By Sachio Ko-yin May 1, 2012
By about 9:30 am, a group of concerned citizens, workers and union members gathered outside of 3801 First District building, to bear witness to the weekly Sheriff’s auction. As more and more working people are expressing unrest about the growing wealth divide, this weekly auction of foreclosed homes and homes with tax liens on them takes on a special significance. This morning’s event was only the beginning of a series of Occupy May Day actions.
“Right now,” said organizer Jasmine Rivera, “We are gong to disrupt the Sheriff's sale for as long as possible, so that those who come here to buy cheap properties get convinced not to buy them- so they know it will mean a family will be without a home.”
According to the flyer put out by organizers, “Thousands of hardworking families with stable incomes and the ability to pay a mortgage lose their homes each month to foreclosure, and tens of thousands more choose between their mortgage and basic needs.”
The group prepared to enter the sheriff’s auction as the doors opened at 9:30. The auction occupiers practiced singing from their song sheets-
“ Listen Auctioneer
All the people here
We’re asking you to hold all the sales right now,
We’re going to survive this but we don’t know how.
The people have no fear,
Banks are not the ones who you should defend,
Homes belong to people who live in them.”
This is the second event organized by Action United at the Sheriff’s Auction. The first one occurred two months before.
Said Jasmine, “The last time we actually had someone change his mind about buying a house here. He said to us, ‘you mean there are actually people living in the house?’ We were like, ‘yes, we have contacts with families living in these foreclosed homes’. When he heard this, he left!” Jasmine added, “He may have been the exception, but it was still inspiring...what can happen if we bring attention to this issue?!”