Newark protest slams predatory lending, home foreclosures
Newark, NJ – A protest against predatory lending took place here, Sept. 15, at the Broad Street branch of Wells Fargo Bank. It was the joint effort of the People’s Organization for Progress (POP) and the Coalition to Save Our Homes (C2SOH).
Demands included immediate mortgage reduction, an end to foreclosure by banks that do not own the mortgage, and a five-year moratorium on foreclosures. The overall demand was to end Wall Street’s lawless reign of financial terror and make banks obey the law.
Many speakers, including distressed homeowners, took turns on the bullhorn to denounce predatory lending. The Newark area is hard hit by the depression. There are many issues. Foreclosure and homelessness are epidemic. Community violence claims lives every few days. The public schools are being closed and privatized in the areas where black people live. Mayor Cory Booker, a ‘rising star’ of the Democratic Party, is trying to sell off and privatize the city water system against intense community resistance.
Many protesters spoke on the bullhorn. Housing is a human right! There should be no poverty at all in the United States. Everyone should have a nice place to live. No one should ever have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. The problem is that capital’s need for profit eats up every human need.The government must take action against predatory lenders.
Protesters mingled with passersby throughout the event. A couple of people took POP and C2SOH literature and passed it out. Several distressed homeowners were given self-help information and were told about C2SOH. People raised their hands in solidarity. It became clear that everybody hates Wall Street, homeowner or not.
A key demand that was voiced at the protest is that special prosecutors be appointed at federal and state levels to investigate civil and criminal wrongdoing by financial corporations. There has been vast financial misconduct, much of it criminal, as well as predatory lending. The economy is in depression. Financial chaos is everywhere. Yet no one has been investigated, no one has been prosecuted and no one has gone to jail for all the harm that has been done. Regulators do nothing, Congress does nothing.
It is time to appoint special prosecutors to get the job done. It is important to clear up what happened to those millions of ‘missing’ mortgage promissory notes. We do not believe the usual excuses about ‘slicing and dicing’ in financial trading. The banks are hiding something. Let prosecutors investigate and find out. Let the chips fall where they may. As protesters chanted, the banks are “Not too big to fail, not too big to jail.”