"Week of Action" Wraps With Queens Court Singing Protest; 63 Arrested For The Week

Organizing For Occupation
Weary of protestors, the Brooklyn Supreme Court has ramped up security checks, turning what was once a smooth and quick entry into auction room into something resembling an airport TSA line
The "Week of Action" --three foreclosure blockades at the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queen's Supreme Court--finished today with two dozen singing protestors storming Queen's court.

Yesterday's action at Brooklyn led to 38 arrests.

Unlike the Seabrook incident, most of the interactions between guards and protestors went smoothly, and almost all were released, charged with only a violation of disorderly conduct.

Here's a video of the arrests (and singing) from Brooklyn court, courtesy of action organizer Organizing For Occupation

While the official "week of action" may have wrapped. There's plenty more action on the side. Tomorrow, Senator Gustavo Rivera, who represents New York Senate District 33, will hold, with participation by various community groups, a Bronx Housing Forum at Lehman College.

Rivera, who was President Obama's Hispanic Vote Director during the Florida votes four years ago, said he the forum will discuss issues such as foreclosure prevention, converting vacant properties into affordable housing, and rent regulation.

He said the housing and foreclosure crisis in New York resonates with him not just as senator, but as a New Yorker.

"I've been a tenant in a rent-stablized apartment for as long as I've lived in New York," Rivera said. "It has been absolutely crucial for this district, because the number one issue of people who come into my offices is housing problems--even more so than jobs."

Rivera, whose very first bill as a Senator in the New York State Senate dealt with greater government transparency and financial disclosure, said he would like to apply the same transparency rules to banks and corporations in this ongoing foreclosure battle.

"The foreclosure crisis affects Bronx, and specifically, people of color, at a disproportionate rate," he said. "We have to hold banks accountable and make sure everything is transparent."

To do so, he's trying to raise funds for foreclosure prevention, and with forums like the one tomorrow, educate tenants on their rights and raise awareness for the issue.

Elsewhere, tenants of the three-story apartment complex located on 556 Evergreen Avenue in Bushwick, which we reported on last week here, claim they are being cheated right this moment.

Although students from the New School interrupted the foreclosure auction proceedings last week, 556 Evergreen was still sold to private investment firm, Parad LLC.

Carmelita Walker, a resident at the apartment who's been out of town on bedrest in Virginia, said a man from Parad "broke into" her apartment to seize the space. Other residents have also been confronted by the man, claiming to be the new owner of the property.

"He's demanding I pay a year's worth of rent back to him," said Walker.

Calls made to Parad LLC have not been answered. We will check back on the property with updates.

Action-packed week, indeed.

The Bronx Housing Forum is tomorrow from 11am to 3pm, at Lehman College-CUNY, 250 Bedford Parl Blvd, Bronx

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