Hundreds march carrying house-warming gifts as a part of a day of action, helping a homeless family move into a foreclosed home. I started at my Franklin ave stop in Brooklyn NY, greeted and surprised by a group of OWS members gathering and telling stories as they go from stop to stop into east new york. Two police officers followed us as we got to the Pennsylvania Ave stop on the 3 train. The weather was bad but the spirit was strong. City council member Charles Barron was there. Barron has been a strong supporter of the Occupy movement joining them on many of their marches; as well as getting arrested underneath the Brooklyn Bridge on the Nov 17th day of action.
The crowd made many stops, at a number of foreclosed homes along the way, using the people’s microphone to tell each other stories from their neighborhood in East New York. Soon we reached our destination, a new home being occupied for 26 year-old Alfredo Carrasquillo and his family: 30-year-old Tasha Glasgow, Tasha’s nine-year-old autistic daughter and Alfredo’s Five year old son. The occupy group, along with O4O (Organizing for Occupation), had chosen this family and the foreclosed home and kept it a secret in order to succeed in the occupation. OWS had sent in many of their members from working groups, such as the sanitation working group, to completely clean the house, renovate the walls and floors and prepare a comfy home for the new family.
After a brief heart-felt exchange of words by the family members, the crowd started handing over house-warming gifts including furniture, plants and dishes. OWS brought in a kitchen tent and fed the block party and neighborhood. Teach-ins about foreclosure and homelessness were conducted and attended. Neighbors were very hospitable and helpful in storing the new home owners’ goods till the cleaning crew got done renovating. The music flowed, people were celebrating and very little police interactions stopped anyone’s fun.
Words by Zack Helwa
Photographed by Zack Helwa
Interviews and Photographs by Zack Helwa
Drawing by Nolan Hermann