Occupy Homes MN staging debt protest on one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Homes MN is planning a protest in commemoration of its parent movement's anniversary.
Occupy Homes MN is planning a protest in commemoration of its parent movement's anniversary.
Rebecca McDonald / B Fresh Photography

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One year ago today, Occupy Wall Street made its debut in Lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park. From there, the movement spread across the country and inspired offshoots like Minneapolis' Occupy Homes.

In at least six cases, Occupy Homes MN has used social media, petition drives, and direct outreach to successfully persuade banks to renegotiate mortgage agreements with foreclosed Minneapolis homeowners before they were evicted. At 5:30 p.m. this evening, in commemoration of its parent movement's one-year anniversary, Occupy Homes is staging a debt-relief protest at the Government Plaza in downtown Minneapolis.

A statement on the group's Facebook page makes it sound as though the emphasis on debt relief is a preview of what Occupy Homes will focus on during the movement's second year:


March to Demand Debt Relief for Students & Homeowners!

Bring statements for your student loan, mortgage, tuition, or credit card to participate in a symbolic burning of our unjust debts.

Last September 17th, as part of a wave of global protest, a small occupation of Wall Street began. In the face of big banks foreclosing on our homes, killing our jobs, buying up our democracy, and polluting our planet, a movement of the 99% was launched.

This year, actions are being called across the country against debt. We are drowning in loans, student debt, and fraudulent mortgages to maintain the profits of the 1%. Now homeowners are standing up, demanding a moratorium on foreclosures and across-the-board principal reduction to market value. Students are organizing, from Quebec to California, demanding cancellation of student debt and free quality education.

Join us S17. Stand and be counted. Let's occupy our future, together.

A July poll found that the national Occupy movement had lost most of its momentum, with 45 percent of respondents saying they do not identify with Occupy "at all," compared to just nine percent who said they "strongly" identified with the movement's ideals. Observers cite Occupy's lack of identifiable leaders and goals as reasons it has seemingly stalled.

But if anything, Occupy Homes MN seemed to pick up momentum as the year went along. As of last month, the group was waging active anti-eviction campaigns with five beleaguered homeowners and was in contact with about 50 more. With year one of Occupy now in the rear-view mirror, local activists now seem intent on broadening their struggle from housing debt to consumer debt more broadly.

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