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It began with a tweet last night:

3Beee Farah
@KissMyEntireAzz: Homeowner in foreclosure seeks occupiers at his property in Oakland

In a diary put up last night, I documented those first, tentative efforts #OccupyOaklanders took towards protecting an Oakland property at 1815 Linden, Oakland, CA from being foreclosed on.

Use the link, make sure it's on 'satellite', and zoom in to the penultimate magnification. See that lot below the grey house?  It's now #Occupied with about 10 tents, 20 people, and a kitchen. There were, as of an hour or so ago, four television news vans parked on the adjacent streets. I hope the #Occupiers enjoy the donuts I brought them.

The house itself? It's that same grey one immediately above the lot. I'm told it's a duplex, with one of the apartments vacant, and that someone who does not reside at the property owns both the lot and the house.  From the San Jose Mercury News:

Protesters with 10 tents, awnings and camping gear put down stakes at about 7 p.m. Monday night on a large fenced-off lot adjoining a home at the corner of 18th and Linden Streets. More prospective campers were seen walking toward the camp early Tuesday morning...

Alameda County records confirm that the lot is the subject of foreclosure proceedings. A notice of trustee sale was published Monday by the county clerk-recorder...

Camp members say they have permission to be there, believing that will keep police from being able to clear out the camp. A patrol officer stopped momentarily at the site but did not engage the campers before moving on.

Indeed, there wasn't an Oakland Police presence there or anywhere near that I could see.  One of the campers who seemed to know something said that they had been in touch with the owner but that they did not, as yet, have clear permission for the campsite -- the owner was looking into the legal issues.  

There hasn't been much tweeting about the property in the last couple of hours. Everything seems pretty mellow at the site, although that could change at any time if the police or the City of Oakland decide otherwise.

Here's the most recent relevant tweets I've seen:

GonzOakland GonzOakland
talking to a neighbor of the new #occupyoakland camp. She says she's supports, says the camp is something new for her kids to see. A lesson.
2 hours ago

GonzOakland GonzOakland
Overall, a wide variety of opinions from neighbors about the new #occupyoakland camp. Some pro, some anti, some indifferent. Some confused.
2 hours ago

This is exciting, even if it is mellow. If the #Occupiers can keep control of the site, not allowing it to turn into something neighbors and the owner might object to, they stand a chance of forcing the bank to negotiate a settlement with the owner, which, as one of them told me and some others gathered around, is their objective.

Spreading this action across Oakland to the hundreds, if not thousands, of houses in danger of foreclosure could prove to be a big win for #OccupyOakland in the coming months.

Here's something that just came across from Minneapolis, which is very inspiring. It's time to take it all across the country.

November 19th, 2011: Following two arrests and an incident in which a police officer tried to run down an occupier with a squad car, Occupy Minneapolis formed a human chain around Sa'ra Kaiser’s foreclosed home, preventing the officers from boarding it up, and ultimately forcing the police -- who had no legitimate legal pretense for preventing occupiers from being there in the first place -- to give up and leave.



"If your homes ever get foreclosed... Call us! We'll be there for you."

I love it.

Originally posted to jpmassar on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 12:14 PM PST.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street, California politics, SFKossacks, Dailykos Kossacks For Action, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Progressive Hippie.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I hope they're being selective (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar

    about whose homes they're protecting from foreclosure.  There are still plenty of people out there losing homes because they're irresponsible.

  •  Plot thickens.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, allie123

    ...i posted this at last night's essay before I saw this one:

    ...from sfgate (the Chronicle) on line:

    (11-22) 11:17 PST OAKLAND -- Occupy Oakland protesters have moved onto a vacant lot in West Oakland that they say is being foreclosed, but the property owner says they are there without her permission and wants them out.
     "I have asked them to leave," said Gloria Cobb, who owns the lot ... I'm asking my tenants to please call the police."

    Moments after Cobb spoke to a reporter by phone at [just after] 11 a.m., two police cars pulled up to the scene.

    The article is here.

    "The Future of Man" [... ???] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

    by dharmasyd on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:52:45 PM PST

    •  These folks did not do this right (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar, Blissing, Caipirinha, jayden

      I am in favor of occupying in this way, but you need to have the owners with you, and preferably have this happen at a property that is owner occupied, not a rental.

