December 6 - In a bold new phase for the 99% movement, a vacant home in the center of New York City’s foreclosure crisis is presently being reclaimed today for a local homeless family. Occupy Wall Street, along with local neighbors and community groups, has pledged to stay with the family and defend them from eviction. Hundreds of neighborhood residents and citywide supporters are gathering after a real estate tour of vacant bank-owned homes available for occupation in the neighborhood — signaling that community activists will remain vigilant about the theft and abandonment of these homes by big banks. Black and Latino communities like those in East New York were targeted by predatory subprime lenders and have suffered disproportionately during the foreclosure crisis. The tour ended at an empty home foreclosed on by Bank of America that is being liberated for the homeless family after being abandoned for three years. The father, Alfredo Carrasquillo, and a clean-up crew have begun occupying it. They are presently making renovations that will allow the mother and her two children to move in. Neighbors and community members are delivering housewarming gifts and holding a spirited block party with food and live music to welcome the new family. “There are homeless families across this city like mine who feel like they should just give up because they’ve run out of options,” said Ms. Glasgow. “I’m angry that the shelters are filling up with families while big banks sit on vacant homes.” Mr. Carrasquillo, a community organizer at VOCAL-NY, added, “It’s criminal that Wall Street got bailed out and then turned around and foreclosed on millions of homes and refused to pay their fair share in taxes that could fund essential services like housing assistance.” After spending much of the past decade in and out of the NYC shelter system, Tasha Glasgow and her two children, an eight-year old daughter with autism and five-year old son, became the victims of billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s austerity measures. After receiving a housing voucher through the NYC "Advantage" program in spring 2011 that would have allowed her move out of the shelter system, it was withdrawn due to Mayor Bloomberg's budget cuts this year. Today’s events are being organized as part of a national day of action to “Occupy Our Homes.” In recent days and weeks, there has been successful occupation move-ins of homeless families and eviction defense for homeowners facing foreclosure in Atlanta, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Rochester, and over a dozen other cities and towns across the country. Local communities and 99% movement participants have committed to escalating this occupation movement to support the human right to housing — and to push back against the bailed-out and fraudulent big banks that are stealing our homes. Over a thousand local neighbors and supporters have turned out. A block party with a decorated Christmas tree, housewarming gifts and live music will continue into the evening. A candlelight celebration and nighttime video projections are planned for later. “We'll be here all night and all week to defend this family's home — they deserve it more than Bank of America," said Eliot Tarver from the Occupy Wall Street eviction defense team. "It's criminal for big banks to sit on vacant homes when there are so many homeless families who need them." East New York is full of foreclosed and empty bank-owned homes. This Brooklyn neighborhood topped the city’s list of highest foreclosure filing rates last year, with a rate of 16.8 per 1,000 households — three times greater than Brooklyn overall, and five times greater than New York State. Across the city and country, families who face the theft of their homes through mortgage fraud are organizing to reclaim their homes from the bailed-out mega-banks. "As a resident of East New York, I've seen firsthand both the devastation vacant properties can inflict on our community, and the rejuvenating effect of people standing up and taking back our neighborhood, one home at a time," said NY Communities for Change member Pat Boone. "My neighbors and I welcome Tasha as the newest member of the East New York community, and until banks start doing more to keep families in their homes and reducing principal, we encourage more families to clean up the mess the banks created on our streets." Homelessness in New York City is at a record high, with more people living in the shelter system than ever before and a 45% jump in family homelessness under Bloomberg. At the same time, the city has more vacant homes than homeless people, and activists argued that foreclosed and abandoned properties should be turned over to families and community organizations that will ensure long-term affordability. Neighbors from the East New York community, along with New York Communities for Change (NYCC), Organizing for Occupation, Picture the Homeless and VOCAL-NY joined the Occupy Wall Street movement in organizing this action.
Livestream: http://livestream.com/occupynyc/ http://globalrevolution.tv Online updates & multimedia: http://occupyourhomes.org Twitter hashtags: #OccupyHomes #D6
Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to more than 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. For more visit http://occupywallst.org
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Early Tuesday morning, the New York Times broke the news of the arrest of a state senator and a city councilman in a major federal corruption probe. They are accused of attempted to rig the city’s upcoming mayoral election. Four other New York political figures from both sides of the aisle were arrested as part of the alleged scheme.
