Five protesters from a Chicago-based foreclosure fighting group -- including its spokeswoman, who is six months pregnant -- were arrested in the west suburb of Addison on Friday, after resisting the eviction of a single mother.
Luz Smedbron received a phone call early Friday from the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, which had heard of her case because a family member had been in touch. They said they wanted to fight her eviction, and they didn't care if they got arrested, according to the suburban Daily Herald.
And sure enough, when DuPage County Sheriff's officers showed up at the home around 10 a.m., the protesters attempted to block them from entering the four-bedroom home. They were arrested for obstruction of justice and criminal trespass, the Chicago Tribune reports, both of which are misdemeanors.
According to the Tribune, Smedbron, an American citizen born in Ecuador, lost her job when she injured her back. She told NBC Chicago that she had no choice but to try and stay in the home, where she lives with her three children.
"I'm desperately trying to see if I can save my house because this is the only place I have, and I have no family here inside this country aside from my children and I have no place to go," she said.
The Anti-Eviction Campaign says on its website that it "will continue struggling to stop all economically-motivated evictions" in the Chicago area and around the country. "We are calling for a national moratorium on economically-motivated evictions," the site reads. "In the mean time, we are instituting a people's moratorium on evictions by putting our bodies in front of sheriffs and putting our people back in their homes."
Five of those people were taken into custody from Luz Smedbron's house: Toussaint Losier, Jorge Ortiz, Chris Poulos, Rory Fanning, and Holly Krig, who is six months pregnant.
At least one observer was unsettled by how the eviction was carried out. “Even if she needed to leave the house, this could be done in a very much more humane way," onlooker Paula Eisenberg said, according to CBS.
DuPage Sheriff's officials say they were "hoping for a peaceful resolution with the protesters," but when they refused to leave the premises, officers had little choice but to place them under arrest.