Saturday afternoon roughly 50 community members reclaimed Damion and Teanna’s formerly vacant home after weeks of intimidating policing tactics that resulted in a total of seven arrests within the Occupy community. As a result of the outrageous aggression by the Minneapolis police towards the homeless members occupying abandoned, bank-owned homes, the community has rallied to staunchly defend their human right to housing. The criminalization of homelessness needs to stop now. Police resources should not be used to support big banks at the expense of shelter for homeless families and a proper and lawful court process.
Damion's glad to be back in the house
Also in attendance were neighbors to the vacant home, who certainly appreciate the work that has been done to the vacant home. Zack, a neighbor two doors down is quoted as saying, “I want to thank all of you for the work you’ve done to bring Occupy into the neighborhoods. We are on stolen Dakota land and the banks have no business pretending it’s theirs. You have no idea how much this house needs good people to live in it. Welcome to the neighborhood.” The importance of having people in homes shines through Zack’s words, in strong support of keeping up abandoned homes for the good of the neighborhood. With support from our neighbors comes an even larger push that helps to gain community support for the work of Occupy Homes.
As shelters overflow and homelessness is at an all-time high in Minnesota, nationwide there are five vacant homes for every homeless person. Occupy Homes is pressuring the banks that own these homes to donate them to nonprofits for affordable housing.
Political and police repression against homelessness will not be tolerated. With each additional case of police repression, we will push back even harder to supply adequate housing to everyone. After all, housing is a human right. Damion spoke on the recent activities surrounding his home, “I’ve gotten arrested twice for this house and I’m willing to risk it again.” No matter what the push from police, we will stand along in solidarity to push for his human right. The power of the people will prevail!
No police resources for evictions!