We all love a good Occupy Wall Street story. Usually, they’ve got to do with a bunch of well-meaning young folk championing some common-man economic problem and exposing an evil empire’s exploitations. And sometimes it ends up being poorly-deployed news. If you’re into the latter and not the former, mother-hivemind Cafemom and the New York Post both have a story about Wise Ahadzi, a single father of two daughters whose house was just occupied in the name of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.
Ahadzi had bought the house in Brooklyn, New York, in 2007 for over $400,000, and made his normal payments for about two years. Then, in 2009, he lost his job, just as the housing crisis slammed the value of the house down by more than half of the original cost. Ahadazi has been in foreclosure proceedings with Bank of America since then. The single father even moved down the road to a smaller and more affordable apartment during the court battle.
Ahadzi still, according to everyone involved, still owns the house – even through the lengthy foreclosure proceedings.
Then, the OWS protestors showed up. In a new, fun game called “Occupy Our Homes,” the OWSers find foreclosed houses, and in order to stick it to the man, move a homeless family into it. In this case, the homeless family was protestor and “Voices of Community Activists and Leaders” (VOCAL-NY) member Alfredo Carrasquillo (pictured above), his girlfriend and daughters.
OWS spent $9,500 securing (read: breaking into) the house and doing “renovations,” which included taking the last few belongings Ahadzi left in the house – like his old refrigerator and stove – and moving them to the basement. OWSers even stayed in the house; when police notified Ahadzi that squatters were in his house, he paid the house a visit. Soon after, he found himself in a meeting with OWS leaders and Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barron, an OWS supporter. OWS told Ahadzi that they couldn’t fight for him because he didn’t fit their qualifications – namely, one of being homeless.
The New York Post claims to have visited the house, finding only OWSers living there, among mattresses. One of the OWSers was even quoted as saying that the Carrasquillo family didn’t stay there often because there wasn’t enough room for the children. The Carrasquillo family has the same amount of kids as Ahadzi does, coincidentally.
Ahadzi even attended the press conference that was held on his former front lawn. He was hoping a reporter would talk to him about what used to be his home. According to the New York Post, OWS protestors instructed Ahadzi not to speak to the reporters, says Ahadzi, “because they had an offer for me.” There was no real offer – at a second meeting, OWS confirmed that there was nothing they could do for him.
Ahadzi and his 3 and 10 year old daughters, for now, are out of luck. A sign hangs on Ahadzi’s house, ironically, that says “FORECLOSE ON BANKS NOT PEOPLE.”