Catherine Lennon wins in Rochester: eviction is stopped!
Catherine Lennon- the woman Van Jones called 'the Rosa Parks of the foreclosure crisis'- won a reprieve from eviction due to a recent New York Supreme Court ruling. The ruling stays her eviction, which was set for Wednesday, August 17, 2011, and sets up a court date where Fannie Mae and Bank of America must prove they have the paperwork to evict her in the first place.
“Ripples become streams, streams become rivers. . . Thanks to TBTL and all who are uniting to create a sea change in this country, ZERO EVICTIONS, YES!!!!” said Mary Bricker-Jenkins, the USACAI convenor.
After her husband died of cancer, Catherine Lennon and her family had trouble making the mortgage payments and faced foreclosure and eviction. Thats when Take Back the Land- Rochester stepped in and organized an eviction defense with neighbors and affiliated organizations from around the country united to help. The eviction defense worked for two weeks, then Rochester police came with the SWAT team to evict Lennon and arrest seven people, including a 71 year old neighbor and Emily Good.
After weeks living in hotels and the couches of friends and family, Take Back the Land- Rochester moved Lennon back into the same home from which she was evicted. She has been there ever since.
Fannie Mae refiled eviction papers and won, leading to the recent eviction notice. Take Back the Land- Rochester, however, announced plans to defend Lennon again against the eviction and enlisted neighbors and organizations in the effort. They were ready for a showdown. But that battle never came as the Supreme Court overturned the eviction and ordered Fannie Mae/Bank of America to show cause.
This is a major victory for Catherine Lennon, Take Back the Land- Rochester and for the movement to achieve housing as a human right. The movement is growing and the victories are becoming clear.
Catherine Lennon is able to stay in her home for now, as she is scheduled to make her case in NY State Supreme Court on August 30th, 2011.
Take Back the Land Movement Leadership Committee thanks USACAI and IAI
To our family, friends and acquaintances,
We at Take Back the Land want to thank all of you for working with us to keep Catherine Lennon in her home. Facing a second eviction within the last six months, our leadership committee reached out to folks around the world for support. The response was overwhelming. So overwhelming in fact, Ms. Lennon received an eleventh hour stay of the eviction. We asked our friends and allies around the world to call US Senator’s, Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer to demand they intervene in the eviction of Ms. Lennon.
The USA Canada Alliance of Inhabitants a network of groups and organizations working to claim the universal right to land and housing in the USA and Canada as part of the global effort led by the International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI) was contacted by Take Back the Land on Monday. Mary Bricker-Jenkins well known educator and activist immediately went to work and contacted the Coordinator of (IAI), Cesare Ottolini. I received an immediate email from Cesare saying, “Rob we’re on it”. We also contacted the Campaign to Restore National Housing Rights (CRNHR) , the Right to the City Alliance (RTTC) and Organizing for Occupation (O4O), all allies, working towards the “human right to housing”.
The Take Back the Land Movement thanks all for their solidarity, the willingness to get involved and for sharing a similar set of goals and principles. We thank the Local Action Group, Take Back the Land Rochester for their tenacity, for believing that we can build power by working together and for taking the risk of being arrested and standing up for what is morally correct. To our comrades in the USA Canada Alliance of Inhabitants and the International Alliance of Inhabitants we are truly grateful for your support and stand side by side with our brothers and sisters both here in the US and around the world. As a show of solidarity you have my word that Take Back the Land Movement will lead by example during, World Zero-Evictions Days (Sep. 15 - Oct. 31 2011) with a series of actions around the US. Relationships build trust. Trust builds unity. Movements are built on unity, trust and a shared set of principles.
Power to the People,
Take Back the Movement –Co-founder
Take Back the Land Leadership Committee