Saturday, September 12, 2009

Seven people arrested trying to stop the eviction of Rosemary Williams

Minneapolis, MN - After a months long fight against her foreclosure, police came to evict Rosemary Williams from her home, Sept. 11. Dozens of police cordoned off the street, sidewalks and alley all around the home, police with rifles and tear gas were at the ready at windows inside the house, as a private security company used metal grating to board up windows and doors. The police showed up as preparations were being made for a birthday party for Rosemary Williams’s grandson, Talib, who turned two that day.

More than a hundred supporters gathered to support the Williams family, as they hastily removed their personal belongings from the house. In a last ditch effort to stop the eviction, seven supporters went onto the property and were immediately arrested. They were dragged away by police, who kicked people laying on the ground and sprayed the crowd with pepper spray.

The arrestees include five members of the Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout, which has been fighting this eviction for months and pressuring the GMAC mortgage company to make a deal that allows Ms. Williams to stay in her home. Instead, GMAC boarded up the windows, making this the eighth vacant house on the block.

Kim DeFranco, of the Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout, was in the home with Ms. Williams when the police arrived and helped the family collect their things. “The more I carried out of the house, the angrier I got. With all the bailouts that big banks have gotten, there’s no reason that people like Rosemary and her family should have to lose their homes. When we left the house, we were chanting ‘it’s not over,’ because we are going to keep fighting this.”

Asked what is next, Ms. Williams said, “Number one, we’ve got to get our people out of jail. After that I’ve got to get my stuff into storage, but we are not giving up and it is not just about my family. This is happening all over and it’s got to stop. We are mobilizing as many people as we can to come downtown tomorrow, we’re going to have a big action outside the Obama rally. It’s time to get up. Stand up or shut up.”

Ms. Williams is definitely standing up, and she is not alone. Hundreds have rallied around her and pledge to continue this important campaign confronting the foreclosure crisis.


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