On June 6, 2012, the Association of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Excelsior chapter protested three bank branches in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco. Bank of America closed their doors and locked patrons inside for about 20 minutes. Protestors also visited Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase, urged banks to stop foreclosures and evictions, and urged bank customers to divest from banks and switch to credit unions. Occupy Bernal and Occupy SF organizers joined ACCE for the protest.
Update: A large number of folks turned out to stop the auction of the home of Bernal neighbor Alberto del Rio and his family. Fortunately, his family managed to file bankruptcy in time to postpone the auction of his home until July 6, 2012. For more details, see the video below and a further description and photos here
Link: PDF (for printing)
STOP THE AUCTION of ALBERTO DEL RIO’S HOME!
ON FRIDAY, June 1, 1:45pm at CITY HALL (Van Ness side)
Together we can stop predatory banks and help our neighbors!
In the past few months we’ve stalled/stopped dozens of home auctions.
Alberto Del Rio is a Bernal Heights resident who grew up in his family home. He lives there with his wife and 3 kids. To help his mother have a decent retirement, the Del Rio family took equity out of the home and refinanced. But their loan from World Savings was a Pick-a-Payment loan. Lawsuits have found these sorts of loans to be predatory. World Savings sold the loan to Wachovia, which was then acquired by Wells Fargo. “Wells took advantage of me. Like they did so many other people. They promised us the moon,” says Alberto, who has been trying to get a loan modification since 2000. The bank has continually lost his paperwork, and refused to negotiate in good faith. The bank even advised him to stop making payments in order to qualify for a loan modification, which triggered the foreclosure process. Now, Wells Fargo is scheduled to auction his home on June 1. But we won’t let them.
YOU CAN ALSO HELP BY CALLING WELLS FARGO’s CEO and STAFF right away in protest: Just say: “Postpone the auction of Alberto Del Rio’s home at 565 Banks St., San Francisco. Loan # 47339080.” Then tell them the above story. CallCEO John Stumpf (866-878-5865), director Alfredo Pedroza (415-396-0829), communications Ruben Pulido (415-852-1279), bank managers Eric Tang (415-977-9357) and Jason O’Hara (415-554-8820).
For more info www.occupybernal.org or call 415-483-9138.
Occupy Bernal and ACCE Foreclosure and Eviction Fighters and supporters joined forces at a meeting on May 31, 2012, to plan strategies and tactics for stopping predatory foreclosures and related auctions and evictions.
Update: A fabulous time was had by all, except perhaps the Bank of America security guards who locked up the front door of the bank branch once the protestors arrived.
WHAT: Occupella joins the Wild Old Women at their weekly Bank of America protest
WHEN: May 31, noon.
WHERE: Bank of America Branch, 3250 Mission Street @29th Street, San Francisco
WHY: Occupy Bernal is again in the press, under headlines such as “Occupy Bernal Blocks Auction of Foreclosed Home in San Francisco” and “Occupy Bernal Succeeds in Stalling Foreclosures.” On Thursday, the hilltop neighborhood’s famously fierce senior women invite some musical friends to celebrate, protest, and make noise, as part of their notorious weekly visits to the bank. Some say the future of Occupy is in local, neighborhood-based work — on Thursday May 31, the Wild Old Women and Occupella show how it’s done.
Occupella describes itself: “Informal public singing at Bay Area occupation sites, marches and at BART stations. We sing to promote peace, justice, and an end to corporate domination, especially in support of the Occupy movement.”
Contact: Tita Caldwell, firstname.lastname@example.org; 415-505-9391
“In addition to some original material, Occupella rewrites well-known songs with Occupy-relevant lyrics.”
“The group … hopes commuters will walk away with a song in their head, or better yet, join in and sing.”
The Wild Old Women describe themselves: “Our action was started in December 2011 by a group of nine women who live in affordable senior housing in Bernal Heights. Since then we have “occupied” the sidewalk in front of the Bank of America every Thursday from 12 – 1 p.m. We have been joined by friends and political allies, as well as strangers who have stopped and talked to us. Our object is to protest the bank’s practice of foreclosing on people’s homes, and of raising the fees of low income people. We are also acting in solidarity with the Occupy movement, and are happy to be part of Occupy Bernal.”
“It was a slow-moving Occupy Wall Street protest, but it was an effective one.”
“There’s no chanting, tents, or tear gas, and certainly no cops in riot gear. Rather, the Wild Old Women hold signs and hand out pamphlets, trying to talk to people and convince them to move their money out of the big banks.”
