When homeowner Anita Reyes traveled 90 miles to native-owned Woodlands National Bank’s Headquarters in Onamia, MN on Thursday, she hoped to meet with someone to discuss her foreclosure. Instead, bank representatives called the police.
Anita was joined by supporters from the American Indian Movement and Occupy Homes MN. The caravan spanned four generations of activists, including Mary Jane Wilson-Medrano, one of the founding members of AIM. The group peacefully entered the bank and asked to speak with Vice President Cindy Koonce, who has been Anita's main point of contact. Although Koonce was in the building, she relayed via cashier that she would not meet with Reyes nor members of the American Indian Movement. When they asked if there was a better time or day, supporters were told to leave the property.
Anita Reyes has been battling Woodlands National Bank for over a year, and over the last few weeks has received support from her neighbors in the Longfellow Neighborhood, members of the American Indian Movement and Occupy Homes MN. The bank foreclosed on Anita when she fell three months behind on her mortgage because of illness.
Anita received an eviction notice in mid-June. In response, Occupy Homes MN organized a national call-in drive to the bank, and within hours, Anita got a call from the bank offering a deal to keep her in her home. The next day, the bank backed out, claiming that she had called four minutes after the deadline. Since then, she has been living in constant distress, waiting for sheriffs to appear and kick in her door.
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