Mary Ward, 82-Year-Old Facing Eviction, Still in Her Home (and on Russian TV)
An update on Mary Ward, the 82-year-old facing eviction in Bed Stuy: as of today, she is still in her home, and as of late yesterday afternoon, no marshall had been scheduled to evict her by the close of business this evening.
Jay Kim, one of Ward's attorneys at Common Law, tells us that a follow up meeting will be held today between Assembly woman Annette Robinson, Ward, and Shameem Chowdhury, the "alleged owner." They had hoped to have this meeting on Monday, but it didn't occur. Instead, Karen Gargamelli, Ward's other attorney, only delivered a letter outlining Ward's demands to Chowdury.
Here's the cover letter they gave to him, which gives clear details about what is actually at stake: Common Law Letter to Chowdury August 22 2011
And here are their actual demands: Ward Settlement Proposal
Kim tells us Chowdhury paid approximately $340,000 for the house at a bankruptcy auction, after the loan had been flipped multiple times, repackaged, bundled and sold. Even some of Ward's staunchest supporters outside her home this week saw Chowdhury as yet another victim in how the original fraudulent loan, which started the situation, has hurt many parties.
"No one can be made completely whole," Kim tells the Voice. "Ms. Ward can't be made whole from what she has endured in this situation, and Mr. Chowdhury [who wants to be recoup the $340K he paid for the house] can't be made whole," she says. "This proposal is meant to try to bring some measure of reconciliation."
Ward, who we had the chance to interview on Monday (we'll post that later this week) never takes it lightly when anyone (even her own lawyers) refers to Chowdhury as the owner or the landlord, and she'll correct them to add the word "alleged" before those titles.
Here's her story on Russia Today, the English language 24-hour Russian news channel, in which we were interviewed. Seeing how the Russians start the segment "Cruel times in America" demonstrates the way in which her tale has captured the imagination of the world.
As for no marshall being scheduled, Frank Morales of Organizing for Occupation tells us that eviction prevention strike squads are on duty 24 hours a day outside of Ward's home, in shifts, just in case. When we visited on Monday, there were about 50 people present.