Author Archive

Foreclosure Working Group: May 17, 2012

Facilitator: Barbara
Notes: Christina
Present: Barbara, Paul, Mitch, Christina, Jane, Ricky, Kevin, Ed, Marnie, Mike, Nathan

Report on Charlotte May 9th

  • The protest was well coordinated with the police, there was one arrest, but that was to defuse a situation, and it was estimated that the police didn’t want to arrest anyone as they didn’t want to spend time in court. There were 100s of police and the streets were completely blocked off, there were helicopters and some of the stockholders could not get into the building from their own security. It was brought up that the overall impact was questionable outside of personal satisfaction, though it did get lots of positive national press.

Charlotte, May 10th

  • The seminar was extremely well organized with over 300 people in attendance, and was also interpreted in Spanish. Even children attended. Seminar about how renters were successfully tackling their problems. There was a woman telling her story about trying to save her deceased grandmother’s home and the steps that were taken such as inundating the bank’s phone lines with calls and sitting outside the bank. One group had outlined these steps, which Ricky will list and email to everyone. The concept of ‘stay in your home’ was made very clear. The community buying homes project so people can move back had many drawbacks such as not allowing anyone with a criminal record to live in the homes, and many other restrictions that made that that program less than ideal and/or questionable. Other communities were able to pass ordinances to impose large penalties on banks for foreclosure in order to keep up foreclosed properties. We learned there are 3 levels to a home defense and that a manual on home defense is being produced by City Life in Boston so that other occupies can avoid their mistakes.
  • Mike’s foreclosure auction was canceled, as the bank was finally made aware that he posted a bond for a judicial case. Six occupiers joined Mike at the Clerk of Court’s office and managed to chase off one buyer. The trustee agent was definitely nervous. Security came and shut down the video recording and the legalities of that are going to be looked into. Mike’s judicial appeal will be Oct 15, and no action against his home can be taken until after that time. Then he will have 10 days to vacate if he does not have a favorable judicial process, but either way, Mike maintains he is not leaving his home. It was suggested that these foreclosure sale proceedings could be a good choke point for further action and a field trip may be organized and other protests there will be contemplated.

Support Group

  • The pilot program has met with 3 families who have told their stories and every situation is vastly different. This may not be the venture to offer anyone solutions outside of support. This committee was designed to handle people when they contact us, but there is no intention to do outreach as there is not the people power for such action and each case is proving very time consuming. It was also noted that our real experience is limited.
  • Mike brought an FHA audit performed by the Office of Inspection General of HUD on Wells Fargo. The synopsis is that of the 22 random sample cases, 14 went to foreclosure and all 14 were robosigned. Wells Fargo hired employees with backgrounds of fast food and factory work and promoted them to Vice President without any training and told them to sign 100s of documents a day. The notaries did not check their work, were not even in the same room and many times notarized unendorsed documents. In many cases the notaris gave their seals to others to sign on their behalf. When one office tried to train themselves, the bank ordered them to stop and just do their signatures. Many were processing 600 signatures a day. The findings from this document were used in negotiating a settlement of 25 billion with the banks.

Fraud Detection

  • Nat has 2 people that are ready to do it themselves. Barbara, Paul, Christina and Chang are going to start with Lynn on the 31st of May. The Google calendar are just for the organizers, though they may consider expanding it to the other fraud detectives.

Meeting adjourned

General Assembly: May 13, 2012

Baby Meeting Notes: GA 05.13.12, 04:10

This Sunday’s meeting came about organically with five persons sitting with Al sharing info about the BoA protest. Al began, then Barbara Council and Barbara Carrano shared their experiences, as others arrived and entered the conversation.

Next, B. Carrano reported back re: the Foreclosure Seminars held May 10th the day after the protest. More people showed up, one was Kevin who elaborated on some of the issues reported by B. Carrano.

Jane reported there was no Foreclosure Working Group meeting last week due to the BoA event. However, Jane was happy to report Mitch and she successfully engaged foreclosure victims, stating the response from them was one of comfort and appreciation for taking the time to talk with them about their plight.

Bobbie announced she needed help finding a home for two dogs she rescued. Ken came to her rescue through his friend that finds homes for rescued dogs. Problem solved. Twinkle fingers all around.

Jane initiated an open discussion about Amendment One, as more people arrived. B. Carrano suggested a possible recall due to numerous reports across the state of persons unable to vote against the amendment, because it did not appear on their ballot. Paul informed Democracy NC is investigation the issue. Ed suggested a recall would be unlikely due to the wide margin by which the amendment was passed.

Along the same line, Al reported a New York Times article stated the number of repressive bills aimed at women’s rights had risen from around 20 in 2010 to 80 in 2011. Mark related his belief that most of the repressive bills we see being passed, on the state level across the country, originate in ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). Ed quipped, the “American Legislative Evil Council”. Paul offered a tactical remedy to ALEC and the repressive legislation we are experiencing.

