Causa Justa :: Just Cause
Across the country fallout from the outrage at Big Banks bailouts, the foreclosure crisis and mounting attacks on the working class have awoken many who once lived comfortably and thought the American Dream was theirs. A growing number are now coming to an understanding that there is no dream after all.
In Boston, thousands of people gathered outside Bank of America offices to protest the bank’s foreclosure policies. It was part of a series of ongoing actions organized by the Right to the City Alliance. Causa Justa :: Just Cause was there.
“When you have 3,000 people gathered and surrounding the bank demanding to be recognized and respected, then for each individual inside that bank, they are forced to ask themselves: ‘What am I doing? What role am I playing in this?’ That’s how the policies change,” said Nell Myhand, Oakland Homeower Clinic Coordinator for CJJC and someone personally fighting a foreclosure
The crowd enthusiastically “Took Back” the City of Boston. It coincided with a week of escalating actions in San Francisco “Make Banks Pay,” where a loud and raucous group heckled bank execs at a private party at AT&T Park, chanting “Keep Our Families Safe At Home”; to a bank divestment action targeting B of A, Wells Fargo and Chase banks; to a foreclosure vigil.
Since 2007 2.5 million foreclosures have taken place across the nation. 6.9 million have started and a projected 5.7 million borrowers are at risk. Locally in Oakland there are 1004 properties in default, 2105 bank-owned properties and 760 properties in the process of being sold at Trustee sale.
In San Francisco, some 16,355 homeowners are underwater. By 2012 it’s estimated that 12,410 local homes will be in foreclosures, according to a report by California Reinvestment Coalition and Association of Californians for Community Empowerment.
“B of A has over $2 trillion in assets. They got a $4.2 billion tax refund in 2010. Yet they insist on foreclosing on families with no regard for the circumstances of those individuals. For me, the faces of the people who were there standing up for their homes was so moving it was energizing,” said Myhand.
Causa Justa :: Just Cause has organized scores of protests in front of Big Banks such as B of A and Wells Fargo to put pressure to stop the evictions due to predatory loans. The families facing foreclosures did not cause the economic crisis and the banks have to be accountable for their actions.
Meanwhile protestors at the Wall Street occupation in New York increased each day. The occupation sparked similar protests across the country including San Francisco where an encampment continued to grow in front of the Federal Reserve Bank.
These national protests are bringing together unemployed young people, labor unions and community organizations of working class communities of color. The convergence of different groups to support a single demand to hold big banks accountable is inspiring and historic. The huge wealth and power of the banks means that it will take all of us working together to demand and win the justice we want to see.
“From the 18% unemployment in Black communities, rampant foreclosures and evictions and the profiteering from the detention of immigrants, Black and Latino families have been hardest hit by this economic crisis. Enough is enough. We are the 99%, the growing new majority. We will be heard. We will be seen” Cinthya Munoz, Immigrant Rights Organizer with CJJC.