Tuesday, December 06, 2011


There can be no question that the occupation — the collective seizure and reclamation — of foreclosed properties is one of, if not the, single most important action happening now. I say this with absolute certainty. The turn from occupying "public" spaces to the seizure of "private" bank-owned properties marks a tidal shift in this moment of occupation and, regardless of whether this change in strategy was motivated by the mass eviction of activists from public spaces or increasingly cold weather, it radically alters the shape of the moment, extending it well beyond the widespread misrecognition that what occupy activists pursuing economic justice most desire is merely to be recognized, assuaged and thrown a bone. For my own part, I'm awed and humbled by these actions, honored to bear witness, and hope only that these actions can be sustained.

I'm not sure how to even begin the search for information that might offer a sense of how many foreclosed homes were occupied today, or how these seizures were responded to by authorities, but today's actions bring to mind the recently leaked photos of the 2010 "Homeless Halloween" party hosted by Steven J. Baum P.C., a New York based foreclosure firm. Held at an office decorated to resemble a tent city, 89 employees attended the party costumed as homeless evictees. 

Not surprisingly the New York Times failed to adequately address today's occupation of foreclosed properties in East New York and other locations across the US. But The Guardian, an ocean away, did.