A recap of our day of action at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac HQ in Washington, D.C. with allies from around the country.
On Thursday we began the day by shutting down Wisconsin Avenue in front of Fannie Mae HQ. It was inspiring to join folks from around the nation in this fearless protest. Homeowners, renters and homeless folks all joined in. Demands ranged from firing Ed DeMarco to principal reduction, to allowing vacant properties to be used as affordable rentals, to turning over vacants to community land trusts. Interesting side note: Sidwell Friends is a private school attended by the Obama girls. It's also directly across the street from Fannie Mae HQ. Some 4th graders peering through the fence were impressed enough by the action that they offered to join us. "...but we're kind of in the middle of PE." Most importantly, 5 brave fighters were arrested in acts of civil disobedience. All were released by the end of the day. Long live our 5 brave Freedom Fighters who laid their bodies on the line and led the way!
After we left the Fannie Mae roadblock we headed for Freddie Mac HQ in northern Virginia. 20+ police officers and private security were waiting for us. We requested a simple meeting with a Freddie Mac staffer to review the complaints of our homeowners from around the country. When that didn't happen a 1 hour picket followed at their barricaded entrance.
We then went as a group to the nearby home of Ed DeMarco. He knew we were coming and, of course, was not home. What he did do is ask that 15 public police officers surround his property, at taxpayer expense. Homeowners from around the nation had the chance to confront power directly. Bobby and John gave fiery speeches and fired up the crowd. 2 hours into the rally and as the day turned to evening we all agreed that 1) we weren't ready to leave and 2) folks needed to eat (especially the young children that were with us). So we decided to order pizza. Literally at that moment, Jerome Jackson from Detroit called to check in. He couldn't make the trip because of recent health issues, no doubt worsened by his foreclosure at the hands of PNC/Fannie Mae. As a gesture of solidarity he offered to buy 40 pizzas for the group. We decided to celebrate Jerome's generosity by having a pizza party on Mr. DeMarco's front yard while acknowledging the struggle of all those who couldn't make the trip. We left after cleaning every scrap of paper from the yard. Unlike FHFA, we know how to clean up after ourselves once the party has ended.
Shout out to Becky (communications), David (logistics), Matthew (Livestream), and all of us for making this trip happen. Onward.