On August 5th, 2012, another action took place with the support of approximately 200 community members. The parcel of land immediately to the left of Ms. Jackson was also seized in the August 2011 foreclosure that took her house that was seized back by the people for her on May Day. The second parcel had stood empty for years. Developers and assorted gentrification scum had been salivating at the prospect of the empty corner lot and once the banks illegally foreclosed on Ms. Jackson's property, the developers swooped in, buying the empty parcel at a reduced cost, and then turning around and selling it for a profit to another greedy land baron who built a duplex on the property in record time to sell it and continue to profit from this land theft.
The purpose of the August 5th action was to reclaim the duplex which was built on land illegally seized from Ms. Jackson and to transform the duplex, with Ms. Jackson's blessing, into a community center for youth of color. Late on August 5th, the Portland Police Bureau, the armed security guards for capitalism, seized the property again while making one arrest of a land liberation activist.
There are a couple of important points to make about the 8/5 action as well as the 5/1 action. First, there's no question that these foreclosures are illegal. What makes them illegal? The loans used to finance the purchase of these properties were illegal in the sense that the lender is required to offer products to consumers based on the fair lending qualifications of the consumer. In other words, if you have a 750 or above Fair Issac credit score (FICO), lenders are required by law to offer you products that are designed for the low risk borrower that your high credit score indicates you to be. And the lender has to document that they offered you those low risk cheaper loan products. In the case of Ms. Jackson, no such document exists. Instead, there is only proof that high priced, high credit risk loans were offered to her. These high priced loans were offered in an underhanded way that shields the manipulative nature of the tricky product. So, Ms. Jackson ended up in a teaser rate loan which means a low rate is offered in the beginning that balloons after a period of time. Often, the balloon part of the loan is hidden or dismissed from the borrower so that their focus is only on the teaser rate. This practice, although illegal, is widely practiced, especially against people of color.
Now some of the less honest among you may question why someone like Ms. Jackson would let this scam be ran on her. The answer is this happened to her the same way scams are run on you everyday. She like most people is not an expert in financing. She went to her lender trusting them to be honest and to engage in their practice with integrity. She saw them as her representative who would help her into the product that best fit her need. Instead, she got a lender whose only loyalty was to their prodit margin. As a result, she ended up in a loan that was three to four times more expensive than the home was worth. As a result of that and losing her job, her credit score plummeted which reduced her options and thus led to the situation where she went into foreclosure. Same story for millions of other people around this country.
The important point here is the framing of Ms. Jackson's story into the incorrect analysis that she failed and didn't pay and fulfill her financial obligation. What really happened here is she was tricked by a trusted professional she did business with. There is no rationale basis to blame her for that. You get tricked by shady business people all the time and when they attempt to sell you something that doesn't perform the way you were led to believe it does, you immediatley demand your money back. You don't keep the useless product because you originally agreed to pay for it. Ms. Jackson is only demanding the same. She and millions like her are the victims of capitalist, corporate gang banging and the people are tired of it. That's why hundreds of people come to support her actions, and actions of Ms. Annette Steele who refuses to leave her house, and others. These people are the victims here, not vulture developers. This is clearly a war between the masses of hard working people who are tired of being robbed blind by wicked greedy corporations and the vicious anti-human capitalist institutions and the few people who either profit from the exploitation or are just stupid and blind to what side really represents their interests.
In short, using the crisp class analysis offered by our beloved Pan-Africanist revolutionary and ideological visionary Ahmed Sekou Ture, this is a case of the people's class against the anti-people's class. Those of us on the people's class side are proud to wage the struggle with honesty and integrity whereas those on the anti-people's side do everything they can to confuse the issues and focus on side issues instead of addressing the facts as laid out in this post.
If you want more information, check out the videos on the site linked below. Remember, housing justice for all. Evreryone has the right to have a decent place to live and we ain't asking predatory banks for those houses. We're taking em back!