Protesters Disrupt Foreclosure Auction with Song, Dozens are Arrested
On Thursday, police arrested approximately twenty singing activists (from Occupy Wall Street and other organizations, like Housing is a Human Right) for disrupting a foreclosure auction at the Brooklyn Supreme Court. An estimated 80 protesters packed the space and took up song, but reports suggest that the buyers may have proven themselves to be mower powerful than the protesters, as well as the law. Regardless, activists sang the following words to the men profiting off suffering, and, at the very least, instilled some fear in them that Thursday may not see any buying:
All the people here
Are asking you to stop all the sales right now
We’re going to survive, but we don’t know how
Watch them walk, cuffed and singing, out of the courthouse:
Interestingly, the Voice scoffed at the notion that the court is "public," saying the buyers had more power than police.
Once all the activists were arrested, the "public" courtroom re-opened, by the police would only let certain people inside. They would not let anyone who was singing back into the courtroom, even if they stopped; and they wouldn't let this reporter or any other member of the media inside for the first time. They only let people in who they believed had the money to buy a foreclosed property, which made for a very strange dynamic, considering it's a public hearing (and by law a foreclosure auction must be open to the public for anyone to make a bid, as one housing expert explained to us).
After explaining how police officers refused to recognize the reporters' press identification and demanded an NYPD press pass, which is only required where police lines are set up -- not in a pubic court -- the Voice said this:
Regardless, it was a public court session; any member of the public, or press, should be allowed in. But these cops' orders were clearly only to let in potential buyers of properties. These men (they appeared to be all men) were trying to get the auction going again and seemed quite fearful that it might get cancelled before they could make a purchase.
The court clearly belonged to these men.
Read more from the Voice here.