A few hundred housing activists, impacted community members, and occupiers in New York City came together last week to disrupt the weekly foreclosure auctions in all five boroughs of the city. The disruptions began with a reading of a "Declaration of the People's Moratorium on Foreclosures":
"We are here today because a home is not four walls and a door. It’s is where we raise our kids, lay our heads to rest and build our future. We are here to shut down the auction because courts, the government, and the police will not protect us from banks. We are here today to enact a People’s moratorium on all foreclosures.”
And then the singing began. Community members packed the foreclosure courtrooms and disrupted the business at hand when everyone began singing the same song: "Listen Auctioneer / All the people here / Are asking you to stop all the sales right now / We’re going to survive, but we don’t know how." During the week's actions in courtrooms across the city, 63 people were arrested. The video below shows cuffed protesters leaving the Brooklyn Supreme Court, still singing.
With the goal of empowering other organizations and community members across the country to disrupt foreclosures with song, New York activists developed a How-To Manual and issued a Call to Action video at the conclusion of the Week of Action. These resources can mobilize communities to enact a People's Moratorium of their own and call on the government to fulfill its obligation to protect housing rights.