The Occupy Movement, a nationwide movement that has staged a series of protests across the country to rail against income inequality and financial sector corruption, is now refocusing its efforts on fighting foreclosures and evictions. The protesters have recently staged rallies, demonstrated at court appearances, and entered foreclosed homes and refused to leave, except by force.
More than 100 Occupy groups have formed foreclosure working groups or conducted a rally or home occupation, says Matt Browner Hamlin of occupyourhomes.org, a national group that focuses on foreclosure protests.
The protesters claim to have had success in getting banks to modify loans of home owners who face foreclosure.
In Cincinnati, a group that calls itself “Occupy the Hood” protested in a hard-hit neighborhood riddled with foreclosures, shouting “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!” The group says a plague of foreclosures in the working-class neighborhood of East Price Hill has led to home values dropping 41 percent since 2002.
Some view the Occupy Movement’s refocus on foreclosures as a way to try to gain more momentum for the group, which has reportedly been losing some of its steam in recent months.
“The Occupy movement seems to have lost some of its punch,” Susan MacManus, a University of South Florida political science professor, told Reuters. “Focusing on an issue that affects the working class and leaves people feeling alienated is potentially a good strategy. If they can make it work.”