The following release is from Standing Against Foreclosure & Eviction (SAFE), following up on the May 28 story, SAFE group defends Seattle ironworker against eviction:
SEATTLE (Aug. 1, 2013) — On Wednesday, the King County Sheriff and about a dozen sheriff deputies evicted a South Park resident from his home as 50 neighborhood supporters attempted to blockade the home. Four people were arrested, including Seattle City Council candidate Kshama Sawant.
The blockaders were members of SAFE, Standing Against Foreclosure & Eviction. The eviction follows months of legal proceedings and political protests by SAFE to save Jeremy Griffin’s home.
Griffin, an ironworker, lost his job during the 2008 Great Recession when construction ground to a halt. Doing everything he could to pay his mortgage, including borrowing money from his family, Jeremy finally fell behind on his payments. Wells Fargo initiated foreclosure proceedings.
In 2008, however, construction started to pick up, and Jeremy found steady work. He tried negotiating with Wells to restructure the loan, but Wells wouldn’t talk with him. In December 2012, the bank bought Jeremy’s home at auction.
After exhausting every legal means to hold onto his home, Jeremy and SAFE repeatedly picketed Wells Fargo. A few weeks ago, five SAFE members were arrested during a sit-in on behalf of Jeremy at a downtown Wells Fargo.
“I am ready and willing to pay to stay in my home,” Griffin said, “but when I asked Wells Fargo’s lawyer why the bank won’t talk with me, she said, ‘My client has no legal obligation to do so.’ But what about the morality of throwing someone out of his home? Someone who’s willing to pay to live there?”
“The fight’s not over,” said SAFE organizer Stephen Price. “Wells Fargo and the rest of the Wall Street 1% have the government in their back pocket, but the people know better. When the big banks throw hard-working Americans — people who can pay to stay in their homes — onto the street just to increase their profits, we will protest, and we will expose this unconscionable behavior. Wells Fargo, we’ll be back.”
SAFE is a grassroots, non-profit organization made up of volunteers and homeowners dedicated to building a mass movement to stop bank evictions, achieve principal reductions, and put people before profit. Learn more SAFE’s Facebook page, or its website at safeinseattle.org.