On January 26, a group of activists with Organizing for Occupation (O4O), Housing is a Human Right and Occupy Wall Street interrupted another foreclosure action in Brooklyn with their singing. (Frida Berrigan reported on the first of these actions back in October.) As you can see from the above video, after selling only one house out of four, the auction was aborted and 39 people were arrested.
In an email interview with Karen Gargamelli, an attorney with Common Law who is involved with O4O, she explains why they have chosen this melodic tactic:
We sing because it is non-violent and because it is beautiful. We hope to confound the systems that evict New Yorkers (the courts) and the elected officials that refuse to regulate the big banks with loveliness.
With this easy-to-learn song, O4O hopes these blockades will spread across the country, and effect what Gargamelli called “a people’s moratorium” that would create “real negotiating power between homeowners and lenders.” The next singing auction blockade is planned for February 17th in Queens.
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Nearly 40 years after the founding of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, it’s time to honor this vital part of the peace, women’s and queer movements.