Vulture fund Blackstone under pressure after an international day of action called by the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH). In recent months Catalunya Banc has transferred the management of 90% of its mortgages to private equity fund Blackstone, with the customers who signed these mortgages yet to receive any information about this speculative maneuver designed to avoid taxes. The PAH has launched a campaign to protest and raise awareness of this deal with actions in front of Blackstone’s offices en Londres, Chicago, Nueva York, Madrid and Barcelona.
The day of action begun at 9:30 (Spain, GMT+1) in front of Blackstone’s London office, shared on social networks using the hashtag #opBlackstoneEvicts. Activists in London read a statement condemning Blackstone and continued with a series of actions throughout the morning. Actions kicked off across Spain at 11:00 (Spain, GMT+1). Members of the PAH gathered at Blackstone’s offices in Madrid and Barcelona to condemn this speculation with their homes and make it clear that this battle won’t end until a solution is reached. In Barcelona a meeting was demanded with representatives of Blackstone to find a solution for the hundreds of families that have spent months attempting to negotiate.
At the same time, PAH groups across Spain occupied and blockaded offices of Catalunya Banc and BBVA, condemning these banks’ sale of toxic mortgages to vulture fund Blackstone. In total more than 40 bank branches were targeted with groups in Seville, Granada, Navarre, Burgos, Valencia, Asturias, Leon, the Canary Islands and many
towns in Catalonia. Action begun at 23:00 (GMT+1) in Chicago and New York. Activists in New York projected an image of a vulture onto the façade of Blackstone’s headquarters, revealing to everyone where these vultures- who evicts families just to speculate with our homes- hide.
Blackstone’s size – it is the largest private equity fund in the world – affords it an arrogance and self-importance clearly visible in how it treats people and in its refusal to meet with the PAH.
Since Blackstone, Catalunya Banca and BBVA begun to negotiate this fraudulent deal, negotiations between these banks and the hundreds of families fighting with the PAH to escape their toxic mortgages have stalled completely, with all hope of reaching a reasonable agreement with Catalunya Banc seemingly lost. Families have been left totally uninformed about the future sale
of CatalunyaCaixa even this deal has been on the table since 2014.
The PAH will not rest until Blackstone cancels the sale of Catalunya Banca or it offers immediate solutions to the hundreds of families that are affected
The Platform for People Affected by Mortgages has demostrated that the struggle for the right to housing can be a global one. We will not rest until Blackstone’s talons get off our homes, and if Blackstone holds it grip, more cities and countries are ready to join the fight against this international predator.
We outnumber you, we’re organised and we won’t stop. We will be victorious because for six years now we’ve known that ¡Sí Se Puede! (It’s Possible).