About 70 supporters recently rallied at the home of a family facing foreclosure, defying a 24-hour eviction notice.
The protesters promised not to leave until PNC Bank and Freddie Mac renegotiated the loan of home owners Alejandra and David Cruz. Supporters sang, gave speeches, led chants (in English and Spanish) and physically barricaded themselves in front of the house located at 4044 cedar Ave S. "We're asking that Freddie Mac and PNC Bank come to the table to negotiate and that (Minneapolis) Mayor (R.T.) Rybak not send the police to do the bank’s dirty work," explained Martha Ockenfels-Martinez, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. "We're not leaving until we see a good faith negotiation."
The south Minneapolis home, where the couple has lived for seven years, entered foreclosure last year when, according to the Cruzes, the bank failed to withdraw the monthly online payment and demanded two months payment as a result of its error.
"People aren't losing homes because they're lazy or stupid. People are losing their homes because the banks are committing fraud," said Gerardo Cajamarca, another homeowner facing foreclosure. "And committing fraud is a crime."
"My family and I have been fighting for justice all our lives," said Alejandra Cruz. "Now we stand together with other homeowners across Minnesota fighting unjust banking practices. Change is coming, and we're going to make that change happen."