The Steidels received notice that their home would be foreclosed on in September. Not knowing what else to do, Maria Steidel remembered seeing Take Back the Land Rochester (TBTL) on the news, after the group successfully defended the Lennon Family from eviction earlier this year. She called the news station, and luckily, they gave her contact information that put her in touch with TBTL and, ultimately, Occupy Rochester.
In the past two weeks, numerous protests and actions were organized to support the Steidels in the fight to keep their home. An impromptu press conference was held just as Rochester Mayor Richards appeared, media in tow, to sign an agreement with Occupy Rochester for our right to camp 24 hours a day.
On November 7, 90 people protested outside Wells Fargo's Rochester offices, demanding they negotiate with the family. Three dozen protesters from Occupy Buffalo also demonstrated in front of the Amherst offices of Steven J. Baum PC, denouncing the controversial foreclosure attorney and calling on state authorities to shut down his office, take away his law license and even put him in jail.
Occupy Rochester and publicly announced its intention to set up an encampment on the Steidel's front lawn to prevent the imminent eviction and draw media attention to the case. However, it never came to that. Harold and Maria received word that they had secured at 30-day suspension of the eviction notice.
What's more, not only does the family get to keep their home, but the law firm that was working to push the Steidels—and undoubtedly other families—out the door was itself punished:
Furthermore, Freddie Mac announced that they were pulling Steven J. Baum's firm off every foreclosure case they had.
This could result in many more family homes being saved.
Truly amazing, gutty and uplifting stuff. A standing ovation goes out to everyone involved in this fight.