Advocates say Rosemary Williams housing victory elevates people power

linden-gawboyVictory for Rosemary Williams!

On July 24, at 9:15 am, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office knocked on the door of Rosemary Williams, 3138 Clinton Ave S, Minneapolis. They handed her an eviction notice, stating that she and her family (including two grandchildren) had to be out of the house by Monday.  Williams, along with the MN Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign and the MN Coalition for People’s Bailout, were already prepared with a press conference to announce plans to resist the eviction.

Twenty minutes before the press conference, Williams received a phone call from Minneapolis Councilmember Elizabeth Glidden.  Word came through that a buyer had been found for the house, and that Williams could get a chance to lease her home with an option to buy.  The sheriffs were called off. And Rosemary stays in her home.

“This victory shows that when you fight back, you can win,” said Linden Gawboy, of the MN Coalition for a People’s Bailout. “Rosemary has lit the path for millions of others in this country. Stay, stay, stay. Never give up. Our communities depend on us staying.”

Cheri Honkala, of the MN Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign said, “Rosemary’s victory proves the strength of people’s power. Through a unified struggle made up of directly affected people and allies, mega-corporations like GMAC have run scared. Rosemary has won.”

Williams has lived on the same block in South Minneapolis for 55 years. Since she began her fight against foreclosures, she has been speaking not just for herself, but for other people who are in the same situation. She has testified at the legislature, before the city council and attempted a ground-breaking court case to save her home.

“This is what  happens when organizations and community come together and work collectively,” said Williams. “I just want to encourage everyone to not just leave in the night like they want you to. Fight for what is yours.”

For more information: Cheri Honkala Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign (612) 940-1040 or (267) 439-8419; Linden Gawboy, MN Coalition for a People’s (612) 296-5649

July 31, 2009
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