BOSTON: ‘Foreclose the war, not our homes!’

Activists from the Women’s Fightback Network, Fight Imperialism, Stand Together and the International Action Center rallied in front of the Countrywide Bank in Boston’s Lower Roxbury/South End on Sept. 20 to protest evictions and home foreclosures affecting thousands of people in Massachusetts.

Protest stopped at prison,<br>and women inside responded<br>by making “No war” sign<br>with socks.
Protest stopped at prison,
and women inside responded
by making “No war” sign
with socks.
WW photos: Liz Green

The protest was part of the Emergency Moratorium Campaign demanding that Gov. Deval Patrick use his executive powers to declare an economic state of emergency to halt all home foreclosures, evictions and utility shutoffs.

Shouting “Foreclose the war, not our homes,” the moving protest then marched up Massachusetts Avenue to South Bay Jail, which houses men and women serving sentences for mostly crimes of survival. The protesters stood on the street in front of the prison and confronted police and prison staff while directing chants of solidarity upward to the prisoners, who heard and saw them, banged on the windows of their cells and raised their fists in acknowledgment.

On the women’s side of the prison, women on several floors put “NO WAR” signs in their windows, using toilet paper and socks.

“We stand in solidarity with you,” said Miya Campbell, member of the WFN and FIST. “We will continue the fight on the streets because the Wall Street bankers are the ones who should be in prison and not you! Food, fuel and housing are a right. They can bail out the banks for a trillion dollars while they throw us on the streets!” Solidarity messages were also given by FIST member Jon Regis, WFN member Rachel Hassinger and Bishop Felipe Teixeira.

The moving rally continued down Massachusetts Avenue to the South Bay Shopping Plaza across the street from NSTAR, a utility that recently sent out 125,000 shutoff notices to Massachusetts consumers. At the same time they are endangering the poor with electricity shutoffs, NSTAR executives and board members are fattening their paychecks with multi-million-dollar salaries and stock options. According to an NSTAR income statement, stockholders have been awarded more than $900 million over the past year. All along the march, drivers eagerly accepted literature on the economic crisis and honked their horns in support.

Activists then brought the rally to shoppers at Stop & Shop, where, despite harassment from the cops, nearly 100 people signed a petition to declare an emergency and took copies to have others sign. (Copies can be downloaded from www.iacboston.org.) The protest was part of the campaign launched by the Ad Hoc National Network to Stop Moratoriums and Evictions (www.stopforeclosuresandevictions.org).

contact Boston FIST at Boston@FISTyouth.org

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