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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.


A second day of protests are called after the city marshal canceled the scheduled eviction on Monday, amid protests. Close to 75 neighbors and community members mobilized to defend the Lennon-Griffin family from eviction on Monday, including a blockade of the main entrance in case of an eviction.  Many protesters stayed from Noon to 5pm, the latest time an eviction can be carried out in the State of New York.


Protesters from Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign marched on the northeast corporate headquarters of Fannie Mae in Philadelphia, PA, demanding that Fannie Mae immediately withdraw the eviction. Presumably embarrassed by the publicity of their inhumane treatment of the Lennon-Griffin family and stalling for time, Fannie Mae claimed that they didn't own 9 Ravenwood, Rochester, NY 14619.  However, all records clearly show and calls today confirm that Fannie Mae owns the house and petitioned for the family's eviction just last month. Despite attempts to contact a responsible party at Fannie Mae for over 8 months, the mortgage company has failed to answer the family's pleas to negotiate.


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 renegotiate the mortgage, sending the family’s house into foreclosure. In 2010, Countrywide turned the house over to Fannie Mae and now Fannie is seeking to evict a family of 11 (including 7 children ages 2 to 11) on Monday. The family has no place to go and one of Catherine's daughters and her two year-old grandson have already moved into a homeless shelter in preparation for the worst.


The Lennon-Griffin family and Take Back the Land Rochester are calling on Fannie Mae to immediately suspend the eviction and renegotiate a reasonable settlement where the longtime residents can stay in their home and prevent the disintegration of entire family to homelessness. After reclaiming the home the family has aspirations to put the house into a community land trust.


Take Back the Land Rochester believes that housing is a human right and a that family's right to quality housing is more basic than a corporation's right to make a profit. Take Back the Land Rochester is calling on Bank of America (the corporation that absorbed Countrywide) and Fannie Mae to be accountable to the public that spent billions of dollars to bailout these bank