The plan, already underway across the country, is to lobby state and municipal representatives to pass resolutions overturning Citizens United. When enough states pass the resolution, Congress will be forced to amend the US Constitution. The amendment will shut off the corporate money feeding ALEC and free our politics from corporate control.

Paul also offered to transport 4 more volunteers to March in Raleigh on May 23 and to lobby our legislators for support of the “NC Voters for Clean Elections” resolution. Their resolution to overturn Citizens United will be formally introduced to the NC General Assembly later that same morning.

Most colorful dialogue developed in the group when Paul suggested it would be akin to cutting off the “beast’s head” in stead of fighting it at each tentacle, as we are now doing with Amendment One, BoA, Energy, Environment, Justice, Poverty, etc.

About here, a more formal GA arose and grew out of need. Paul began taking stack. B. Carrano began taking notes, and Marikay began keeping time. After more comments and questions, Marikay called break.

After break Paul was drafted as facilitator, primarily due to his failure to appear and co-facilitate at the last Sunday GA as promised. B. Carrano took stack and kept notes.

Al announced Noam Chomsky will be speaking at UNCG on June 2nd. Also, that for the first time, Al would be allowed to sell his books at an event like this. Heretofore, Barnes & Noble held exclusive book sale rights/opportunity. Again, Twinkle Fingers!

Marikay announced Joanna Macy will speak on “Respected Voices” at 7PM on May 23rd at Holy Trinity Church in the Haywood Duke Room. This engagement will be preceded by a wine and cheese reception at 6PM in the Sacred Garden Bookstore.

Announcements concluded and we moved onto Discussion.

Ken opened with Buddhist methods of detachment as a means of coping with the inherent frustration of advocacy work. Ed, Al and Marikay gave support to the theory. Barbara Council shared her thoughts and emotions on the issue, as did Andy, Kevin, Nebo and others.

Marikay called for Reflection, and the GA was ended thereafter.

Foreclosure Working Group: April 26, 2012

11 in attendance
Nat facilitating
Todd note taker




  • MFD training was a great success. Never got to small groups but we went through one entire file. Trainees were very engaged and thorough. Approx 20 in attendance. Marnie has draft of codebook available. Senior detectives will review it- this will be used when we meet one on one in
  • Bank of America Shareholder Protest Wed May 9th . FREE Bus to Charlotte on leaving 6:30 am May 9th and likely returning mid-afternoon. Invite folks to ride!
  • May 10th, Hands Off Our Homes in Charlotte organized by Right to the City Alliance. We will be presenting about the movie event and the Mortgage Fraud Detection. We need to take DVDs with us of the movie- Barbara will talk to Kevin about getting DVDs. Todd has room in his car to take folks on May 10th. Will leave at 7 am and return around 6 pm.

Discussion Topics

  • Agreement to make a decision about if we will have a change of meeting space. As we grow bigger, it is getting harder and harder to hear everyone attending.
  • Big picture discussion as to vision, strategy and tactics.

•   whether maybe we might form a committee to focus on outreach to folks in foreclosure
•    housing as a human right, home ownership as freedom
•    how to deal with day to day calls; folks that want to join in what we are doing
•    not a question of either/or- it is both/and
•    emotional support of folks in foreclosure
•    how to deal with legal issues for folks in foreclosure
•    need a proposal for direction of what a “support for folks in foreclosure” committee will look like- Mike,Laurie, Rick, Jane and Mitch will help bottom-line this group. this sub-committee will meet in the coming week and come up with a proposal for guideline/ focus of this group.
•    need to be careful about giving advice that we are not qualified to give
•    legal info, court cases and other foreclosure related public info that could be helpful should be submitted to Dave Reed to be posted on the website. We need to be clear that this is not legal advice, but that this info could be very helpful. Email at
•    possible every 2-3 months folks in foreclosure committee could help us think about organizing a public action around HAMP and other issues impacting the public right now

