Six Occupy Wall Street members were finally arrested five months after seizing a home in Brooklyn from a single father, moving in, and wrecking the place. Asserting that the home was foreclosed on, they claimed they were going to renovate it and move in a homeless family; the group instead moved in themselves and made a mess of the house. The damage was estimated at $12,000. When the Occupiers allegedly smashed a window to enter on April 1, the police arrested all of them on burglary charges. One of the members, Mohammed Olivo, was additionally charged with resisting arrest. Another, Decorrus Jones, has already been arrested 31 times for crimes like trespass and petty larceny.
Wise Ahadzi, the single father who owned the home and has two daughters said, “I’ve been angry since Day One. I told them that I didn’t want anybody there.”
As if that matters. Occupy-like movements target foreclosed homes around the globe for squatting with increasing frequency. In Chicago, an organization called Liberate the South Side targets vacant homes for re-occupation. In Spain, squatters have joined with the M-15 movement of “indignados.” In Ireland, squatters linked to the Occupy movement have started to grab thousands of properties. And in Portland, Occupy squatters left a note in a home taken over by Occupy squatters that read:
For the better part of 2011 the squatter community in Portland has been focused upon houses owned by an elderly bankrupt lady named [name withheld by Portland Police]. The idea was that we might have a better chance at survival if the landowner was, as our research could tell, a batty old lady and her bed ridden husband.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote the declaration of Independence, he rewrote John Locke. Jefferson called for the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, where Locke had written of life, liberty, and property:
Man… hath by nature a power …. to preserve his property – that is, his life, liberty, and estate – against the injuries and attempts of other men . . .
Such occupations are a basic violation of American rights. It should not take months to stop them.