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West Baltimore Protest Voices Community Frustration With Home Foreclosures

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– In Baltimore, frustration grows over the struggling housing market. For families facing foreclosure, that frustration is aimed right at the big banks.

Kai Jackson explains how the people are making their voices heard.

These protesters are part of MoveOn and Occupy organizations. They are frustrated with the economic conditions that have led to people losing their homes and wiped-out savings, and they’re vowing to fight the problem.

They call it the funeral for the American dream at a church in West Baltimore.

“This is the kickoff of a long campaign where we’re gonna be encouraging people to rethink the role that big banks play in their lives,” said Kristerfer Burnett, of the community group Good Jobs, Better Baltimore.

The group says mortgages, checking accounts and investments, to name a few, should all be picked carefully by consumers.

“If we have bank accounts in any of these corporate, big Wall Street banks, we need to move our money,” Mary Hill, an organizer with MoveOn.org, said.

Protesters point to the rate of foreclosures as shameful.

“We’re fighting like hell for the living in our communities and that’s what we’ll do today,” David Carl Olson, of the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, said.

And they blame the banking industry.

In 2010, “The Baltimore Sun” reported the rate of foreclosures for the city wasn’t the highest in America, yet the rate was far from the lowest.

“These are families, these are children that are impacted,” Burnett said. “These are your grandparents, aunts, uncles. This is everybody.”

“They’re heartless and they’re deceptive and they’re causing a lot of misery in the American family. And they need to look at their policies and look at the families they’re destroying and the families they’re putting on the streets,” Laverne Myrie said.

Good Jobs, Better Baltimore helped organize the event.

Thursday night’s protest took place at John Wesley United Methodist Church.

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