Occupy MN: Protesters occupy veteran Bobby Hull's foreclosed home [VIDEO]
Demonstrators kick off the occupation of Bobby Hull's home.
While many fret about the waning momentum of the larger Occupy movement, Occupy Foreclosures seems to be picking up steam.
Occupy MN has been involved in an attempt to save three homeowners from eviction -- the latest is Marine veteran Bobby Hull. Yesterday afternoon, 100 demonstrators gathered on the front lawn of his Richfield home and declared their intention to halt Hull's February 17th eviction date. If they cannot, they will refuse to leave.
Hull was a self-employed mason who opened his two-story, four-bedroom home up to family members who were struggling with their own issues during the down economy. He lives with his nephew and his son; another nephew, his wife and their four kids; a daughter-in-law and Hull's granddaughter.
Bobby Hull and his family.
After some serious health issues -- everything from a reconstruction on his shoulder to a series of heart attacks -- Hull was unable to work and made his last payment on his mortgage a year ago. He applied for a mortgage modification under Obama's Home Affordable Modification Program, and was offered one by his lender, Bank of America. But between confusing paperwork and unmanageable payments, nothing worked. The home was sold at a sheriff's sale in August.
Members of Occupy Minneapolis announced back in late October that they were recruiting families going through foreclosure to participate in Occupy Foreclosure actions. They also began looking up foreclosed homes on real estate databases and knocking on the doors to find out if homeowners wanted to participate. That's how they found Hull.
"Next thing I knew she had a whole force of civilians out here that would have made the Marine Corps proud," he said yesterday afternoon as he helped make chili for the occupiers' first night in his home. "I'm a Marine. We love to fight."
Hull was also expecting more guests for dinner yesterday evening -- a camera crew from MSNBC. The occupation of his home was also featured prominently on the Huffington Post yesterday.
3712 Columbus Avenue South
As the media grows weary of the usual Occupy headlines, organizer Nick Espinosa says he hopes to drum up major support both locally and nationally for Occupy Foreclosures. Hull's home will become a meeting place once a week for discussions on a foreclosure moratorium. Occupiers will also be canvassing the neighborhood twice a week looking for supporters and -- potentially -- more houses to occupy.
"When homeowners see other people going through what they're going through and see them standing up, it gives them strength," says Espinosa. "I think that's been the most powerful thing about the work we've been doing."
The technique is already being tested in one of Occupy Foreclosure's other camps -- Monique White's home in North Minneapolis, where occupiers have been in-residence for a month. White was supposed to be evicted around Thanksgiving and so far, that hasn't happened.
"Every day we're there is a victory," says Espinosa. "One more day she and her family get to stay in their community."
Check out 3712 Columbus Avenue South and the Hull family below:
And here's the piece that aired last night on The Ed Show on MSNBC:
Occupy MN recruiting families going through foreclosure [VIDEO]
Occupy MN: Malcolm LeFever and Cheryl Downey ask Wells Fargo to not foreclose [UPDATE]
Occupy protesters settle into another foreclosed home despite arrests [PHOTOS] [UPDATE]
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