      I think this was a bad move based on what I have read at this point.

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

      by kimoconnor on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:55:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's unclear whether OWS had... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the owners' permission or not.  The point is disputed.  We have no connclusive evidence either way at this point.  

        See more from the above cited sfgate article:

        Maxine Holz, an Occupy Oakland organizer, expressed surprise when told of Cobb's statement.

        "That's a complete change in tune," she said.

        "The Future of Man" [... ???] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

        by dharmasyd on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:02:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK, so the owner changed her mind (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jpmassar, Blissing

          Either way, I think if they are going to occupy property I think it should be owner occupied homes vs. rental property.

          Likely the owner's lawyer told her it was not a good idea, and thus she changed her mind.

          Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

          by kimoconnor on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:22:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Some new tweets... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar, joe shikspack, alizard

      ...

      OWster_orgOWster.org

      There was absolutely no thuggery at new #occupyoakland encampment, just a lot of behind the scenes pressure and a homeowner's changed mind.

      and

      OWster_orgOWster.org

      The goal of the current #occupyoakland property was to save it from the bank. Something happened, because the homeowner has rescinded invite

      Also, in an earlier tweet I can't find just now, it was mentioned that the Cobb family (the owners) are well known, long time activists in the west Oakland community.

      Please add liquid here.  The gravy is getting too thick.

      "The Future of Man" [... ???] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

      by dharmasyd on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:16:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  JP (0+ / 0-)

    What do you think about the owner? She claims did not agree to OccupyOakland camping at home?

    http://abclocal.go.com/...

    A man who lives in the area stopped by to complain about the new demonstration. The protesters tried to explain their tactic but it didn't go over too well. After a lengthy discussion, they agreed to disagree.
    ...

    The protesters say they cleared it with the property owner, but ABC7 spoke with her and she said they don't have permission to be there.

     http://www.sfgate.com/...

    (11-22) 11:17 PST OAKLAND -- Occupy Oakland protesters have moved onto a vacant lot in West Oakland that they say is being foreclosed, but the property owner says they are there without her permission and wants them out.

    "I have asked them to leave," said Gloria Cobb, who owns the lot at 18th and Linden streets. "They won't leave. I can't afford to stop work and physically go down there. I'm asking my tenants to please call the police."

    /blockquote>

    "IJDH provides the tools for people who care about Haiti to make a real difference on the ground."-- Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

    by allie123 on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:01:54 PM PST

  •  That foreclosure thing has many zigs and zags (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar

    For instance, there are lawyers calling up (cold calls) or with real estate agents calling distressed homeowners promising them there is a "way out" like a short sale or some other agreement they have with a bank to get clear.

    It may be that the house owner's  lawyer heard of the Oakland Occupy and sees his fee for his services going away.

    there is a section of Providence where house values are 40% of where they were just three years ago . A homeowner wanting a conventional sale goes begging because the vultures want to swoop in to a possible  foreclosure sale if there is not much principal left and buy out the remainder.   Or grab the property for cheap from a distressed ,desperate home mortgage payer.

    Some of the negotiating sounds very dodgy, for instance a house is listed for six months, no action, then the lawyer suggested by the real estate agent tells the client not to pay the mortgage while he negotiates with the bank over a possible short sale.  My Q. why the non payment of the mortgage which has been up to date all this time? doesn't that put the homeowner/mortgagor into a bad, touchy position?  And where is HAMP and HARP that supposedly have some funds to "expedite the process"?  If the value has fallen that much, the bank will never agree to a short sale.   The dwellers don't want to keep staying and paying present terms because they have both a lost job and a reduced hours on the other job.

    They will end up owing a mint and having no place to live.

    Regardless, once these forces gang up to flip homes and leave the homeowner destitute and on the street, Occupy  is needed.   If a principal reduction can be done, and a rewrite of the terms, they might stay.  Better than no tenant, no occupier, heading for ruin in an increasingly  blighted neighborhood.

    If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever, you're dreaming. *YUP!* h/t Hamden Rice

    by BeeDeeS on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 07:00:49 PM PST

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