General Assembly: April 29th, 2012

Facilitator: Emiley J
Stack: Nathan P
Notes: Julie D

Rules and Hand Signals

Report Backs

  • Energy Working Group (Julie D) met with Connie Leeper of NC Warn on 4/25/12 about information surrounding the Annual Rate Hike Bill.  We are considering partnering with her/them. The Creative Writing Group will meet on May 9th at Sessions from 7pm to 9pm to continue developing a radio play based on the Annual Rate Hike Bill.  Energy Work Group Meetings are currently being held at Glenwood Coffee and Books on Sundays from 2 to 3:30.
  • May Day (John) event being held at Governmental Plaza at 5 pm.  Lots of speakers, FLOC and Immigrants Rights and Labor will be having a play.
  • Resolution Working Group – 7 – 10 people met about overturning Citizens United.  MariKay A. and Nancy H. supporters – sending letters out for resolution.   Brian reported that the Amendment One rally had lots of food and speakers on 4/28 with about 500 to 700 people.  Overall raised awareness for May 8th.
  • Food (Julia):  Bring food, plates, cups, metal forks, table cloths.  Saul @ Guilford College checking on a water spigot donation.  Valerie W. brought a box of metal utensils for Bookstore usage but can use for other events.
  • Foreclosure Working Group (Jane): Todd is continuing meetings about fraud detection and training is moving ahead for statistically correct sampling.  Need /attempt to support people in foreclosure to get involved.  Email Jane for meeting at her house to talk with people going through foreclosure – may involve just a phone call.  Planning a meeting on 5/1 to volunteer to help others.  Purpose of separate committee is opportunity to focus on: data collection and neglecting outreach in community for those who are in foreclosure. May contact Julianne Knight or Julia.
  • Boys Group (Al): Working group in process to assist in women issues, i.e. reproductive health issues.  GA consent for Kristine from Planned Parenthood to be invited here are May 9th.
  • Jane – Bus for BOA to Charlotte on May 9th – FREE BUSRIDE–  There is information on the NC Coalition Against Corporate Power website.  Plenty of room still on the bus.


  •  John – Amendment One, phone banking, College Park, need significant media attention.  Also, 2nd Class Readers Theatre on 4/30 at the IRC at 7:30, on 5/1 Temple Emanuel 7:30, on 5/3 at The Elm St. Center at 7:30…further dates can be found at  This connects to Amendment 1 voting, drawing folks in to understand the issue.
  •  Valerie – Phone banking every night this week from 5 to 9 pm until Vote on May 8th.  Contact Val if interested in volunteering.
  •  John – One guerilla performance for News Media for John Edwards trial.


  • Julia – Nature of proposal is to have Tuesday’s GA at Governmental Plaza after May Day Event.  PASSED
  • Valerie – Energy Working Group to have one hour of GA time for presentation/NC Warn Guest: Connie Leeper on May 13th.  PASSED


  • Julia – Discussing idea of outdoor space for future GA’s being outside now that the weather is nicer and to be more visible in community.
  •  Trixie – DNC – Idea for OGSO to assist other Occupy groups coming here who may need help with housing and/or busing, in an effort to take some responsibility for other groups.
  • Ed – Pass the peoples bank – and we did.


Tuesday, 5/1

  • General Assembly will be held at Governmental Plaza after May Day Event (around 6:30)
  • Facilitator – Tentatively, Valerie W (co-facilitate)
  • Notes – Julia
  • Stack –  to be determined

Sunday, 5/6

  • Co-facilators: John K and Paul
  • Notes – to be determined
  • Stack – Barbara


May Day in Greensboro!

May Day 2012

May Day 2012

Come to the May Day rally in downtown Greensboro, today at 5pm.  There will be a play about May Day history, a potluck, a march, and a rally with speakers about the issues that connect all of us.  Our General Assembly this evening will be held in Governmental Plaza, following the rally.

What: May Day in Greensboro: An Injury to One is an Injury to All (March/Rally/Potluck)

When: Tuesday, May 1st, 5pm

Where: Governmental Plaza in Downtown Greensboro, West February 1 Place

Sponsoring Organizations include:  Farm Labor Organizing Committee, International Socialist Organization, NC Defend Education Coalition, Occupy Greensboro

Details: We are currently on the defensive; from attacks on workers’ rights, to the criminalization of people of color, to the persecution of undocumented immigrants, to draconian proposals such as Amendment One. They originate as part of the same system that seeks to divide and conquer, to oppress, disenfranchise, and abuse the working class. We say enough is enough, we need to unite our various movements and work together, in solidarity, to create a new, a better world.

  • Good jobs for ALL. // Buenos trabajos para TODOS.
  • Amnistia por TODOS inmigrantes. // Amnesty for ALL immigrants.
  • JUSTICE for Trayvon. // Justicia para Trayvon.
  • Educacion es un derecho. // Education is a RIGHT.
  • VOTE AGAINST Amendment 1. // Voten contra Enmienda Uno.
  • Terminen la guerra contra las mujeres. // END the war on women.

Una injusticia contra uno es una injusticia contr todos! Actualmente estamos a la defensiva, de los ataques a los derechos de los trabajadores, a la criminalización de las personas de color, a la persecución de los inmigrantes indocumentados, a las propuestas draconianas como la Enmienda Uno. Todos estos se originan en el marco del mismo sistema que busca dividir y conquistar, oprimir, marginalisar, y abusar de la clase obrera. Es tiempo que digamos que ya basta, tenemos que unir nuestros diversos movimientos y trabajar juntos, en solidaridad, para crear un mundo nueve, un mundo mejor.

Ven Habla, escucha, marcha, baila, come y celebra la solidaridad entre todos los pueblos!!

Come talk, listen, march, dance, eat, and celebrate the solidarity among all!

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