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Ravenwood Eviction Defense: Week 2 Update and Preparation for Week 3

UPDATE: TWO WEEKS OF VICTORY!

The Lennon-Griffin family is still in their home at 9 Ravenwood Avenue in Rochester after two weeks of protests despite attempts by Fannie Mae to forcibly evict the family. First on Monday, March 14, then on Tuesday the city marshal (on behalf of the Federal National Mortgage Association, aka Fannie Mae) was scheduled to execute the eviction of the family of 11, but the combination of protests, eviction blockades, eviction watches, strong community support, and a news media presence was enough for the marshal and the bank-hired movers to halt the eviction.  Since Wednesday, March 16, there has been an ongoing Eviction Watch Encampment to keep a watch on the house and neighborhood and to notify neighbors and news media if any steps are taken to evict the family of 11 from their home. Last week's eviction watch culminated in Anti-Eviction Community Potluck and Barbecue on Friday to celebrate and build on the successes so far. 

Anti-Eviction Community Potluck and Barbecue!

Where: 9 Ravenwood Ave., Rochester, NY

When: Friday, March 25, 4pm to 7pm

A series of protests and eviction blockades organized by Take Back the Land Rochester have kept Lennon-Griffin family in their home and halted an eviction by the mortgage investor Fannie Mae. Currently, the City Marshal has vowed to temporarily stop the eviction as Louis Slaughter's office puts pressure on Fannie Mae to negotiate.

Do you know anyone who is being foreclosed and/or evicted and wants to fight back? We are calling on the community to come out and pass a dish as we continue to organize to keep the Lennon-Griffin family in their home and discuss how we can build a movement to keep everyone in their homes and make housing a human right.

Eviction Defence - Day 4

Today was Day 4 of the eviction defense of the Lennon-Griffin family in Rochester, NY.  First on Monday, then on Tuesday the City Marshal was scheduled execute the eviction of the family for Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) but the combination of protesters, an eviction blockade, strong community support, and a news media presence was enough for the Marshal and the bank-hired movers to cancel their visits.  Organized protest and resistance clearly made the difference. 

On Wednesday and Thursday the family, neighbors, and Take Back the Land Rochester organized an Eviction Watch Encampment from 9 to 5--the hours an eviction can be carried out in the State of New York. The encampment has consisted of a constant stream of people taking shifts watching the house from the front lawn.  The watch, which includes a video camera, looks out for any marshal or police activity and is ready to notify the community for an emergency mobilization if necessary.  In addition to staying vigilant and showing the marshal that the eviction defense is ongoing, the watch has turned out to be a great opportunity for outreach as community members stopped by to chat all day long.  And now its been 4 days and the family is still in their home!  The Eviction Watch Encampment will continue. 

Eviction Protest and Blockade Stalls Eviction for Second Day, Eviction Watch Encampment Called for Rest of the Week

On Tuesday March 15, 2011, neighbors and community members gathered to protest the imminent eviction by Fannie Mae of the Lennon-Griffin family from their home. For the second day in a row the eviction was canceled by the city marshal keeping the family in their home.

On Tuesday the city marshal and the Fannie Mae-hired moving team were scheduled to show up at 10:00am to execute the eviction and move out the family's belongings. At 10:10am the moving team notified resident Catherine Lennon that they would show up in about 30 minutes. When moving truck showed up about 10:40am they were met with protesters, four people locked down and blocking the entrance to the home, and a flurry of news media. At this point the Uhaul decided to keep driving and parked around the block. Knowing the eviction could happen any moment a standoff ensued for about an hour and a half where the moving truck waited to see if the protests and news media would disperse. With the protesters and news media dug in at 9 Ravenwood, the moving truck retreated from the neighborhood about 12:00pm. At that point the family and Take Back the Land Rochester declared a temporary victory.

Eviction Stalled by Community Support, Second Day of Protest Called

Rochester, NY – At 10:00am Monday, March 15, 2011 on 9 Ravenwood Ave, Rochester, NY 14619 the Lennon-Griffin Family with the support of Take Back the Land Rochester are calling for a second day of protest to block the impending eviction of from their long time home. At 10:00am movers hired by Fannie Mae are scheduled to move out all the family's belongings.

 

Take Back the Land Rochester to Defend Family from Foreclosure-related Eviction


Rochester, NY – At 12:00pm Monday, March 14, 2011 on 9 Ravenwood Ave, Rochester, NY 14619 the Lennon Family with the support of Take Back the Land Rochester is calling for nonviolent civil disobedience to block the impending eviction of their family from their longtime home.

 

For the last 7 years Catherine Lennon and her family of 11 have lived at 9 Ravenwood. After Catherine's husband died of cancer, their now defunct mortgage lender and government bailout recipient, Countrywide refused to

 

A Multi-Story Underground: Squatters in the United States

A Multi-Story Underground: Squatters in the United States

By HANNAH DOBBZ

Matt Bruce is a magician. By this I mean that he literally works kids’ parties for money and entertains friends with sorcery in his spare time. His room is bursting with occult paraphernalia and he has countless tricks up his sleeve. But Matt Bruce is no one-trick pony; he knows more than how to manipulate a deck of cards and how to have a quarter crop up behind your ear: Matt Bruce knows how to make rent bills disappear.

Take Back the Land Rochester Eviction Protest on CBS Channel 8

Link to video

ROCHESTER, NY - The group Take Back the Land Rochester says having a slew of abandoned homes helps no one.

It says letting banks keep perfectly good homes boarded up, with so many homeless people just isn't right.

Today the group and supporters decided to protest Fannie Mae for trying to kick out four people out of an abandoned home on South Goodman.

The group chanted slogans like "They got bailed out. We got sold out."

Even though take back the land doesn't own the house or have permission to put people in it members still think they're in the right.

"What we do is we open up these abandoned houses and do our own renovations at our own expense." Hubert Wilkerson with Take Back the Land Rochester said. “We get the water turned on and the electricity turned on, sand some siding, do some roofing and say lets get some homeless people and put them in here. We've been very successful with that."

Action Alert: Eviction Protest Monday (Feb 21)

Protest Eviction by Fannie Mae
"They Got Bailed Out, We're Getting Put Out" 

What: Protest Fannie Mae's move to unjustly evict five people from a house in Rochester and render them homeless
Where: 820 South Goodman Street, Rochester, NY 14620
When: Noon Monday, February 21, 2011
 

Take Back the Land Rochester is calling on the community to protest Fannie Mae's move to evict five people from a house in Rochester and render them homeless. Despite many attempts, the government-backed corporate bank has

Take Back the Land Rochester hits the Financial Times of London

Squatters add to foreclosure delays

By Alan Rappeport in New York
Published: February 6 2011 19:45

Article on FT.com

Rachel Nartin spent five years homeless until an advocacy group in Rochester, New York, helped her find shelter beneath the roof of a foreclosed home last year.

Now she chips in for utilities and has helped make repairs on the dilapidated two-story home, but expects an eviction notice from the bank any day.

“At least I had a chance to get back on my feet,” Ms Nartin, 29, said. “Just letting these houses sit empty while there are people freezing to death on the streets is not ethical.”

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