Cruz house 30-day celebration and “reoccupation.” June 1st, 2012.
In response to the events that took place on May 30th, Occupy Homes MN called for a reoccupation and a celebration of 30 days of occupation and eviction defense at the the Cruz home in South Minneapolis.
From the end of April until May 29th, the local Occupy Homes movement had maintained a presence in the foreclosed home. The house belongs to the Cruz family who are staying elsewhere since receiving their eviction notice. With the consent of the family, Occupy Homes had been using the house as a local social center while occupying the home and protesting an impending eviction.
Before any protesters arrived on June 1st, the Minneapolis Police Department already had a large force guarding the home, approximately 30 officers were on hand. They set up a perimeter around the house which reached from the street to the back alley. There were numerous police vehicles in the area, and a police department surveillance camera was placed at the corner of Cedar Ave and 41st street.
The protesters, it turns out, were bluffing about the reoccupation. There was no attempt to take the house back from the police, but the protesters did use the event to further their message that the city is using it’s police force to guard private interests instead of the public. The protesters declared the home was reoccupied by the police, on behalf of Freddie Mac.
After gathering across the street from the Cruz home in a church parking lot, the protesters had a brief meeting before deciding to stand hand-in-hand around the police line. While standing around the police line, the pastor of the church said a prayer for the Cruz family. People of other faiths also made statements of hope towards the Cruz family. After this, people sang a couple protest songs then went back to the church parking lot for a BBQ.
Occupy Homes MN has declared that they will give PNC Bank and Freddie Mac until June 11th to renegotiate the Cruz family mortgage. If a solution is not reached, Occupy Homes MN will be back to reoccupy the house.