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14 Arrested at Cruz Home, Vowing Needless Foreclosure “Stops Here”

Posted 12 years ago on May 31, 2012, 1:18 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Via Occupy Homes Minnesota

Update: We will reoccupy the Cruz home AGAIN tomorrow at 2pm on the one month anniversary of our 24/7 eviction blockade at the Cruz family home. Freddie Mac, PNC Bank, and Mayor Rybak have a choice to make: waste more city resources arresting peaceful protesters, or work to keep the Cruz family in their home. WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.

occupy the cruz home in minnesota

Update: Community members held 12 pm press conference at City Hall to condemn Rybak’s use of public resources to defend the banks, joined by other homeowners facing foreclosure who have taken a pledge not to leave their homes. Raw video: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/22970891 and http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/22971483

In the latest incident in an ongoing showdown, officers violently arrested occupiers peacefully defending the Cruz family home from foreclosure Wednesday night. Fourteen were arrested defending 4044 Cedar Avenue Wednesday night, only 24 hours after Mayor Rybak’s office, facing mounting public pressure, issued a news release declaring “the City is not in the foreclosure business.” In the statement, City Attorney Susan Segal is quoted saying “The City plays a limited role to protect public safety. The property is the responsibility of its owner… In this case, the City has fulfilled its legal obligation to secure the property.”

“We hoped Mayor Rybak would stick to his word, but today’s police violence shows Rybak and his police protect and serve the banks, not our communities,” said Martha Ockenfels-Martinez, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN and representative of the Cruz family.

The 14 arrests Wednesday at the Cruz home bring this week’s total to 23 during 5 eviction attempts.

At 8:45PM, over 100 people gathered to link arms around the Cruz family home, sitting peaceably singing “We Shall Not Be Moved.” By approximately 9:30PM, occupiers had reclaimed the Cruz home.

occupiers nonviolently linking arms to defend the cruz home

Around 10:30PM, dozens of police returned in full force, many wielding four-foot batons, and closed off the entire block around Cedar Avenue. Several officers, including Police Chief Tim Dolan, trampled over the eight protesters sitting down and linking arms on the front steps of the home. During this time dozens of protesters gathered in the front and back yard linking arms around the Cruz family home. A police line shoved the protesters linking arms in the front yard down the hill to the sidewalk. The protesters linking arms sang and chanted “It stops here” before the 8 protesters sitting on the front steps of the house were violently arrested. One police officer head-locked Occupy Homes organizer Nick Espinosa, who was sitting on the top of the steps, throwing him down on his back and dragging him inside the front door of the house in the arrest.

“The banks are stealing our homes through illegal and fraudulent practices while refusing to work with families, and they are aided and abetted by the mayor and police,” said Espinosa, who was released on bail early this morning. “If anyone should be arrested it’s the bankers that crashed our economy while paying themselves record bonuses with our tax dollars.”

Around 11:30PM, after further threats of arrests from the MPD, protesters decided to relocate outside of the Hennepin County Jail in solidarity with the protesters arrested. As they were attempting to leave the home, four more were arrested from the public sidewalk and street, including one who was arrested as he was unlocking his bike.

Freddie Mac, the current holder of the Cruz family’s mortgage, hired 24/7 private security who called the police to enforce the raid Wednesday night, though PNC Bank, which originally held the Cruz loan, has repeatedly assured the family that they are working to resolve the issue.

At a press conference following the Sheriff Department’s second raid last Friday, City Council Members Gary Schiff, Elizabeth Glidden, and Cam Gordon came to show their support and speak out about the violent, unjust eviction of the Cruz family home. “I stand with you in calling on Hennepin County to suspend the breaking down of more doors and the breaking in of more homes of families in this community,” said City Council Member Gary Schiff. “There is no excuse to resort to this kind of violence to put the wealth back in the hands of banks.”

more photos


Inside the FBI Entrapment Strategy

Posted 12 years ago on May 31, 2012, noon EST by OccupyWallSt

emma goldman
That every act of political violence should nowadays be attributed to anarchists is not at all surprising. Yet it is a fact known to almost everyone familiar with the anarchist movement that a great number of acts, for which anarchists had to suffer, either originated with the capitalist press or were instigated, if not directly perpetrated, by the police." -- Emma Goldman

via CrimethInc.

Over the past month, the FBI has initiated a spate of entrapment operations designed to frame anarchists as “terrorists.” Significantly, they have not targeted longtime organizers, but rather people who are relatively peripheral to anarchist communities.

In response, we’ve prepared a pamphlet suitable for a wide readership explaining how this entrapment strategy works, and an analysis exploring why the FBI has adopted it. Please circulate these widely.

Reading PDF [550kb]
Imposed PDF for Printing [550kb]

bounty hunters and child predators: inside the fbi entrapment strategy

The Latest Trend in Repression

Not so long ago, it seemed that the FBI focused on pursuing accomplished anarchists: Marie Mason and Daniel McGowan were both arrested after lengthy careers involving everything from supporting survivors of domestic violence to ecologically-minded arson. It isn’t surprising that the security apparatus of the state targeted these activists: they were courageously threatening the inequalities and injustices the state is founded upon.

However, starting with the entrapment case of Eric McDavid—framed for a single conspiracy charge by an infiltrator who used his attraction to her to manipulate him into discussing illegal actions—the FBI seem to have switched strategies, focusing on younger targets who haven’t actually carried out any actions.

