Occupy Justice Department: Foreclosed Homeowners Arrested Protesting U.S. Refusal To Prosecute Big Banks

WASHINGTON — Owners of foreclosed houses were arrested during a protest outside Justice Department headquarters Monday, where they demonstrated against prosecutors’ failure to take legal action against bankers.

Seventeen former homeowners were arrested, according to Washington police. The demonstrators were seized outside the Justice Department building as they sat in groups behind a police barrier, singing protest songs largely invoking language from the Occupy Wall Street. They blocked traffic in front of the Robert F. Kennedy building beginning at 2 p.m. Five hours later, Constitution Avenue remained blocked from 9th Street to 10th Street. Many of the protesters who were not arrested had set up tents outside the building and said they planned to spend the night.

Those arrested were charged with “incommoding,” or obstructing traffic, according to Ann C. Wilcox, a lawyer representing the protesters.

The protest was organized, in part, by Occupy Homes, a grassroots organization that grew out of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration to support homeowners facing foreclosure. Other grassroots organizations, including coalitions from as far as Washington state, California and Florida, also joined.

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