Intrigued? Confused? Us too. Here’s everything you need to know about the case.
What happened? The probe involves both the New York City mayoral race and a development project in Spring Valley, New...
Rachel Weiner | The Washington Post 03 Apr 2013 Hits:374 New York
Tony Bennett and Al Sharpton joined a rally in Harlem to demand nationwide gun control legislation.
Each time Milagros Ortega saw a city council member pass by her on Thursday at a rally against gun violence, she stopped them and held up the picture she was wearing around her neck.
“This is my son Francisco. He was shot and killed two months ago at the Queensbridge Houses. Please make other politicians pass gun control around the country,” she told politician after politician at a Harlem gathering to encourage other states to pass...
Alyssa Figueroa | AlterNet 24 Mar 2013 Hits:255 New York
The New York State Assembly has approved, by a 95 to 40 vote, a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York. While it's unlikely to be passed in the Senate, the action reflects state lawmaker's growing worries about potential health impacts from the natural gas drilling process.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has led the way in recent days to ban hydrofracking for at least another two years in New York. The Speaker says right now, there are too many unanswered questions....
Karen DeWitt | North Country Public Radio 08 Mar 2013 Hits:374 New York
The Town Board of Woodstock, New York at its meeting on January 15 reviewed and adopted a resolution in support of a NY State law to criminalize hydraulic fracturing and related activities. The Town will submit its resolution supporting NY Public Law #1 to the New York State Legislature for implementation. Some 40 citizens in attendance resoundingly supported the decision.
This resolution (attached) is in support of NY Public Law #1, which makes hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas and all related activities crimes under the state penal code. NY Public...
Linda Leeds | Sovereign People's Action Network 17 Jan 2013 Hits:2585 New York
Two hundred workers from dozens of fast food outlets in New York City—including McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Domino's, and Taco Bell—walked off their jobs Thursday morning to demand $15 an hour in pay and the right to form their own independent union, according to the organizers of Fast Food Forward.
It is the largest strike ever in the United States against the $200-billion-a-year fast food industry and represents the latest in a wave of collective actions by low-wage workers to change conditions in their...
David Moberg | In These Million 30 Nov 2012 Hits:522 New York
On Wednesday night, as a fierce northeaster bore down on the weather-beaten Rockaways, the relief groups with a noticeable presence on the battered Queens peninsula were these: the National Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Police and Sanitation Departments — and Occupy Sandy, a do-it-yourself outfit recently established by Occupy Wall Street.
This stretch of the coast remained apocalyptic, with buildings burned like Dresden and ragged figures shuffling past the trash heaps. There was still no power, and parking lots were awash with...
Alan Feur | New York Times 12 Nov 2012 Hits:682 New York
NEW YORK -- A federal appeals court in Manhattan has become the second in the nation to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Thursday. The decision upholds a lower court judge who ruled that the 1996 law that defines marriage as involving a man and a woman was unconstitutional.
The three-judge panel says the law violates equal protection. A federal appeals court in Boston earlier this year also found it unconstitutional.
The issue is expected to be decided by the...
Huffington Post / AP 18 Oct 2012 Hits:642 New York
In Westchester County, a television advertisement accused a Democrat running for the State Senate of using campaign money to treat himself to fancy dinners. In Rochester, a commercial branded a Republican candidate as anti-women. And in Queens, a mailer attacked a Democratic incumbent for providing taxpayer money to a nonprofit organization that facilitates parrot adoptions.
The searing advertisements have one thing in common: they were financed by independent groups, not political campaigns. As both parties battle for control of the State Senate, the most forceful attack advertisements have...
Thomas Kaplan | The New York Times 17 Oct 2012 Hits:493 New York
Fired by a union-busting boss, the workers occupied their restuarant and then opened their own sidewalk cafe--forcing their owner to cede to their demands.
The restaurant workers who were fired and locked out of their store for organizing a union have won after a week of escalating protests outside the Manhattan cafe. Saturday afternoon, the owner declared that he had bowed to the workers demands to reopen the store, rehire all the workers and recognize their newly formed union, an inspiring labor victory at a time when many are...
Laura Gottesdiener | AlterNet 10 Sep 2012 Hits:667 New York
On Thursday, the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity arrived in New York City, one of the tour's last stops in the United States. The caravan is a group of Mexican peace activists, led by poet Javier Sicilia, who have been travelling across the United States throughout the summer to call for an end to the U.S.-funded drug war.
