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Occupy Protesters’ Pressure Saves Woman’s Home

The protesters marched into Chase Bank this afternoon to prevent a retired woman’s eviction from her home.

Gloria Takla had just eight days before the bank was going to evict her from her home.

But this afternoon, about 30 , Occupy San Jose and other Bay Area residents marched from Takla’s foreclosed home to the across to demand that the banks extend her loan.

After an hour-long negotiation during which protesters occupied the bank’s interior, the bank agreed to extend the loan expiration from Dec. 14 to Feb. 14, 2012, a loan she first took in February 2010.

“This is a victory,” Takla said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the demonstrators’ help.”

Takla’s daughter, Anoushka, said this was a 21-month problem of the banks not willing to help or work with her mother, and they were finally able to come to a solution just days before eviction.

Though she is more optimistic after the extension, she appeared concerned as she looked through the many papers of names and contact information of people from New York, Texas and Chicago that she would have to call.

This march was just one of several around the Bay Area that marks the national day of “Occupy Our Homes” campaign, which aims to protect families and individuals from being turned out on the street.

The state-wide community organization Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE, says that the action in Redwood City is necessary because the government has left communities behind.          

"The 99 percent bailed out Wall Street, while Wall Street bailed on our communities, taking our money for outrageous executive salaries and bonuses and massive profits," ACCE said in a statement.

“How could they kick a woman out of her home during the holidays?” said Christy Wong of San Jose.

While the protestors were celebrating what they see as a victory, a bank client saw it as misguided.

Chris Pagnotta of Redwood City took three hours off of work to close down his account with Chase. But because the protesters were occupying the bank, the tellers were not obligated to serve customers because of a perceived threat.

“So I just wasted all this time because these Occupiers, who are supposed to be supporting me-the 99 percent-, have temporarily shut down the bank,” Pagnotta said. “I’m just trying to go on with life.”

Pagnotta said he was now forced to live in this truck in Redwood City.

Yet protestors remained enthusiastic, fighting for their cause.

“I thank Jesus,” said Louise Vaughn, a South San Francisco resident with the ACCE. “We’re saving one house at a time.”

Another protestor was determined to continue fighting this battle.

“And if this deal falls through, send us back in there!” he shouted. 

 

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Jim Clifford December 07, 2011 at 09:17 PM
Roger: Good point. Two conflicting reports that should be clarified.
Roger Brina December 08, 2011 at 07:25 PM
Jim, It has been interesting to see how the media reports differ or overlap, not just with each other but with the reports given by protesters who were there: http://occupyredwoodcity.tumblr.com/post/13846204739 http://occupyredwoodcity.tumblr.com/post/13867916668
Stacie Chan December 08, 2011 at 09:19 PM
Hi Roger, you bring up a very good point of how media accounts can differ, especially on sometimes subjective perspectives. The "perceived threat" was the reason given for not allowing new customers to enter the bank; however, I agree with the San mateo Daily Journal that it was indeed a peaceful protest. After protesters entered the bank, the doors were locked and new customers and media couldn't enter. However, current customers were still conducting business in Chase. There were a few cop cars on the scene, and police escorted one employee to her car based on bank protocol, though she did not appear at all concerned for her safety.
Roger Brina December 08, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Thank you for your account of the event Stacie, and thanks for being at the protest to cover it. As a Occupe RC supporter I've been really frustrated ats the lack of coverage we've gotten but the Patch has been a great place for those of us who want to stay informed.
Roger Brina December 09, 2011 at 10:28 AM
In-depth interview with the Occupier who handed Occupy Redwood City's formal response to outgoing Mayor Ira to members of the City Council and others present before the December 5th City Council meeting: http://occupyredwoodcity.tumblr.com/post/13963387210

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