Saturday, June 1, 20013
More than 75 people marched through Southwest Detroit on Saturday in support of Gregorio Martinez’ fight to save his home from foreclosure and to defend him from any attempts to evict by Chase Bank. The marchers gathered at Patton Park and marched to the Chase Branch at Vernor and Springwells, setting up a spirited picket line in front of the entrance to the bank. There was strong support from neighbors who participated in the march and good support from folks driving by or on the sidewalks. Detroit Eviction Defense sponsored the action and community activists, autoworkers, steelworkers and others were out in support. Gregorio is a retired autoworker and has lived in his home for more than 15 years and has been active in the community even longer.
The marchers rallied at the Chase Branch, and speakers included Gregorio, as well as supporters from the community and the unions. Several other homeowners who are fighting with Detroit Eviction Defense to defend their homes were out in support of Gregorio. Urealdene Henderson who has saved her home by fighting with Detroit Eviction Defense spoke in support of Gregorio, as did Baxter Jones who is fighting to save his home in Jackson with support from Detroit Eviction Defense and others.
There is a growing sense of solidarity among homeowners, neighbors, supporters and others. There is growing determination to resist foreclosures and evictions and to fight the banks and the government agencies which are carrying out the evictions. We are relying on ourselves, and we are attempting to build broad support in our communities and among working people, union members and others who are determined to resist attacks on homeowners, our neighbors and our communities.
Chase Bank paid $2800 at sheriff’s sale to purchase Gregorio’s home, and he could have redeemed his home for that amount. But all notices were in English; Gregorio does not read English. Spanish is his first language. Gregorio and his supporters have offered to pay Chase Bank the $2800 to redeem his home, but Chase Bank refuses to negotiate saying Mr. Martinez is too late. Gregorio, Detroit Eviction Defense and other supporters are saying it is not too late and are determined to keep Gregorio in his home. Southwest Detroit, like the rest of the city, has been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. The last thing we need is another vacant home in our neighborhoods.
Contact Detroit Eviction Defense to join in the campaign to keep Gregorio Martinez in his home. We meet every Thursday at 6 pm at Old St. John’s Church at 2120 Russell just off Gratiot and south of Eastern Market. Check our website at detroitevictiondefense.org for reports on our campaigns and for upcoming actions and events.