The majority of the caravaners have lost family members to the raging drug war in Mexico, including Sicilia, whose son was killed last year.
Laura Gottesdiener | AlterNet 07 Sep 2012 Hits:440 New York
As foreclosures continue to put historic pressure on the nation’s rental market, slumlords now have more opportunity than ever to prey on the most vulnerable of tenants.
The electrical box in the basement of multifamily brownstone on 46th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, looks like a middle-school science fair project gone horribly wrong. The door to the box is ajar and a cheap plastic fan, positioned only inches from the fuses, desperately tries to keep the wiring from catching fire when it sparks and ...
Laura Gottesdiener | AlterNet 13 Jul 2012 Hits:586 New York
Andrea Evans (l.) is the only black representative on the 11-member state Parole Board after Gov. Cuomo refused to renew the term of the panel's lone black male, Henry Lemons. State Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson (r.) said she spoke with the governor to voice her displeasure.
Gov. Cuomo is taking heat from minority lawmakers for not renewing the term of the lone black male on the state Parole Board.
Henry Lemons, a former deputy chief investigator in the state attorney general’s office and longtime Brooklyn prosecutor, was cut...
Kenneth Lovett | New York Daily News 05 Jul 2012 Hits:405 New York
Rep. Charles Rangel’s victory in the Democratic primary for New York's 13th Congressional District shows that – despite demographic changes in his district, ethics woes, and a censure vote by his House colleagues – he’s still popular enough to win the toughest fight of his 42-year career in Congress.
Tuesday's primary victory essentially counts as the election in one of the most Democratic-leaning districts in the nation.
“MY district,” is how Mr. Rangel refers to it.
RECOMMENDED: Rangel censure vote: 5 others the House has slapped down
And so it continues...
Mark Lennihan/AP 27 Jun 2012 Hits:669 New York
Picture by Sarah Seltzer
Momentum has been building in the movement to end stop-and-frisk, but many were still amazed at the size of the crowd Sunday.
A Father’s Day crowd that some estimated to be as large as 50,000 marched in silent protest on Sunday afternoon in NYC, letting Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly know, in no uncertain terms, that they've had enough of the NYPD's policy of stop-and-frisk, a racial profiling tactic that has resulted in the illegal arrests of tens of thousands of young...
Kristen Gwynne | Sourced from AlterNet 18 Jun 2012 Hits:553 New York
Last September 22, when Occupy Wall Street was just five days old, labor activists from the encampment at Zuccotti Park disrupted an auction at Sotheby's in support of the locked out art handlers of Teamsters Local 814. This action began a collaboration that lasted nine months, eventually leading to the ratification of a new three-year contract that ended the lockout on May 31. George Miranda, president of the Teamsters Joint Council 16, said, "These hard-working men and women will go home today and...
Gary Roland | Waging Nonviolence 04 Jun 2012 Hits:505 New York
The groundswell of opposition to the dirty and dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in New York has come from all corners of the state and from…
The town of Vestal, N.Y., near Binghamton, is well-placed for natural gas development.
Just across the border in Pennsylvania the industry is in full swing. Vestal is situated in one…
The chant is becoming familiar by now: "1, 2, 3, 4, tuition fees are class war!"
But on May 22nd, the New York City streets echoed also with "Solidarité!"
May Day, the Occupy movement and the 99 percent narrative have raised the voices of low-wage workers who joined together under the banner "Organize, Legalize, and Unionize."
Sotheby’s New York auction house made international headlines last week, selling Edvard Much's painting “The Scream” for a record $119.9 million. But few stories mentioned what was happening…
As we reported in February, the workers at Golden Farm supermarket in Brooklyn are owed thousands in back pay thanks to years they spent working for less than…
Can a crew of CEOs, investors, priests, rabbis, enviros, and more score a huge campaign finance victory in the Empire State?
Forget Washington, DC. The real front line in the…
The New York Civil Liberties Union announced this week that lawyers have filed a class-action lawsuit against the New York Police Department’s “Operation Clean Halls,” a program…
Yesterday morning a number of New York City commuters were surprised to find that the entrances to some subway stations were chained open, with what looked like official signs…
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