The colonialist bourgeoisie had hammered into the native’s mind the idea of a society of individuals where each person shuts [them]self up in [their] own subjectivity, and whose only wealth is individual thought. Now the native who has the opportunity to return to the people during the struggle for freedom will discover the falseness of this theory. The very forms of organization of the struggle will suggest to [them] a different vocabulary.
~ Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth
When one individual working-class person or family goes up against a powerful bank, boss, or bureaucracy, the odds tower against them. But through collective direct action, we begin to discover a new vocabulary: strength in unity and solidarity.
Most recently, last Tuesday, we staged a phone blast against GMAC bank to halt the auction of a house at West and West MacArthur, home to the Siaka and his family for the past 10 years. Together we accomplished in two hours what Siaka had been unable to do on his own in seven months. Bombarding high-level executives with calls and tying up their lines (one EastBaySol supporter, a teacher in an Oakland high school, even invited his students to join in), we pushed GMAC to renegotiate with Siaka right then and there over the phone. By the next day, under threat of further direct action (and possibly fearing negative press coverage), the bank postponed the auction by 45 days and reopened the process of the Siaka’s loan modification.
We want to express our immense gratitude to everyone who participated to make this action a success! But the fight ain’t over yet. In the upcoming weeks, we may need to further delay the auction past April, or compel the bank to stick to their agreements should they try to weasel out. Please keep your eyes and ears open for further calls to action to defend Siaka’s home!
In the meantime, community home defense continues to heat up in Oakland as the mechanism of organized resistance emboldens more and more bank victims to fight back. Here’s another recent example of a take-no-shit group wresting concessions from a foreclosure-hungry bank.
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Finally, if you can, try to make it out tomorrow (Thursday March 8th) @ noon @ 1225 Fallon to block another auction: not an official EastBaySol action, but we support it! Details after the jump.
Stop the Sale
Martha Nell Myhand and Synthia Green
1329 E 32nd St
Oakland CA 94902
Notice of Trustee Sale #7037.72898
Where: Alameda County Court House, 1225 Fallon, Oakland Lake Merritt BART, 40 bus stop
On March 8, International Women’s Day, my partner and I are refusing to be made homeless or exploited for the profit of the 1%. We are about to be foreclosed on by Chase Bank and their thieving friends after two years of runaround and refusal of the bank to work with us to modify our home loan. We have lived at 1329 E. 32nd St. for eleven years. A series of events impacted their ability to sustain the house payments of over $2100 per month. My mother developed dementia, requiring full-time caregiving from until her death in this home in 2009. Synthia had a stroke, was forced into early retirement, denied disability but ultimately won her rights and is now blind. The unwaged caregiving work increased while my family’s income dropped.
I have spent hundreds of hours tied up with loan modification paperwork and being sent between the bank and other entities who “may hold the deed to their home”. In the end our applications were denied twice for no credible reason. Even with the auction pending we are in the middle of another modification request and still trying to find out who has the title to the house.
As is the case with many families of color, the Bank has no concern for our economic hardships. In spite of this, I am active with Women of Color@Global Women’s Strike, continuing to help others with similar problems and to build campaigns to defend everyone’s right to justice. Both Synthia and I are determined to see the world become a better place and to this end they intend to remain in the home which they have paid over $150,000 for, with its lovely garden that we both love.
I am employed as a half time housing counselor and Synthia Green, is a retired teacher living on STRS disability retirement income.