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Occupy LA protest targets Bank of America foreclosures

Jason Redmond / AP

Activist Mario Jefferson, 31, right, leads a chant as Good Jobs LA and Occupy LA activists disrupt a home auction outside the county courthouse in Norwalk, Calif., Friday.

Dozens of Occupy Los Angeles protesters -- who lost their encampment to eviction and many of their comrades to arrest this week -- rallied Friday morning at a courthouse where some 7,000 properties are being auctioned after foreclosure by Bank of America.

The protesters are chanting and carrying signs outside the Norwalk Courthouse reading,"Banks got bailed out, we got sold out," "Keep people in their homes," and "Stop Foreclosures!" Organizers who were monitoring the sales online announced each property sale as it happened via megaphone.

"Protesters are calling for a moratorium on foreclosures and for Bank of America and other Wall Street banks to end the practices that crashed the economy and continue to hurt LA communities," says a release by Good Jobs LA, a nonprofit coalition of labor, housing and immigrant rights groups that is supporting Occupy LA. 


There was no obvious police presence -- only what appeared to be ordinary courthouse security, according to Jacob Hay, a Good Jobs LA spokesman who was there. In a bit of street theater, protesters held a mock auction of a tent from the dismantled occupy encampment.

"This is an example of the type of smaller but quick-hitting actions that the Occupy Movement will be transitioning to now that they don’t have the permanent camp at City Hall," said Hay, speaking by cell phone from the courthouse. "So it’s going to be a lot of these quick things.

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"On Monday, City Council will be considering a responsible banks ordinance, so people will be rallying there in front of City Council," he said. "And there will be more events like that to come."

Los Angeles is considering a Responsible Banking Ordinance which would attempt to compel the government to do business with banks that are rated "socially responsible," which the activists support. Similar proposals are being weighed in other cities.

Across the country, Occupy activists are resetting their strategy after many encampments have been forced to shut down.

In Wednesday night's massive police action to clear the protesters' encampment at the park in front of City Hall, more than 290 people were arrested. The Los Angeles Times on Friday posted a full list of those who were taken into custody, with bail set at $5,000 for most.

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