UPDATE: 2 arrests - #J21 National day of action for Cruz home today as banks start backing off home seizures
UPDATE 5PM: Via OccupyHomesMN "Just received word that both arrestees from this morning have been released, and are fine. Please come at 6PM for the vigil and rally." (4044 Cedar Ave S.)
UPDATE 2PM: Via OccupyHomesMN: PNC Bank refuses to work w family evicted because of their error who drove 800 miles w over 40,000 signatures. Rally tonight at 6pm at the Cruz family home to demand justice!
UPDATE NOON: Two arrests at Cruz home as rooftop action releases anti-eviction balloon (51 PICS, VIDEO) - Live video across USA & eviction protests in Spain on GlobalRevolution.tv - Live Blog at OccupyHomesMN.org. 12:30: According to live stream video in Pittsburgh, police radio is "calling for riot conditions" for the peaceful crowd protesting at PNC bank.
With several Minneapolis families recently saved from foreclosure and repossession (two homes just in the last few weeks), momentum has grown against the banks. #J21, a national day of action has been called in support of saving the Cruz home, with actions planned across America. 6 PM Thursday June 21st at the Cruz home, 4044 Cedar Ave., the #J21 vigil and rally has been called. [Photos by Peter Leeman via occupyhomesmn.org]
For more info follow the hashtag #j21 and #cruzhome (try using Twitterfall for visualizing twitter), or @occupymn and @occupyhomesmn as well as on Facebook. The @tcimc Indymedia twitter may be used sparingly. Text "FOLLOW TCIMC" to 40404 to get messages directly.
#J21: Via OccupyHomesMN.org: "List of actions across USA:
Actions being planned in: Atlanta- Baltimore- Chicago- Cincinnati- Detroit- Gainsville, FL- Greensboro, NC- Kansas City- Milwaukee- Minneapolis- New York- Newark, NJ- Philadelphia- Pittsburgh- St. Louis- Tampa, FL- Virginia Beach, VA- Washington, DC-
And many more to come! Please, organize an event in your city! Email occupyHomesMN@gmail.com and let us know if you want to help!". More updates & video from activists below the fold...
Live video around USA & eviction resistance in Spain #J21 via Globalrevolution.tv
Minneapolis - Around 6:30am this morning a large balloon banner reading "Evictions Stop Here" was deployed above the embattled home of the Cruz family as 15 supporters of the Cruz family began an occupation of the rooftop in protest of the family's unjust foreclosure. By 8:30am two were cut out of a lockbox device with an electric saw, handcuffed, taken down a ladder and arrested for trespassing. The action kicks off a national day of action in 18 cities demanding PNC Bank negotiate with the family to allow them to return to their home.
Alejandra and David Cruz will arrive at the bank's headquarters in Pittsburgh around 1pm with over 40,000 petition signatures and their loan modification documents demanding a meeting with CEO Jim Rohr to renegotiate their mortgage.
The Cruzes' battle against an unjust foreclosure has become a focal point for the Occupy movement and garnered media attention from around the country. In the past month, 24 community supporters with Occupy Homes MN have been arrested defending the south Minneapolis home. The campaign has become a sticky political situation for local elected officials, PNC Bank, and Freddie Mac, the current owner of the property.
Although PNC has acknowledged the foreclosure was due to a bank error, executives have repeatedly said they are working "behind the scenes" to fix the situation, and Executive Vice President Dan Taylor said that he would look into the Cruzes' case, the bank has not offered a negotiation. "We feel like PNC and Freddie Mac have forgotten us," said David Cruz. "So we're going to remind them."
On their way to Pittsburgh, the Cruzes stopped in Chicago to visit Freddie Mac, the current owner of the home, at their regional office, where 40 supporters rallied with the Cruzes' battered front door. Supporters then marched to a local PNC branch where they were denied entrance by Chicago police officers and the branch refused to accept the Cruzes' loan documents.
Thursday evening in Minneapolis, community members and neighbors will rally sending a clear message to PNC Bank that if a negotiation has not been offered, supporters will continue to return to the home even if it means risking arrest. "This home belongs to the Cruz family," said Occupy Homes MN organizer Nick Espinosa. "We won't rest until they're back in it."
The schedule for Thursday's actions is as follows:
THURSDAY 6/21: National Day of Action Against PNC Bank.
