Banks Get Bailed Out, People Get Thrown Out

The Esquivel family were evicted yesterday from their home in Roslindale. That same morning they had gone to the Boston Municipal Court in a last effort to stop the eviction. The judge did not rule in their favor. Raul and Anna Esquivel came back from court, tears streaming for their face, to find about 10 police officers on and around their property and another 40 people protesting the eviction. The picket was lively and emotional. Around forty people came out to support the Esquivels. The blockade was called by City Life/Urbana, and supported by many community groups, including Dorchester People for Peace, SEIU 615, the Boston No Eviction Network, the Boston Workers Alliance and others. At one point it appeared that the eviction was going to be called off. To this news, Anna Esquivel danced and people cheered. Yet about 30 minutes later, there was another call saying the eviction was in fact going to take place that same day at 2:30 pm.

There so many things that are wrong with this, first that the Esquivel family had tried in vain to negotiate with Deutsche Bank: they had offered to pay rent, other family members had offered to purchase the house at the appraised market value. This is a reoccurring phenomenon: the banks are not negotiating with families in foreclosed properties, instead they kick families onto the street and have empty buildings because then this, nominally will not be considered a loss. Not a loss for whom and to what expense, I ask myself. Families are being thrown out, displaced; communities are being destroyed so that a bank won't call it a loss?! Adding to the injustice: just a day before this eviction, Bush proposed a $700B bail out for the banks. This would be the largest transfer of money in all of history. One of the arrestees defending the Esquivel's home pointed out that in Boston it has been working class people of color who are being evicted from their homes while white business men are being bailed out. One thing is for sure, these men will sleep comfortable tonightt, and may even be able to choose among several houses in which to sleep.

At about 3:00 pm the constable and a moving truck came to remove the Esquivel's belongings. They family only had time to throw their things in trash bags and get out. They were crying, the grandchildren screaming. As the constable tried to walk up the stairway to deliver the eviction notice, the protesters surrounded him, shouting "shame!" Police moved in immediately, four people were arrested - taken away in police vans.

Yesterday a beautiful home in Roslindale was standing empty, and the Esquivel family were left wondering where they were going to sleep. Ana said they were going to look for a place in a shelter. The fact that the Esquivel family was evicted from their home is despicable. Those being bailed out are the same who implemented the policies that are having devastating economic effects for the majority of the population. As this sham government spends billions on war and occupation and bails out big financial institutions, it is working class and immigrant families that are paying the bill. We must not become resigned in the face of this crisis. We need to come out again and again to show these greedy banks that we will not be moved without a fight. As Ana Esquivel said, "This is still a victory because we will continue to fight together!"