Even a gang of Occupy protesters
in Washington, D.C., couldn't stop the eviction of a woman from a Capitol Hill home.
Several dozen demonstrators rallied around the front door of the foreclosed home where Dawn Butler had been living for a year, using a barrier of plastic milk crates
to block local police and U.S. Marshals from entering.
One person was injured in scuffles with law officers as marshals removed the protesters from the property, one by one. The authorities eventually broke down the door and evicted the tenant. No arrests were made.
Butler claimed that she had been trying for a year to purchase the home, but that the bank ignored her attempts. She had a lease agreement with the home's original owner stipulating that she could live there rent-free as long as she performed maintenance, but a judge ruled that it was invalid.
When Butler lost a last-minute appeal, she called on Occupy D.C. for help.
"We drew attention to it," Sophie Vick, an Occupy D.C. protester
, told TV station WTTG, "There were a lot of people passing by who expressed support, but ultimately I feel like we lost today."
"I don't like the fact that it happened," Butler was quoted by The Washington Post
as saying of the eviction. "I guess that we'll continue to fight from afar." Butler added that she and her mother invested more than $200,000 in the house and are now planning on filing a lawsuit to get it back. In the meantime, Butler said, she's planning to move in with relatives.
The Occupy movement has gotten involved in several other eviction cases nationwide
, including that of a former marine in Minnesota
, who fell behind on his mortgage after he had to quit his job following five heart attacks, among other health problems.
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