Rose Gudiel and her family were squatters in their own home. They had lost a two-year battle against foreclosure, and the eviction date had arrived….But instead of the anticipated confrontation, there was a dramatic reversal of fortune. Fanny Mae canceled the eviction notice and offered the Gudiels a loan modification that could enable them keep their home. Why?…nonprofit advocates say a series of bold protests — with reinforcements from the “Occupy Wall Street” movement — and a spate of media interest put Rose in the limelight and forced the banks to back down….
On Oct. 1, just days after the eviction deadline, thousands of protesters started gathering outside Los Angeles City Hall to launch the “Occupy LA” protest — the local version of the “Occupy Wall Street” protest in New York City. Gudiel thought her story would play well with the protesters and made an appeal at one of the gatherings’ first daily “general assembly” meetings….After her talk, some protesters went to Gudiel’s home in the suburbs to join the vigil, and some stayed to camp….
On Oct. 4, “Occupy LA” protesters joined in a 200-strong protest with Gudiel in front of the $26 million Bel Air mansion of OneWest CEO Steve Mnuchin.
A day later, many joined her at a sit-in at the Pasadena branch of Fannie Mae, where television captured Rose Gudiel’s disabled mother giving an impassioned plea for her home. Rose, her mother, Rose Marie and seven other protesters — some of them from “Occupy LA” — were arrested, and taken away in a paddy wagon as TV cameras rolled. They were cited and quickly released.
The next day, Rose Gudiel announced to a cheering crowd that she had received a letter from the bank inviting her to discuss a loan modification proposal.
Alain Sherter of CBS Business Network collects several other stories from across the nation, including:
In Washington, a 71-year-old woman was joined by activists in moving to block loan servicer Ocwen Financial (OCN) from evicting her and her husband, along with their nine children and 50 foster kids, from their Seattle home. She has won a temporary reprieve….
In New York, where OWS protesters continue to camp out in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, Organizing for Occupation is also encouraging “non-violent direct action” to stop foreclosures. The group earlier this month hit on a novel way to temporarily halt the work of a Brooklyn foreclosure court — singing:
I pinged Malcolm, an activist with Springfield No One Leaves, what he thinks about all this momentum. He responded:
I can respond for myself as an organizer of Springfield No One Leaves first and foremost. I think that Rose’s case exemplify’s the importance of two things: community mobilization around eviction defense is a powerful grounds on which we can fight the banks, where our demands with concrete solutions to keep homes occupied comes directly in contrast to banks insistence on vacating homes and destabilizing neighborhoods. Funneling the incredible energy of resistance into existing or new efforts to mobilize eviction defense, demanding to pay rent or principal reduction, not only brings concrete demands to the forefront of that energy, but also mobilizes new leaders for our movements. Its encouraging to see these two growing and powerful movements supporting and building together.
I think so too. I’ll keep an eye on this.