As the Cruz family arrives at PNC Bank headquarters in Pittsburgh, supporters will rally across the country to demand that PNC live up to their word and work with the Cruz family.
In Minneapolis supporters will hold a rally and vigil at the Cruz home (6pm Central Time; 4044 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN)
Rallies in support of the Cruz family are planned in Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, Gainesville, Greensboro, Milwaukee, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, St. Louis
In Pittsburgh the Cruz family delegation and local supporters will rally and march to PNC Headquarters. (1pm Eastern Time, Market Square)
For up-to-date information about events across the country visit: http://www.facebook.com/events/256490674453153/ or www.occupyhomesmn.org/
Video profile of the Cruz family story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_6Kz8MIpns&feature=youtu.be
High quality photos: http://peterleeman.tumblr.com/tagged/cruz-house
Alejandra Cruz's petition for her family: http://www.change.org/CruzHome
SOURCE: OccupyHomesmn.org -- Despite acknowledging that the Cruzes foreclosure was due to a bank error and repeated claims that they are working “behind the scenes” to get the Cruz family back in their home, PNC Bank has refused to accept the documents necessary for the loan to be modified. So Alejandra and David Cruz, along with several supporters, are going to make a hand-delivery to PNC’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA!
Send-off: We will be having a send-off rally in front of the Cruz home, 4044 Cedar Ave S, at 5PM this Tuesday to support the Cruzes battle for justice. Bring signs, messages of support, and your wonderful self!
Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/events/310205149071280/
Action on Freddie Mac: the Cruz family will make a stop at Freddie Mac’s regional headquarters in Chicago on Wednesday to demand they stop tearing up our neighborhoods with their eviction profiteering.
NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION: Across the country, while Alejandra and David arrive at PNC headquarters, people will be demanding that PNC live up to their word and work with the Cruz family!
MORE ON THE CRUZ FAMILY:
Since April 30, Occupy Homes MN has been working with the Cruz family, whose home went into foreclosure when PNC Bank mishandled an online payment. Although PNC executives have acknowledged their error and repeatedly told Cruz supporters that they are working on a solution, their actions have shown the opposite. They have refused to work with the family, instead working with Freddie Mac and the city of Minneapolis to launch a series of costly police raids against home, resulting in 23 arrests in less than a week. Despite ongoing protests, PNC still thinks we’ll go away if they ignore us long enough. It’s time to show them otherwise: on June 19, Alejandra and David Cruz will be travelling along with a team of supporters to PNC’s Pittsburgh headquarters to hand-deliver their modification documents and demand a meeting with CEO Jim Rohr! Occupy Homes MN is calling for a national day of action on PNC to coincide with the Cruz’s arrival on Thursday, June 21.
The Cruz family home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, went into foreclosure in 2011 when PNC failed to withdraw an online mortgage payment and then demanded two months’ payment as punishment. Unable to pay more than the current month’s installment, the family home fell into foreclosure.
After their home fell into foreclosure, the Cruzes began working with a local nonprofit that was supposed to be working out a loan modification. In February, without warning an agent of the bank came to the house and told them they had 48 hours to leave the property, shocking the family and ignoring their right to a legal process.
Alejandra and David Cruz have been active community members in the Twin Cities who have tirelessly advocated for the DREAM Act and educational equity for immigrant students.
Over the past month, hundreds of neighbors and community members have mobilized to defend the Cruz family home and support a 24/7 physical occupation of the house against repeated attempts at eviction by the Minneapolis police and sheriff’s department. These efforts have brought the Cruz’s struggle to the attention of national media and into the offices of PNC Banks across the country.
However, despite repeated claims from PNC Executives that they are working “to help and rectify the situation,” the bank has yet to take the necessary steps to sit down and negotiate with the family. At today’s action activists urged PNC to keep its word to the Cruz family and keep communities intact. Once again PNC representatives accepted the letter and information about their error and the wrongful foreclosure of the Cruz family’s home; however, unable to provide a substantive plan for resolving the situation, PNC officials ceded the branch to protesters who rallied and chanted for over an hour.
“This family can afford the mortgage. All they need is for PNC to take a look at their documents and verify the facts. At this point we’re happy to hand deliver the docs to their front door.” said Anthony Newby with NOC. “This foreclosure process has been botched and bungled from the very beginning and PNC needs to fix it. The family can pay and deserves to stay.”