Occupy Bernal is a neighborhood-based Occupy currently focusing on preventing the banks from throwing our neighbors out of their homes. Web: http://www.occupybernal.org
To sign up for the Occupy Bernal press list and/or obtain photos and video of the event, see http://www.occupybernal.org/press
Thanks so much to Beth and Annie for facilitating an amazing Bernal Block Party Foreclosure Fighter Fiesta today. The event brought together the neighborhood and the community supporting the Foreclosure and Eviction Fighters (FEFs) to enjoy each other’s company and join the campaign to save our homes from bank foreclosures and evictions, along with some great food and music. Beth and Annie presented Good Neighbor Awards to the FEFs. The list of people to thank is so long… everyone who helped out deserves a tremendous thank you!
Link: Video (thanks to Selene Naxou!)
Check out this video of the amazing Brass Liberation Orchestra protesting bank sales of our neighbors’ homes at the Occupy the Auctions action today.
For more news, photos, and videos of the action:
UPDATE 4:30pm on April 27, 2012: City Hall Building Manager Robert Reiter tells foreclosure auctioneers they can no longer hold foreclosure auctions on City Hall Steps. For photos of the action, see http://occupytheauctions.org/wordpress/?p=876.
Thanks to Peter Menchini for the great video of the Occupy the Auctions Dance Party action below:
UPDATE as of the morning of April 27, 2012: Wells Fargo has postponed the auction of Eric and John’s home, so we are going ahead as planned with celebrating by dancing away the other foreclosure auctions scheduled for today.
San Francisco foreclosure auctions take place on City Hall steps at 400 Van Ness Ave. (unless the weather is very bad).
Eric and John live in Bernal and Eric is a Foreclosure and Eviction Fighter and active member of Occupy Bernal. They went through a difficult financial time, but are now both employed and have the funds to make regular payments on a renegotiated loan, which Wells Fargo has refused to provide.
Please arrive on time and bring loud whistles and earplugs.
The action will go ahead as a celebration even if the bank postpones Eric and John’s auction.
Link: RSVP on Facebook event
Video outside Wells Fargo Shareholder meeting with event invite (thanks to Carol Harvey):
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on April 10 voted unanimously to pass a resolution calling for “support for state and federal measures to protect homeowners and suspension of foreclosure activities in San Francisco”. The resolution supports the Homeowner Bill of Rights legislation before the state legislature and urges city and county officials and departments to protect homeowners from unlawful foreclosures. The resolution also urges all mortgage and banking institutions to suspend foreclosure activities and related auctions and evictions until state and federal measures to protect homeowners from unfair and unlawful practices, as well as provisions for principal reductions, are in place.
Supervisor John Avalos proposed the resolution with co-sponsors Supervisors David Campos, Malia Cohen, Jane Kim, Eric Mar, and Christina Olague. Amy Beinart and Stardust of Occupy Bernal wrote the original draft of the resolution.
Link: The Resolution As Passed
After a rousing protest on the steps of City Hall on April 2, 2012, the Land Use Committee of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors held a hearing on foreclosures and passed unanimously (3-0) a slightly-amended foreclosure moratorium resolution and sent it on to the whole Board of Supervisors for consideration. This means that the Board could pass the resolution as soon as the Board meeting on April 10, 2012.
Speakers at the protest included Occupy Bernal Foreclosure and Eviction Fighter (FEF) Ross Rhodes, ACCE FEF Vivian Richardson, Occupy Bernal organizer and MC Judy Kurtz, and Supervisors David Campos and John Avalos, who sponsored the foreclosure moratorium resolution.
The Supervisors on the Land Use Committee voting in favor of the resolution were Malia Cohen, Eric Mar, and Scott Wiener, which brings the total number of Supervisors who have either co-sponsored or supported the resolution to eight, a super-majority of the Board. Among others, San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, Ed Donaldson of the San Francisco Housing Development Corporation, and representatives of the Mayor’s and State Attorney General’s offices testified at the hearing. Kathryn Galves, who Wells Fargo recently evicted from her Noe Valley home of 40 years, and other FEFs, Home Defenders, and members of the public told their horror stories about foreclosures and related auctions and evictions and spoke in favor of the resolution. Wells Fargo declined to send a representative to the hearing.
Here are some pictures of the protest and the hearing (with more photos from Carol Harvey here:
9:00am – 6:00pm on
Saturday, April 7
1164 Church St @24th
On March 28, Wells Fargo Bank evicted our neighbor Kathryn Galves from the Noe Valley home where she lived for forty years, along with her sister Renita and their dog Betty.
Come discover some amazing bargains and help Kathryn raise rent and moving expenses (furniture, housewares, antiques, collectibles).
Link: Flyer (Please print, distribute, and post widely!)
Are you facing foreclosure or eviction? Or want to help others? Predatory foreclosures and evictions have no place in San Francisco. Check out www.occupyevictions.org.