Thursday, February 17, 2011

After getting shafted, some are taking their homes back!

With the bailout, the Obama administration made one clear statement- we are on the side of the rich. In the classic struggle between rich and poor with systems reinforcing gender and racial oppression, the whole system seems corrupt. Corrupt, because the advisors are in bureaucracies that are so large they can hardly be understood, much less managed. The bailout marked the single largest transfer of wealth from public hands to private hands. "The rich get richer..."- Marx.

"Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world's wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.

The rest of them, all of them, got off. Not a single executive who ran the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom — an industrywide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities — has ever been convicted. Their names by now are familiar to even the most casual Middle American news consumer: companies like AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. Most of these firms were directly involved in elaborate fraud and theft. Lehman Brothers hid billions in loans from its investors. Bank of America lied about billions in bonuses. Goldman Sachs failed to tell clients how it put together the born-to-lose toxic mortgage deals it was selling. What's more, many of these companies had corporate chieftains whose actions cost investors billions — from AIG derivatives chief Joe Cassano, who assured investors they would not lose even "one dollar" just months before his unit imploded, to the $263 million in compensation that former Lehman chief Dick "The Gorilla" Fuld conveniently failed to disclose. Yet not one of them has faced time behind bars."-Rolling Stone

The schemes and financial rigging of 'lenders', authorized by banks, have cost families their homes. With skyrocketing bills on non-fixed mortgages. This crippling financial gamble caused knowing harm to those being lent to. Yet after major banks took federal funding, still thousands are being evicted from homes every day for inability to pay- to pay for the mistakes of the lenders.

Some people are taking action to place families in homes. Take back the land opens vacant homes to the families who have been evicted:
"The overarching objective of the Take Back the Land Movement correlate significantly with our principles:
-Fundamentally transform land relationships;
-Elevate housing to the level of a human right;
-Community control over land and housing;
-Empower impacted communities, particularly low income communities of color.

In order to achieve these movement objectives, we must design and implement a series of campaigns, whose objectives support those of the broader movement. Therefore, campaign action areas include:
-Foreclosure related evictions. In the context of the worse housing crisis in memory, evicting families and creating more vacant homes in communities is counterproductive.
-Foreclosed homes. These homes must be filled with families in need of housing.
-Vacant foreclosed and government owned buildings. At a time of such great need, these vacant structures shock the moral conscience. They must be used to housing people.
-Vacant foreclosed and government owned land. Now that “boom” times are over, vacant land must now be returned to the common good.
-Public housing. Public housing must be protected because we cannot afford to lose low-income housing.
-The right to return. Whether through gentrification, public housing demolition or the combination of natural disasters and government actions, those forced to leave their long-time communities must have the right to return."-an excerpt from the mission of Take Back the Land.

The Student Insurgent stands with the dislocated families in their right to shelter and a right of return after bank mortgages exploited them.

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