Where else should OWS occupy?

  • They should go home! (44%, 68 Votes)
  • The White House (42%, 64 Votes)
  • REOs (14%, 22 Votes)

Total Voters: 154

As winter rapidly closes in, participants in the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement have started looking for new digs. Rather than the icy and windswept public parks that were the home of the movement at its inception, OWSers now plan on occupying foreclosed homes.

By mid-December, the movement projects they will have occupied more than 30 homes nationwide that are either in danger of foreclosure or that have already been foreclosed on and now sit vacant. In addition to foreclosure squatting, representatives of the movement have also vowed to peaceably disrupt foreclosure auctions in order to forestall trustee’s sales and keep lenders from repossessing more homes.

first tuesday take: Occupying foreclosures may prove more difficult than occupying public forums such as Zuccotti Park. There is a rich history of code and case law on both a state and federal level that protects demonstrators occupying public space.

However, there is perhaps an even more imposing canon of property law that protects the owners of private property from trespassers. After the trustee’s sale, the bank usually owns the private property — and trust us, lenders know exactly how to have trespassers evicted quickly.

Although the Occupiers are taking on a significant challenge with this move, they are meeting Goliath at his front door and stand to make considerable headway on the new fair housing front if they are successful. It is a big “if,” but more power to them. Better than agents using them for a midday rendezvous. [For more information on Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and fair housing, see the November 2011 first tuesday article, A new age for fair housing.]

re: “Occupy movement’s next stop? Foreclosed homes.” from the Los Angeles Times