Miranda Leitsinger msnbc.com
Christmas lights illuminate the family's home as night falls in eastern Brooklyn
As night fell on the previously vacant home on Brooklyn's Vermont Street that was the target of a “liberation” by housing activists and Occupy Wall Street protesters earlier in the day, an illuminated Christmas tree stood in what is, at least for now, the small front yard of the Glasgow-Carrasquillo family's home.
It remains unclear whether authorities or the Bank of America, which owns the mortgage on the two-story brick house, intend to roust the longtime homeless family – Alfredo Carrasquillo, 27, Natasha Glasgow, 30, and children Alfredo, Jr., 5, and Tanisha, 9 – from their new abode. There were police parked on both ends of the block and a van in front of the family’s home, said Sean Barry of VOCAL-NY. Bank of America did not respond to an email seeking comment.
As the Carrasquillo-Glasgows got accustomed to their new surroundings, a group of the people responsible for putting a roof over their heads stood outside, discussing logistics and munching on food being distributed from a table on the sidewalk.
"What we're doing today … should encourage more and more people to ... fight for what their right is: Housing is a right,"” said Dorothy Amadi, a 63-year-old activist who was part of a squatting movement in Brooklyn in the 1980s. "We fought with the city and they gave this organization ... the buildings and we were able to renovate them and put people into apartments, and help put abandoned buildings back ... on the tax rolls, give the city some money to think about," she added with a laugh.
Some protesters had set up a mobile library across the street and were circulating a sign-up sheet for eviction defense -- in case authorities attempted to throw the family out of the foreclosed home.
“There definitely is going to be around-the-clock eviction defense,” said Barry, noting that protesters planned to work in shifts on an indefinite occupation. “Our understanding is that the police won’t take any action unless Bank of America asks them to do so.”
The NYPD did not respond to an email seeking comment. Officers at the scene declined to comment, as well as when contacted by phone.
Rob Robinson, of Take Back the Land, which helped plan the foray, said he hoped the action would encourage people to come out and share their stories of eviction, thereby helping others to overcome the shame and stigma of being foreclosed upon.
"You can only probably help somebody or change somebody's lives by sharing that story. Movements begin with the telling of untold stories," he said. "You need to tell your story, otherwise nobody knows."
Click here to read previous posts on the seizure of the Brooklyn home.
Click here to read complete coverage of the "Occupy" day of action.