On last wedenesday, PAH (Spanish Plataform Against Evictions) in coalition with other organizations in the US organized an international action against Blackstone, the world’s largest real estate speculative investing firm in the world.
With actions in Barcelona, New York and San Francisco PAH showed Blackstone what it’s capable of. This is a global fight and PAH will strike wherever they hide.
The day started at 9 AM in Barcelona where 300 PAH activist from all Catalonia occupied one office from Catalunya Caixa (CX). Blackstone has recently bought 94.000 mortgages from CX, an institution that received 12 billion euros ($15.4 billion) of taxpayer’s money as a bail out. The tactic of Blackstone is to evict families or raise the rents once old leases expire or tenants leave due to their house bulling. This is against what we fight.
San Francisco action started at 8 AM local time where Housing Activist and Brass liberation Orchestra played music and participated chanting and “welcoming” Blackstone managers. Some activist spoke about Blackstone and its presence and effects in California and Spain.
At the same time in Barcelona (5 PM) PAH activist were also protesting in front of Blackstone’s offices. Following the lack of response to the request to meet with the executives of Blackstone the activist jumped the fence and put up banners on the premises doors.
By then, 12 PM in New York, 25 activists from Marea Granate and other New York Housing organizations brought their protest in front of Blackstone’s headquarters. They sang, distributed flyers and reminded Blackstone that, even if they hide in their nice buildings in Manhattan, they would have to face the PAH and its allies in this global fight.
During the whole day the activity in the Social Networks was crazy maintaining the hashtag #BlackstoneEvicts in the top 5 for several hours. Blackstone multiplied by 300 their average mention in tweets per day.
The day ended in Barcelona at 00:30 AM with the eviction by Catalan riot police, of the 40 PAH activists that remained at the occupied bank office of Catalunya Caixa.
Maybe Blackstone thought they were untouchable. That they could play with people’s human rights and that citizenship would just stand and watch. PAH reminded them that this was not going to be the case. A fight has started and PAH will fight for our homes, rights and dignity.
- San Francisco: Brass Liberation Orchestra / Erin McElroY (Anti-Eviction Mapping Project) / Aime Inglis / Eva / Blackstone SFO http://www.antievictionmappingproject.net/blackstone.html
- New York: Marea Granate New York / Right to the City/ Bushwick Housing Independence Project / People Power Movement / Movimiento Poder Popular. / George Caffentzis / Bob Rob / Pa’lante Harlem / Crown Heights Tenant Union /NY Communities for Change / Blackstone NY properties http://blackstone.elephant-bird.net/