|Image from gbchrb.org
A disabled and bedridden schoolteacher in Murrieta, California, has joined the Occupy Our Homes movement and is vowing not to leave her home if evicted. She is hosting a one-night occupation of her home on Thursday, December 15, at 3:30pm and is asking the occupy movement to join her resistance to an eviction by the First Mortgage Corporation.
According to the OB Rag, Lesliane Bouchard has been approved for the federal government’s Hardest Hit State Fund, which is supposed to pay down enough of her principal balance to keep her in her home, but First Mortgage Corporation has refused to participate in the program. Ms. Bouchard is completely bedridden due to a spinal injury. As a result of her injury, she had to quit teaching last year, leading to a 40% drop in her income.
A change.org petition has already collected 3,000 signatures. She has also garnered the support of her synagogue and neighbors, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, OccupySanDiego, OccupyTemecula, OccupyOceanside and www.occcupyourhomes.org.
While certainly no solution to poverty or economic inequity, the Occupy Our Homes arm of the OWS movement has one of the more tangible, practical and winnable tactics of the larger movement. If enough people remain long enough, they can delay or even prevent a foreclosure and eviction and force the banks to negotiate terms acceptable to residents. This is clearly an easier task than getting stronger banking regulations or the prosecution of white collar crooks (let alone closing the wealth gap or ending corporate greed).
It is also a great organizing tactic as it brings neighbors and community members together to support each other on a single, concrete goal. This can be empowering and inspire participants to engage in other acts of solidarity. It is also an opportunity to discuss the broader context of the action and engage with people who might not consider themselves activists or otherwise participate in the movement.