A string of recent victories has emboldened activists working against foreclosures and evictions to step up their efforts both in Detroit and around the country.
Attorney Jerry Goldberg, who belongs to Detroit's Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, works actively with Occupy Detroit and other local organizations to fight the displacement of Michigan families from their homes. He noted pushback to evictions and foreclosures nationwide.
"In almost every city people are fighting and challenging foreclosures in light of the Occupy movement," Goldberg said. "Now is the perfect time to ... take the movement that uses direct action to stop individual foreclosures and to escalate it into a political struggle to end all foreclosures."
Moratorium NOW! is sponsoring a gathering for anti-eviction activists in Detroit Saturday. They will meet to share their experiences and set the groundwork for a national campaign to enact a two-year moratorium on foreclosures.
Activists are also planning to hold a tribunal for Bank Of America during the September Democratic National Convention, held in Charlotte, N.C., home of the bank's international headquarters.
Goldberg believes President Obama has the ability to institute a moratorium on foreclosures through an executive order, because the federal government controls mortgage loans through its stake in mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Obama proposed a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures during his presidential campaign in 2008.
The Detroit conference will also include the groups Take Back the Land, the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Oregon’s Project REconomy, the Bail out the People Movement, North Carolina FIST and Occupy activists from several cities.
After the event, attendees will head down for an evening of cultural events at 1515 Broadway, a local cafe and theater that was recently saved from foreclosure through the work of local activists.
The conference takes place Saturday, March 31 from 10 to 6 p.m. at the Central United Methodist Church (2nd Floor) at 23 E. Adams St. at Woodward Ave. For more information see nationalmoratorium.org.