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The Take Back the Land- Movement is a national network of organizations dedicated to elevating housing to the level of a human right and securing community control over land. The Movement must be led by impacted communities and is firmly rooted in 'Positive Action' campaigns, including those which break the immoral laws which allow banks to gain billions in profit while human beings are made homeless.



Take Back the Land is featured as one of the opening plenaries for the 2013 Left Forum. The Take Back the Land workshop is entitled: Social Movements and Transformative Organizing, to be held on Friday, June 7, 2013, at5:00pm in Room W613. All Left Forum workshops are held at Pace University, 1 Pace Plaza, New York, NY, Jun 7th to 9th.

In a major moment for radical social movements, at this Left Forum Panel, Take Back the Land will announce why it decided to sunset operations and end the organization.

After years of Liberating vacant government owned and foreclosed homes, waging Eviction Defenses and producing movement theory, the Take Back the Land- Movement is sunsetting operations.

So, what is the way forward for radical social movements? Should we be building institutions or temporary vanguard formations? How do we respond to the next big crisis? What is Transformative Organizing during this time of crisis?

You are invited to this important movement wide strategy session.

Left Forum Panel Page:

http://www.leftforum.org/content/social-movements-and-left-transformative-organizing

DOWNLOAD EVENT FLYER AS A PDF

 

 

An amazing film on the housing crisis and the related human rights crisis causing massive homelssness. Featuring David Harvey, the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, including J.R. Fleming and Martha Biggs, and Take Back the Land.

"Everyone wants to have a roof over their heads. So, when we take over foreclosed and abandoned properties, then we are creating public housing."

- J.R. Fleming of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign

 

Max Rameau of Take Back the Land, Cathy Albisa of the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative and Professor Robert Hockett of Cornell University discuss the US foreclosure crisis and the video featuring the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, including J.R. Fleming and Martha Biggs.

 

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“Where’s the house?” Trisha James asked, leaning forward eagerly. She couldn’t contain her urgency; living each day house-to-house in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods had taken its toll. The shelters. The overcrowding. The uncertainty of whether anyone would even open the door.

The friend’s small house where James was staying that day, during a record-breaking heat wave, had 10 adult occupants, a rotating cast of their children and no indoor plumbing.

Martha Biggs smiled at her friend knowingly. Both women had been evicted from Cabrini Green, the city’s now-demolished housing complex, and spent years as homeless mothers. She knew that James would like the house, a modest Bank of NY Mellon-owned home on the South Side that had yet to be completely stripped for parts and trashed by gangs. The team had already secured it.

Biggs and her right-hand man, John Newman, weren’t working for any social service agency. To get a house this way, you have to work for it — buy the locks, paint the walls, fix the broken steps, clean out the trash. Rally some teenagers to help you put up drywall, if necessary. You have to understand that this isn’t just about finding a place to live; it’s about fixing up the neighborhood, making jobs, changing the whole idea of housing. And then you have to pass the knowledge on: another house, another family.

In short, you have to join.

Occupy Our Homes Atlanta has put out a call to action in support of Steve Boudreaux:

Just last week, hundreds of calls were made to Wells Fargo demanding that the bank do everything in their power to keep Steve Boudreaux in his Marietta, Ga home--and they heard you! Steve received a call the very same day from Wells Fargo's "Office of Executive Escalation," and they assured Steve that they would put in a request to rescind the foreclosure on his home. Almost a week has gone by and Wells Fargo has stopped returning Steve's calls. This is unacceptable. A dispossessory warrant was served just a few days ago, so there is no time to lose. 

We need you to call Wells Fargo representative Adam Lawman TODAY at 1-800-853-8516 (ext. 45564) and Home Mortgage President Mike Heid at 515-213-6117 and ask "When will Edmond Steve Boudreaux's (Loan # 0006391834) foreclosure be rescinded? Wells Fargo said they would take action, but we have yet to see results. Please take action to keep Steve in his home." Please also sign the petition to keep Steve in his home here.

Please call now and report your results here.
In Solidarity,
Occupy Our Homes ATL

 

In this historic moment, as resistance to foreclosures and evictions grow, we must build a movement grounded in something more ambitious than winning individual homeowners reduction in their mortgage principal: we must struggle to elevate housing to the level of a human right and secure community control over land.

But what does a campaign for community control over land look like?

This video, by Walter Hergt, takes those campaigns from start to finish. Featuring M Adams from Take Back the Land- Madison, Max Rameau from Take Back the Land- Miami, Ryan Acuff from Take Back the Land- Rochester, J.R. Fleming from the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Liberate the South Side (Chicago) and others.

The Take Back the Land- Movement is leading the charge to call for banks- who were already paid for the houses using tax payer bailout funds- hand over vacant foreclosed homes to democratically controlled community land trusts in order to provide permanently affordable housing. This is our demand.

