Foreclosure Blockade Activists' "Week of Action" is Indeed Action-Packed
We are in the midst of a "week of action", a term dubbed by a collective of housing activists--you know, those singing protestors we've written about for the past few months--and homeowners facing foreclosure, and it has been action-packed indeed.
On Monday, about 40 people from diverse backgrounds, made up of members from activist groups such as Occupied Wall Street and Organizing For Occupation, faith groups like Jews for Racial & Economic Justice and Occupy Faith, and righteous students from Columbia and New School, turned up at the Bronx Supreme Court and, like all previous singing protest actions, serenaded court officials, investors, and court guards with lyrics such as "Y'all are speculating off people's pain. With all due respect, you should be ashamed."
Fourteen of them were arrested.
The group will do this again tomorrow and Friday, respectively at Brooklyn and Queen's Supreme Court.
The action didn't stop there. Last Friday, Debbie Seabrook, a 63-year-old travel agent who has spent the past nine years monitoring foreclosure proceedings on her free time, was arrested at Queens Civil Court for supposedly attacking court guards with a pen. She was trying to help prevent a family of Haitian immigrants from losing their home to what she believes as unjust reasons.
Seabrook said the family, headed by Daniel Felix, are victims of a mortgage scam in 2006, and the court has ignored a clear fraudulent affidavit in the case.
"The [foreclosure process] server attested to making service to a white female in her 20s," Seabrook said. "Daniel is a 60 year old black man!"
The bank attorney in charge of foreclosing the home, perhaps aware of Seabrook's constant monitoring of the court system, was not comfortable with Seabrook's presence at landlord-tenant court alongside the Felix family. He requested court officials for Seabrook to be removed from the courtroom.
According eyewitness accounts, Seabrook left the court room but sat in a bench by the door. When guards intervened again, something triggered the guards to make an arrest.
Get this, nine guards surrounded Seabrook to make the arrest (keep in mind, she's in her 60s). Seabrook claims one of the guards slammed her head against the wall.
She was taken to central booking, held overnight, and released Saturday afternoon with a Order of Protection barring her from going within 100 yards of the Queens Civil Court for the next week.
Of course, the case to evict the Felix family from their house would have wrapped by then--they have a court hearing Thursday.
This writer has attended numerous foreclosure auctions, and unlike the singing protestors, Seabrook does not go with intention of interrupting procedures. She sits quietly in the back, jotting down notes. It's hard to imagine she could have done anything to justify her arrest (by NINE guards!) and detained overnight.
Check back tomorrow for updates on the Queen's Court blockade, which is set to take place at 2pm.