By Chris Phillips – Occupy Western New York:
We are Occupy Western New York, we began in late December when a number of Occupy Buffalo protesters moved to Lafayette Square and were raided 5 days later.
We decided it was best to move into the new phase of the Occupy movement and began occupying abandoned homes and foreclosed properties as a realistic way of addressing the WNY housing crisis. Some of us just returned from Niagara Square where they recently raided the camp with dozens of police officers and took everything down. Occupy Buffalo was given no grace period to remove their things in a timely efficient manner. This aside, we are doing renovations on an abandoned home, located at 1370 Michigan Avenue. We have the support of neighbors who want to see an improvement in the neighborhood. There are many repairs and improvements that must be tackled, and we are assessing each problem realistically in terms of funding. Many of us are personally pledging thousands of dollars to acquire the property and renovate it for as little money as possible, to set a model of community involvement as we tackle more houses in the future.
We have officially named this campaign Take Back The Neighborhoods, and we encourage people all over the region to stand up and join us in repossessing the vacant and foreclosed properties in their own areas. As a community we can stand together and provide everyone with the tools and resources needed to rebuild for very little money. We invite people to come in at any time, of their own accord, to join in helping to solve our own problems. We are developing an official repair list to be able to better tackle the workload ahead of us. We are establishing a strong, positive working relationship with people of all creeds, all walks of life, left and right, red and blue, black and white… We are considering a future campaign of home ownership that not only addresses the housing crisis, but rebuilds lives. We want to call it OWN Your OWN Home. Occupy Western New York.
Thank you for your efforts in promoting local business growth, and with enough effort I believe we can transform Buffalo and Western New York for the long term up and up! You can always find us on our Facebook page – we are working on getting a .org up and running full time. God bless.
In Love and Light,
Occupy Western New York