December 16, 2011
Topic: Occupy Fort Lauderdale attempting to stop heinous foreclosure by Wells Fargo
Contacts: Christine Weinbrecht                         Adam Salater
                419-265-3001                                 954-610-4333
                christineoccupies@gmail.com            asalater1@yahoo.com

Coconut Creek case exemplifies the worst of a broken system; Occupy actions planned

Despite being willing and able to pay the bank everything they owe, the Bien-Aimé family appears on the verge of losing the Coconut Creek home they built 10 years ago.  Wells Fargo Bank prefers to evict the family of seven rather than work with them to right what, according to the facts of their case, appears to be an indisputable and heinous wrong.

Occupy Fort Lauderdale yesterday joined the Bien-Aimé’s to confront the bank, which was part of an event sponsored by the Urban League of Palm Beach County at which several banks most notoriously associated with bailouts, subprime lending and foreclosures were given a forum to meet the public.  Amidst efforts by Urban League Director of Programs Tammy Anderson to prevent the occupiers from passing out fliers in the public park where the event was held, the Bien-Aimé’s initial attempt to meet with the Wells Fargo representative was denied.  According to Marie Bien-Aimé, Anderson told her, “They can’t help you now.  Take your case to CNN.”

But when local NBC’s Rochelle Ritchie showed up to do a story about the event, the reporter’s interest immediately turned to the occupiers and the Bien-Aimé’s, whom she interviewed for over an hour.  Word of this apparently filtered back to Urban League Development Directory Kate Alvarado who solicited the Bien-Aimé’s to sit down with the bank, which they did for over two hours.  Today, subsequent to a conversation with bank officials stemming from yesterday’s events, the Bien-Aimé’s learned that they would be given until January 3 to stay in the home but that no reversal of the foreclosure would be forthcoming.

Occupy Ft. Lauderdale, December 17, will be hosting a rally and march beginning at Ft. Lauderdale City Hall at 11 am to commemorate the three month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the one year anniversary of the self-immolation of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi, whose act sparked the multi-national movement known as the Arab Spring.  The date also marks the 24 birthday of alleged Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning, a hero to many in the Occupy movement for whom the exposure of US war crimes has been a motivating factor in their struggle for justice and against the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Jean Bien-Aimé, along with a host of speakers, is expected to be present at the event.

Occupy Ft. Lauderdale vows to do everything in its power to engage community support for the Bien-Aimé family in the days leading up to their eviction.


Breaking!: Despite having been informed today by a Wells Fargo representative earlier today that they would be able to stay in their home until January 3, Occupy Ft. Lauderdale has just learned that the Bien-Aimé’s were delivered notice late this afternoon to vacate their home as of this coming Monday, December 19.  Occupy Ft. Lauderdale will follow up with information about any planned action very soon.