Occupy Protesters Plan To Take Back S. Mpls Home

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Occupy Homes MN protesters are planning to reoccupy the south Minneapolis home that protesters and police having been tussling over this last week.

The reoccupation, which is planned for Wednesday night, comes after one man, whom Occupy protesters described as an “observer,” was arrested for trespassing Wednesday afternoon, according to a release from Occupy organizer Nick Espinosa.

Espinosa said numerous officers and a fire department responded to evict and board up the home on Wednesday afternoon.

As of 3 p.m., protesters say authorities were still at the home.

The home, which authorities had attempted to evict for nearly a week, is located on the 4000 block of Cedar Avenue South in Minneapolis. It was home to the Cruz family, but authorities were ordered by the court to evict the home of its residents on April 26.

Authorities first tried to perform an eviction on May 23 (last Wednesday), but they were met by large number of protesters: thus, they rescheduled the attempt. They tried again in the early hours of May 25, but protesters had tied themselves together (and to the home) by means of a “sleeping dragon” protest device. Police arrested five protesters that morning, but failed to take the home from Occupy Homes MN. On Tuesday, police arrested three more protesters for occupying the home.

As of the writing, the number of occupy-related arrests made in the last week is nine, according to information supplied by protesters and police.

Espinosa said Freddie Mac currently holds the Cruz family’s mortgage and requested the eviction. However, protesters have been in negotiations with the mortgage’s original holder, PNC Bank, which is based in Pittsburgh, trying to work about a deal to keep the Cruz family in the home.

Although they say police arrested one man Wednesday, protesters said Mayor R.T. Rybak and the city attorney put out a statement saying they were no longer responsible for carrying out Freddie Mac’s evictions, and that it was their responsibility to secure the property.

Protesters said the Cruz home went into foreclosure in 2011, when PNC didn’t accept an online mortgage payment. As punishment, the bank imposed a fine of two months payment. The family was unable to pay; thus the home went into foreclosure.

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