75 community members turned back 30 sheriffs in their attempt to evict the Ceballos home today. Two home defenders were arrested in acts of civil disobedience.
Under orders from sheriff Richard Stanek, deputies kicked in the door without warning at 12:40pm this afternoon. One home defender was cut out of a barrel filled with concrete by deputies wielding a jackhammer and saw.
During the eviction attempt, community members drove sheriffs into the backyard, where they retreated after boarding up the property. The Ceballos family, friends, and neighbors removed the boards and returned into the home.
JPMorgan Chase Bank had told the Ceballos family that were considering them for a loan modification--but then filed for eviction at the same time. This process is known as dual tracking and is illegal under the national mortgage settlement. On Monday Chase asked for another loan modification application from the Ceballos family, which they accepted yesterday.
"Yesterday we went to Chase because they said they would help us," said Jonathan Ceballos. "Today the sheriffs show up at our house to evict. The question is, to the sheriffs and to Chase--who are you helping? They want to see another empty house but it's not going to happen, because we the people are here to support one another. We hope Mayor Rybak will not send police to attempt another eviction of my family while we continue to negotiate with the bank. We don't need any more arrests."
Jonathan and 11-year-old brother Jordan rally the crowd after thwarting the eviction attempt.
The Ceballos family lives in south Minneapolis' Eviction Free Zone, a community where neighbors have pledged to stand up against unjust evictions. Nine other residents in this neighborhood have vowed to fight their foreclosures--and two of them, Jaymie Kelly and Nafeesah Abdullah McReynolds-El, could be facing eviction as soon as next week.
Supporters are bracing for another eviction attempt in the coming days, this time by the Minneapolis police who last year arrested 39 people and spent over $40,000 attempting to force supporters out of the Cruz home after the initial eviction attempt by Richard Stanek's deputies.
"It really is a shame that one year later, the sheriffs are coming back and doing the banks' work instead of being on the side of the people," said David Cruz, who fought for his home last year. "But even though they're still coming for us, we're still here in great numbers. People are ready for what's next, whatever it is."
The community will hold an emergency eviction response rally on Thursday at noon at City Halldemanding that Mayor Rybak and Sheriff Stanek stop using public resources for evictions.