Foreclosure Crisis Spawns New Wave of Civil Disobedience

It started in the unlikeliest of places: the sheriff’s office. First in Cook County, Illinois where Sheriff Thomas Dart requested an attorney review all eviction orders to protect tenants who had continued to pay rent in buildings seized by banks. It moved to Butler County, Ohio where Sheriff Richard Jones ordered deputies to refrain from evicting people with no place left to go. Next, Wayne County, Michigan. Sheriff Warren Evans suspended all evictions beginning February 2, until the federal government implements a plan to help homeowners facing foreclosure.

A new wave of civil disobedience has emerged in the wake of the foreclosure crisis as law enforcement and community organizers search for justice for communities abandoned in the wake of billion dollar bailouts. Community organizers Acorn recently announced its Home Defenders campaign, one of many grass-roots responses to what many see as a racially and economically biased response to our financial collapse. The Home Defenders campaign aims to train volunteers first in communities hit hardest by foreclosures such as Oakland, California and Houston, Texas to keep homeowners in their homes.

At its essence Home Defenders is a squatting campaign. Tactics will include forming human walls on sidewalks in front of targeted properties, to attaching people to property and quite simply refusing to leave the premises. Networks alert homeowners when a foreclosure action is scheduled or when deputies are on their way. Volunteers face arrest, but that is little compared to homelessness. While law enforcement officers have not specifically endorsed the campaign, they have publicly stated their sympathy for the cause.

It’s a campaign that has found growing support inside Washington. From the House floor, Representative Marcy Kaptur instructed her constituents facing eviction to stay put. Disgusted with the inability of financial institutions to account for the billions of dollars of bailout funds received so far, Representative Kaptur argued that if Wall Street did not have to account for its debts, then neither did Main Street.

What is emerging from these early efforts at resisting ongoing foreclosure is a discussion of the racial impact the crisis has on our communities. In as far back as 1999, the much-maligned Acorn warned of predatory lending practices targeted at African-American, Latino, and low-income communities that are now the object of Congressional derision. Despite the fact that many of these borrowers qualified for prime loans, lenders targeted them for more risky (and hence more profitable to lenders) subprime loans. In 2002 the group issued a report detailing the reach of these subprime-lending practices and warned of the ghettoization of communities should the housing market drop.

These unequal lending practices have the effect of concentrating poverty in already segregated neighborhoods, and thus exacerbating the foreclosure cycle. For homeowners struggling to hold onto their homes in these neighborhoods they face plummeting real estate values due to blocks of vacant properties. Drug dealers and prostitutes reclaim streets once thriving with home ownership. In the face of this reality those lenders that engineered this crisis walked away with billions of taxpayer dollars only to refuse to work with troubled homeowners. Law enforcement, homeowners, and community organizers have started to send a clear but simple message. Enough is enough.

It appears as though Congress is starting to hear, as President Obama gets set to announce new initiatives aimed at breaching the foreclosure crisis by working with troubled homeowners. But ask these law enforcement members, Acorn volunteers or homeowners, and this is not simply about saving troubled homeowners. It is about rescuing entire communities preyed upon by Wall Street. It’s about the deeper conversation of racial segregation in this country and the means in which it survives. For now though, resistance is the goal and civil disobedience the means. As with every great civil rights movement, this one started on the streets, the churches, and in neighborhoods across the country. We see an emerging, unified response and call to action. Let’s hope those in Washington are really listening.


Dwight B.
Past Member 7 years ago


You are welcome to add, delete etc. and use this boiler plate petition and plea ---- that you can copy then paste in word ---- remove my signature add you own then send it along to PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA at

Dwight B.
Past Member 7 years ago

February 22, 2009
To the Honorable President Barack Obama
Of the Untied States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

OPEN LETTER --- To whom it might concern

Mr. President,

Thanks for all the good work you are doing, and in keeping with your status as our President. We have prayed that you would not back down or cower to anyone not your equal and that is simply not many.

Many of WE THE PEOPLE who are proud to be Americans that have NOT an inane view of political science, equity in justice and with that solicitous vanguards view we do have the strong and strident will in words and deeds to overcome all the many things, people and matters facing our sovereignty today as a free society.

Thus this petition is just one of the ways that our work towards more equity in our communed held wealth as a nation of people must be upheld by you and made steadfast in the long road ahead to help keep our nation purged from those who have proved to be unethical in financial matters and have at this time bankrupt the entire world for their need for greed. Thus please refer these gross injustices to the JUSTICE Dept for quick and sure prosecution references article

Dwight Baker
Co-founder Bondservants of Christ Jesus Ministries
Chairman for Grass Roots Actions WE THE PEOPLES LOBBY WTPL
Contact E-mail

suzanne o.
suzanne o.7 years ago

what do you think will happen , if this is how things are - when you open all america's mountains & secret pure natural habitat - for the commercial tourism ? how can your police control matters then , if one syndicate & another takes over the whole sky & air & mountains ?
are you really ready & prepared to deal with this , & prevent these mishaps ?

suzanne o.
suzanne o.7 years ago

this is totally outrageous , that it has been allowed to occur unstopped ; this means the system is utterly corrupt & no right to exist ; how these police & govts & so on are prepared to allow this , reflects a lack of own morality .
& - as you can imagine , in cape town & south africa the same but much worse thing is occurring with the new xenophobics from zaire & other neighbouring countries - these criminals posing as refufees fleeing from their war zones are not safe types, & our police are now on their side to harm civilians & locals . in other words - they have taken over in every way , & we have no channel to even talk to , because already our minds & privacy are raped .
cape town

Heather R.
Past Member 7 years ago

I think it's appropriate and fair that Main Street starts fighting back. It's about time that people realize that the unscrupulous preyed upon the sometimes unwise and unwary to bad intent, working to increase their own wealth at the expense of others and not performing their legal, ethical, civic and moral duty to treat all the same and to afford them the same consideration and duty for ethical behavior.

Dwight B.
Past Member 7 years ago

Those mentioned in this article as doers for us in America at this time --- stand in the gap and make up the hedge of protection for ALL. So again in communed prayers lift them up in pleas and petitions to JESUS CHIRST HIGH COURTS of HONOR and pray for them ---- that JESUS will send unto them divine interventions to help them continue to be our righteous solicitous vanguards. They need all the help they can get doing the duties owed to us and leading the way for equity in justice. And continue to LOVE GOD FIRST AND FOREMOST and your NEIGBOR as your self.

Dwight B.
Past Member 7 years ago


Prior to the era of the time of JESUS CHRIST, folks were abused misused, raped, pillage and many times killed when they individually refused to do as the tyrants or their barons made vile and evil causes to happen.

History from the time of JESUS CHRIST till now clearly proves that what HE said got through to the average man. In a simplistic way JESUS SAID two things one must do --- LOVE GOD FIRST and FORMOST and LOVE YOUR NEIGBOR. Also HE said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In saying that JESUS set the stage for sane, sanguine, societies of communed folks to RULE THEMSELVES. Meaning that JESUS CHRIST knew far more than any other about political science and still does to this day.

HE left but HE left HIS messages and spirit for all mankind to emulate and follow. But the one thing most lacking today is the believers to congregate in communed agreed pleas, petitions and prayers and take those to HIM in HIS solemn courts of HONOR in HEAVEN and lay out their plans for HIM to direct divine intervention to assist them if HE WILLS.

Many want to run away from their homes, civil duties to obey the law, rules, regulations, and service owed to one another at this time of Americas Crisis. Yet those that do as was told unto them to do and stay fixed on what is right and shun all the wrongs will come out on top for civility is GODS plan for man and has been since the creation of ADAM