relationships- to free them from the Bank and Real Estate Giants that use them for  speculation and profit- to bring democracy home and stimulate new neighborhood-based dialogues around community-based alternatives that ensure the equitable and sustainable use of available resources and the dignity & stability of people before profits.

Our Positive Action campaigns will be protracted efforts intent on securing community control over land.  

Take Back the Land Rochester Liberates a Vacant Bank Home on Al Jazeera

Take Back the Land Rochester Moves a Homeless Family into Vacant Bank Owned Home

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