Deb and Ron Austin raised their two kids in a modest home in northeast Portland. Now, after a bankruptcy resulting from unforeseen medical bills, the family is facing foreclosure and a possible eviction in March.
Around a hundred people gathered at the Austin family home this morning to stand in solidarity with the family as they announced their intention to resist the eviction – even if they are arrested for doing so.
A new group calling itself ‘Unsettle Portland’ helped organize today’s rally, as a spin-off of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Alice Paul is a representative of Unsettle Portland.
Today’s action drew supporters from the neighborhood in northeast Portland, as well as people from around the city who are also facing potential foreclosure. Mary McLean of North Portland said that she, like many of her neighbors, are just barely making it from one house payment to the next:
Organizers of today’s rally in Portland have created a ‘rapid response list’ of people willing to get arrested and to stand in solidarity with homeowners facing eviction. They are gathering this afternoon at the sheriff and county assessor’s office to urge the officials to follow the lead of other sheriffs around the country and refuse to enforce evictions on foreclosed homes.