 

The struggle against foreclosure related eviction is growing, but the question remains: what are we really fighting for? The Take Back the Land- Movement asserts that we are not fighting for mortgage principal reduction, but rather for the human right to housing and community control over land.

Take Back the Land- Madison has liberated a vacant foreclosed home on the East side of Madison, WI to provide housing for civilians. Over the course of nine months, this foreclosed Bank of America duplex has been home for a total of 11 adults and seven children.

Because none of the families are the previous homeowner, they do not even qualify for mortgage principal reduction. So what should happen to this liberated home that is serving these families and this community?

In this video, residents and former residents of the home speak about being homeless. They explain why the duplex should be turned over to a democratically controlled community land trust so that it can be used as permanent affordable housing and help fullfill the human right to housing.

Before becoming a known figure in the Occupy Our Homes movement, Deborah Harris served as a Paramedic EMT for the Washington DC Fire Department. Years on the job has allowed her to save the lives of many people until one day she herself was injured. Due to the severity of the injury, Harris lost track of things; one of them being her mortgage. JP Morgan Chase, owner of the Harris home, jumped on the opportunity and handed over her home to Freddie Mac, a major auctioneer for foreclosed homes.

Today, three years later, Deborah Harris is facing eviction issued by Freddie Mac.  Since 2011 Harris, now an Organizer with Occupy Our Homes, along with her fellow supporters have been trying to fight the eviction by rallying on the steps of Freddie Mac and JP Morgan Chase.

Know how you can help? Pick up the phone and dial 703-903-2391 and help put an end to the unreasonable efforts of Freddie Mac.

Portland, Oregon--May 1, 2012-- Alice Paul holds the key to Alicia Jackson's home in Northeast Portland. Several grass roots groups made it possible for Jackson to occupy her home on Tuesday. A crowd of about 200 people chanting, “We got sold out. Banks got bailed out,” marched from a Northeast Portland park to “liberate” a foreclosed home Tuesday and return it to its last resident.

“Home is where the heart is,” declared Alicia Jackson, 45,  as members of the Portland Liberation Organizing Council produced a key to the brick-fronted home on the 500 block of Northeast Bryant Street. 

The action was part of series of rallies and other activities tied to May Day organized by Occupy Portland and related groups like the Portland Liberation Organizing Council.

“This is part of a take-back-the-land movement, dedicated to elevating housing to the level of a human right,” said Alice Paul, a spokeswoman for the council, speaking at a rally in Woodlawn Park before the march. “We are here to reclaim land stolen by the banks.”

 

Leonard Spears and Take Back the Land Rochester are calling on the community to protest Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac's move displace Leonard from his home at 26 Ries St., Rochester, NY 14611.

Despite 10-12 attempts at a mortgage modification, Wells Fargo refused to negotiate with Leonard and instead asked him to continually resubmit the same paperwork. In order to take his home as quickly as possible, Wells Fargo never served Leonard the Summons and Complaint for the foreclosure action, denying him proper recourse to defend his home in court. To add insult to injury, when Wells Fargo foreclosed on Mr. Spears, they sold his house to Freddie Mac for $500.  Now Freddie Mac is trying to evict Leonard and gave him 90 days to vacate on March 30, 2012. But Leonard is not going without a fight.

Leonard Spears is fighting to stay in his home, but not for a reduced mortgage principal, but rather to have the house donated to the Rochester Community Land Trust.

When Wells Fargo was in desperate financial trouble they received a massive bailout of over $36 billion which they used to buy up other banks in order to become much "Too Big to Fail."  Now Wells Fargo is trying to railroad more people out of their homes in order to turn a profit.

Leonard, on the other hand, wants permanently affordable housing for his community and wants to accomplish that through the community land trust.

Sign the petition to keep Leonard in his home and join the campaign to have the house donated to the community land trust.

It’s up to us to bring justice to our community.  It's time we came to together as a community to stop all foreclosures and to elevate housing to a human right.

 

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

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Max Rameau of the Take Back the Land- Movement on the Rachel Maddow show.

Max Rameau Arrested During Eviction Defense

From HuffingtonPost.com; author: Matt Sledge

MIAMI -- Two years ago the Ramos family moved into a small house in the Little Haiti neighborhood. They did so without a title, a lease, or permission from the property's owner... "For a time we were basically living in our car or at our friends' houses -- pretty much without a home," Mr. Ramos said.

Many would simply call it squatting. But Take Back the Land, the Miami-based group whose members helped the family move in, calls it a home "liberation."

"Here we have a chance to occupy and liberate: it's a one-two punch and that's what works," said Max Rameau...

The Ramos family would welcome any help it can get. At the mention of the Occupy movement, Mrs. Ramos beams. She doesn't ever want to leave her house, she said, "because as human beings we have the right to live dignified in a home."

Video with Take Back the Land- Rochester, Madison, Miami, Toledo, Max Rameau, Ryan Acuff, M Adams and others.