They stepped up this new strategy during the 2008 Republican National Convention, at which FBI informants Brandon Darby and Andrew Darst set up David McKay), Bradley Crowder, and Matthew DePalma on charges of possessing Molotov cocktails in two separate incidents. It’s important to note that the only Molotov cocktails that figured in the RNC protests at any point were the ones used to entrap these young men: the FBI were not responding to a threat, but inventing one.

Over the past month, the FBI have shifted into high gear with this approach. Immediately before May Day, five young men were set up on terrorism charges in Cleveland after an FBI infiltrator apparently guided them into planning to bomb a bridge, in what would have been the only such bombing carried out by anarchists in living memory. During the protests against the NATO summit in Chicago, three young men were arrested and charged with terrorist conspiracy once again involving the only Molotov cocktails within hundreds of miles, set up by at least two FBI informants.



Irish Referendum Commission Occupied as Ireland Votes on EU Austerity Treaty

Posted 12 years ago on May 31, 2012, 12:17 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

occupy dame street standing in front of the occupied Commission office

Ahead of today‘s referendum vote on whether Ireland should adopt harsh austerity measures demanded by the bankers and European financial elite, activists briefly occupied the Referendum Commission in Dublin yesterday. Here is an official statement from Occupy Dame Street:

Occupy Dame Street is now occupying the #Referendum Commission office on 18 Lower Leeson Street in opposition to its misleading representation of the #Fiscal Treaty. The literature is meant to be unbiased, however, firstly presenting it as a ‘stability’ treaty is manipulative. The leaflet from this ‘neutral’ commission was delivered late so that people wouldn’t have a chance to read, research and understand it. The literature is also full of threats on what will happen if we #vote no. It’s good to remember that this commission allowed a second referendum for the #Lisbon #Treaty when the government didn’t like the first result. In short, we can’t trust them. For this and other reasons, #Occupy Dame Street asks for a NO vote.

For background on the referendum, read this open letter to the people of Ireland from social movements in Greece (via Occupy Dublin):

Appeal to the Irish people from Greece

By representatives of the movement of the “Enraged”
many Social Movements
and local assemblies across Greece
Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dear brothers and sisters

We, Greek women and men who have participated in Syntagma and in the mass mobilizations against the memorandum, the loan agreements and the stability pact, in popular assemblies around Attica (Nea Smyrni, Aegaleo, Nikaia-Rentis, Glyfada, Kaisariani, Voula, Chalandri, Cholargos, Aghios Dimitrios, Pireaus, Aegina, Neos Kosmos, Academia Platonos, Neo Herakleio, Ilion, Amaroussio, Exarcheia), in social spaces (Antilogos – free social space in Helioupolis, Citizens’ movement “Messopotamia”), among “Citizens against unjust taxation (charatsia)” and “Lawyers against unjust taxation (charatsia)” – all of us contact you in the intimacy of our common struggles against the dominant classes in the European Union and in each member state. We share a deep belief that peoples of Europe, the world of work and of those “from below”, have the power to overthrow policies that keep impoverishing our societies and boding an even more sinister future.

Governments and opaque institutions of the EU in alliance with economic oligarchies, banks and markets, as well as with the IMF, in order to impose on all countries and primarily on the so-called PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) deadly “therapies”, which destroy employment, dismantle productive sectors of the economy and dissolve the welfare state. All what working people have gradually constructed through bloody struggles is being torn down at a breathtaking speed. Through dramatic cuts of our wages and salaries, huge unemployment rates, insecure and precarious work, minimal pensions and exclusion from public health and education, we are called to pay for the debts incurred by the most wealthy, who manage to stop the falling rates of their profits by absorbing public resources and displacing their activities in tax paradises.

Development through private productive investment sounds like an unattainable yet comforting rhetoric, following the relevant data of the past decade, in a world in which capital is transformed and makes short-term moves through fiscal bubbles and high risk ventures, leading banks to bankruptcy and forcing societies to fund them through popular resources.

The tunnel in which European peoples have been pushed has no way out to light. This is why neoliberal policies are rejected through mass mobilisations in every country. Greek people, who took in thousands to the squares and streets, organised many strikes and denied payments, have dismissed memorandums and loan pacts by an absolute majority in the recent elections of the 6th of May. The “guinea pig” of Europe, mutilated by severe cuts, has nonetheless escaped from the neoliberal market castle and is demanding decent work, justice and democracy in order to live a life of decency and dignity.

Comrades and friends, brothers and sisters in our common struggle,

We call upon you to take over the torch from Greek hands, changing the route of Ireland and re-defining the route of Europe. In the name of the European and world multitude of “indignados” and struggling peoples, we appeal to you to use the referendum as an opportunity to change direction in contemporary European history.

The argument towards Irish people to “vote Yes for stability” is also in Greece the only proposal by systemic forces. The vast majority of people, however, already live in instability, so that the dominant oligarchies can enjoy stability of profits and wealth. “Yes to the fiscal pact” means that working men and women will continue to pay, at the cost of employment loss and actual death, because development will not take off by simple moralizing pleas.

Dear comrades,

From resisting and hopeful Greece we appeal to the Irish people to continue, together with the citizens of Europe, on the way of anger, indignation, resistance and solidarity. We urge you to vote “No” in the referendum of the 31st of May for the Stability Pact, in order to overthrow the dominant European policies and win back our lives.

occupy dame street dublin