Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Evictions protested in Roxbury

ROXBURY, Mass.--An all-too-familiar scene unfolded here as a round of foreclosures left multiple families homeless on September 21. But activists and members of the community refused to surrender without a fight, taking inspiration from similar efforts in other communities across the country and organizing a protest against the evictions.

Roxbury, a city with a large Black and Latino population, is not a new victim of the housing crisis. On the block where some 80 people gathered for the demonstration, there are more foreclosed homes than inhabited ones.

Frances Louis, one of the people being evicted, has been occupying a vacant apartment since her house was foreclosed on last year. Deb Jones, another target of the eviction, has already been evicted twice and is now fighting to save the home for her family of eight.

Before their evictions, Louis and Jones attempted to have their mortgage refinanced and resold to City Life/Vida Urbana, a local grassroots group that organizes around housing rights. Their request was denied, and the bank continued with the foreclosure proceedings.

The protest, which was called by City Life and the Bank Tenants Association, a growing organization of residents of foreclosed properties, drew local residents who were victims of the banks' onslaught as well as supporters from outside the community.

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