On a beautiful spring day last Thursday, June 11, more than 25 determined folks showed up for the Take Back the Land eviction blockade at Joe Woods’s house at 394 Webster Ave. Like other such rallies for homeowners, it was robust, and full of enthusiasm. It was also different because half those present were highly energetic young people. The chants and cheers rang out without need of a “chant leader” to kick things off. They just erupted spontaneously.
Adding to the festive atmosphere was Joe barbecuing hots and hams (including veggie) for a noon time meal. We got good coverage in the Democrat and Chronicle from reporter Meagan McDermott and photographer Max Shulte.
Joe has made it clear that he has no plans to leave his home of 25 years for a mere eviction. MidFirst bank has refused to negotiate with him. Their best offer was a “Cash for Keys” deal of $5000. If he is not willing to give them his home for that meager price, they have told him that he can buy back his home for $108,000, despite it’s assessed value of $28,000. How sweet of them!
The court mandated eviction order has a time limit of 30 days. The City Marshal and RPD police enforcers could show up in numbers (or not), so we need a presence at Joe’s home Monday through Friday from 7am to 5pm until the order expires.
We want this to be a “teachable moment” for MidFirst: Negotiate with actual persons and residents in good faith.
We definitely need your continuing, enthusiastic support. Let’s make this a step on a path to housing justice and fairness!
In addition to people who are willing to sit for two hour blocks at Joe’s house on weekdays, we also need to have a good core of people willing to risk arrest along with Joe. We need eviction watchers who then initiate calls to our phone tree to rally folks if the marshall/police show up during the month. Please call Shirley at 703-3658 if you are willing and able to do one or both of these.
All: please send MidFirst an email expressing your support for Joe. firstname.lastname@example.org