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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.

Eddie and Mary Windom Bey are facing eviction from the house they have lived in for 40 years because of nearly two decades of errors and mistreatment by the City of Rochester. Take Back the Land, the Band of Rebels, and Metro Justice are standing with the family in asking the City to work with them to stop the eviction and get their house back. The City has publicly admitted historical errors in the handling of this case. However, rather than do the right thing to help the family recover, they have chosen to take an unjust path of self-protection in order to avoid law suits and other costly legal challenges. Eddie and Mary Windon Bey have fought for nearly twenty years against the errors and questionable actions of the City of Rocheser which is now complicit with a new effort to remove them from their home, while offering them no assistance or compensation beyond finding low-income rental applications. For earlier background information see July 7 Democrat and Chronicle article HERE.

 RECENT BACKGROUND 

June Protests Force City to Halt Protest Twice

Twice in June the Windom Bey family and their home at 33 Bartlett St. was hours from being stormed by a City Marshal and Rochester Police in order to execute an eviction. On June 7, the day of the scheduled eviction, the community came to defend the Windom Bey family. Special Assistant to the Mayor Darryl Porter negotiated with the City Marshal and current owner Sure Luck Homes 017, LLC to grant a 10 day stay of the eviction. On June 19, 2012, the evening in which the stay of eviction was about to expire, while the community was poised to set up a nonviolent eviction blockade encampment, the City and Sure Luck Homes 017, LLC balked.  That evening Darryl Porter came to the front steps of 33 Bartlett St. and told the family "you can move all your stuff back in" because the eviction had been called off and the City was working on a settlement which would enable them tokeep their longtime home.  Later that evening when asked for a comment on the Windom Bey situation, Porter remarked,

"We saw there was injustice here. This administration didn’t cause the problem. But  we don’t care if the City caused an injustice one hundred years ago.  This administration is going fix it."- Special Assistant to the Mayor, Darryl Porter

City Changes Course to Protect Liability, Not the Family

After a spotlight was shined on the 20 year long mistreatment at 33 Bartlett, the City of Rochester launched an all out public relations, legislative, and legal battle to protect their admitted missteps and any liability they incurred.  In order to "avoid potentially costly litigation" on July 3, 2012 the Mayor's office sent legislation for City Council approval to repurchase 33 Bartlett St. from the current investor-owner Sure Luck Homes 017, LLC for $8,000 and for Sure Luck Homes 017, LLC to sign releases of liability for the City. At that time, the City also entered into an agreement with Sure Luck Homes that would enable Sure Luck Homes to sell the house to another buyer, providing that the buyer signed an agreement releasing the City of any liability claims. The City has also sent out misleading press releases in order to defame the family and inflate the repairs needed to the house.

When the Windom Beys attempted to buy the house back from the Sure Luck Homes 017, LLC, Sure Luck agreed to do so only if the family signed a release that would waive all their rights and claims against the City and prevent restitution for all the material losses and emotional suffering from the City's mishaps at 33 Bartlett (i.e., failing to turn over the deed promptly in 1992, terminating the easement improperly in 1994, permitted the fence in error in 1994, and failing to take down the fence since then). The Windom Bay family is prepared to buy back their house, if the release clause is removed. 

Demands to Set the Situation Right

Take Back the Land Rochester, the Band of Rebels, and Metro Justice of Rochester joins the Windom Beys in demanding that Mayor Richards and the City of Rochester stop blocking a just settlement and allow the Windoms Bey to buy the house back without waiving their rights. This would allow the Windom Beys to gain full title to their home, fix it up,and achieve a permanent and just solution. Furthermore, in the name of justice, the City must provide financial assistance for the Windom Beys to repair and restore this home that has suffered from neglect due to nearly twenty years of City irresponsibility.

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