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SAFE: Join the Resistance

SAFE

Join the Resistance

By Joshua Farris

The system is so crazy that people who want to pay to stay in their homes are displaced by banks that took billions in bail-outs from the tax payers. Aren’t people too big to fail? Forget about the big question of when our bail-out is coming. Just leave us in peace and let us pay to stay in our homes. No, won’t even do that… Well, don’t move-out!

This is the mad nightmare which people fighting the banks are dealing. People who work hard and are vital to their communities cannot even give money to the banks to live in their homes. The strange reality of this hit me like a ton of sheetrock when I, and other people, helped Jeremy reclaim his property that Wells Fargo’s lawyers were holding hostage for weeks after their second phony eviction. SAFE found Jeremy’s South Park home unsafe after Jeremy’s first phony eviction and we moved him back in.

Then the Seattle Police Department was brought in to evict Jeremy a second time. The cops’ idea is that there was a court order and the eviction had already been carried out (period). The Sheriff’s job is done. Jeremy’s home now belongs to some bank and the bank leaves the house to sit, rot, blight, and possibly be burned down by junkies (as is their right). What a great solution! We with SAFE just thought it would be nice if the bank would take Jeremy’s generous offers to pay to stay in his home, but nope—the bank’s solution for Jeremy’s household, his block, and neighborhood is better? I don’t think so.

Jeremy could always sue the banksters later for their fraud and theft of his home, but for now, he will have to reside somewhere else while his home falls apart and becomes an eyesore-haven for rodents and decay. How is this fair to South Park, Seattle, or any of the citizens in the country being displaced? We in this city alone lose about 250 households to the foreclosure grift every month. Imagine how big this would be in the news if 250 houses in Seattle burned down every month! It would be international news and everyone would be asking what sort of crazy people would allow 250 homes to burn down every month in our city.

Not all houses lost to foreclosure are left empty, but it is a safe estimate that there are over 3000 empty, bank-owned houses just sitting here in Seattle (many that might as well have burned down). There are now just a few hundred less homeless people sleeping in the streets of the city every night than there are vacant houses. We are doing a terrible job of allocating resources if houses were actually built for people to live in them.

What will happen to Jeremy’s home as it sits vacant and swallowed up by blackberry bushes, leaks, critters, and neglect? Jeremy’s neighbor said she would let SAFE post a large billboard in her front yard that states “If you buy this (Jeremy’s) land you’ve bought a protest”. Jeremy will continue to demand his home back. The bank offered him ten thousand dollars to walk away. He refused it. This is not about his house and money. This is about his home, the ten million households in the US already lost to foreclosure, and the next ten million homes that are to be taken by Wall Street’s financial terrorists. For Jeremy Griffin, this is about building a movement.
Moving Forward – Standing Beyond Eviction

The bank’s lawyers at the RCO/NTS – foreclosure mill in Bellevue are now paying for a wireless surveillance system to monitor Jeremy’s home at all times to prevent him from living in it. They further paid workers to barricade his home from the inside-out. They even stole a drill motor and some of his drill bits to do this. They used pieces of his bed frame to block doors and further sealed doors by sinking four-inch screws into the door frames. Who in their right mind would want to live here now? Jeremy, for one, still would – even though he’s pretty upset about all the damage the goons did to his house.

This financial system’s reign of terror would be over tomorrow if only a slightly larger portion of the population followed the lead of good people like Jeremy and others across the nation standing for justice and a sane future for us all. The simple truth is that we all do better when we all do better. Thanks, to brave people such as Jeremy, all the organizations of people working to build a more just world for all, and Nickelsville—the ecovillage of houseless people in Seattle suffering displacement tonight. We win when we fight back because we’re building a movement and beating the most powerful corporations on the planet. So don’t move-out – Join the Resistance!
Jeremy’s fight and others’ continues as SAFE grows and now demands the City government view our fights with the banks as civil land disputes. The SPD should not be involved and used to throw people out of their homes. Do they represent the people or the banks?

WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED

UPCOMING EVENTS –
Friday, Sept. 6
th Lobbying Training
– Nancy Amidei is offering training to anyone interested in learning how to lobby. Jeremy Griffin speaks very highly of her. The free training will at 6:30 PM at the SAFE House. Donations are accepted.
Sept. 11th – 2:00 PM City Council committee on housing second and fourth Wednesdays of the month.  Come and sign up for public comment. Bottomliner contact – Sonia.

Sept. 11th – 9am to 5pm.  In concert with SEASOL -  Phone and Email Blast on Cornell and Associates Property Manger Susana Manio. Tenants at the Sterling Manor just off Aurora Ave have been living in horrible conditions. Leaks are so bad ceilings have collapsed, bedbugs infect common spaces like laundry rooms, and a pervasive mold problem has lead to respiratory problems for tenants and their children. Despite repeated requests to make necessary repairs, management has ignored all efforts to get something done, responding to each request with “ok, thanks.” Last month tenants organized a committee to address some of their concerns, primarily the mold, and delivered a letter with 25 Seasol members at their offices in Eastlake.  Cornell and Associates quickly moved to retaliate against the tenants, and are now threatening two with beginning an eviction process.  This is illegal retaliation. Please see our website for further details.

Sept. 29th-  Sustainable Ballard -  People with SAFE will be tabling from 11 AM – 7 PM, so stop by and see us!  More info at – http://www.sustainableballard.org/festival/

THIS PAST WEEK –
Aug. 29th- Action- SAFE member Jeremy Griffin was given 4 hours to remove his possessions from 725 S. Henderson St  Seattle, WA 98108 – Protect and Serve? Hah! – see this week’s op-ed for the full story – ironically, even with the new high tech force fields in place, there is still nary a NO TRESPASSING sign….check out all the details below –
Aug. 30th- Action- Alton’s auction was postponed and SAFE did a demand delivery for his household at the downtown location of Chase bank. Eight people were present and met up at the WF downtown locale giving the ever present Wells Fargo Tower security guards a surprise. The troupe proceeded to Chase and read aloud with great passion the simple demands the greedy bankers refuse to hear.
Aug. 31st- Sonia has been threatened, the city of Renton will condemn her home if she doesn’t pay her water bill. A SAFE member was on hand to sign for the certified letter from Greg Zimmerman. Further actions are being planned.
Sept. 1st- Outreach– Nickelsville’s move was chaotic, it will be very expensive as they are now in three locations. Help and donations still very much needed. Scott Morrow is coordinating. His number is 206-450-9136.
Sept. 2nd Outreach– Labor Day Celebration – Olu and family, Kraig, Josh, and Lyn tabled the event. There were many heavy hitters present. “I talked with the Sheriff and organizers from the Labor Council and other organizations. Excellent outreach,” Josh reports. “Mike Andrews said he would schedule a time for SAFE to present it’s case to the County Labor Council.”
Sept. 3rd – Board Representation Election-  Olu Thomas – Approved, Unanimous; Sher Pedersen – Approved, Unanimous. Appoint Sher Pedersen as SAFE Treasurer and Primary Account Holder of SAFE’s Verity Credit Union account – Approved, Unanimous. Reaffirming Jeremy Griffin as Secondary Account Holder of SAFE’s Verity Credit Union account – Approved, 15 to 1.

Sept. 4th  Nick Licata Meeting –  He is a Seattle City Council Member very supportive of SAFE, he fought for Nicklesville, and he’s the Chair of the Housing, Human Services, Health, and Culture Committee. Kraig, Olu and Bruce attended.

 

OTHER UPCOMING & ONGOING ACTIONS –

Tuesdays, 7:00 – 8:30 PM: Weekly SAFE Meeting: Bethany UCC, 6230 Beacon Ave S (NE corner of Graham St).  All are welcome! This is where we bring new participants and have attorneys available from time to time. Find out what SAFE is about and what we are working on. Our objective is to inform and rally behind homeowners/bank tenants that are fighting the banks to stay in their homes. This is the first step to getting involved!

 

QUESTIONS & COMMENTS –
You can reach us at info@SAFEinSeattle.org or 206-203-2125.  Please visit our web site:  www.SAFEinSeattle.org .

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