Rebel Woman 'Occupies' Her Own House

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A San Francisco woman has a novel twist on the protests currently sweeping the nation — after being evicted, she's moving back in and "occupying" her own house.


According to a press release by the Home Defenders League and Alliance of Californians For Community Empowerment, Carolyn Gage and her family built their home in San Francisco's Bayview neighborhood, and had lived their since 1962. Then they were foreclosed on and evicted — but now Gage has announced, at a public press conference today, that she's moving back in. Says Gage,

My family has been in this neighborhood for 50 years, and since I've been evicted, the place has been vacant, like so many homes in the Bayview. Families have been ripped off by banks, scammed by brokers and nothing's done to them. It's time for the families and the community to stand up and take back what's theirs.

Her neighbor and fellow foreclosure fighter Vivian Richardson (pictured, center) adds, "We are losing families every day. The banks got bailed out, and we are being pushed out. But we're going to fight, even if we have to do it one home at a time." I reached Richardson by phone today, and she told me that while police did drop by the press conference to disperse crowds, they haven't taken any action against Gage yet. And she said that while no other evicted families had yet re-occupied their homes, she was "pretty sure" that some would soon follow suit. In the meantime, Gage's one-home occupation is a reminder that the Occupy protests aren't just about a few college students and their discontent (if anyone still thought they were). Rather, they're a signal that for a growing swath of Americans, life is becoming unlivable. And Gage, for one, isn't going to stand for it anymore.



I really hope she does start a wider movement in Bayview. Lots of people are suffering from the effects of the housing crisis in the Bay Area, but the people I feel worst for are the ones like her who have been losing all of what little they had.

(And by the way, unsympathetic people downthread, in this case it's not much. Bayview is not exactly a privileged area.)