As the monthly New Castle County Sheriff sale was getting underway, members of Occupy Delaware stood up on cue to send their message loud and clear.
“We demand a halt to fore closures, now!,” the group shouted. “Stop foreclosures! People, not profits!”
Their signs simply said “STOP.”
Bernard August of Occupy Delaware led the call-and-response in the audience at City Council chambers in Wilmington.
“People are losing their houses because certain banks and their lawyers are not renegotiating their mortgages down,” August said after the demonstration. “A lot of these people who are probably losing their houses probably could afford to stay in them. We feel that people should not be thrown out on the street, that they have not been given every opportunity to refinance their houses.”
Occupy Delaware is in its second month at Peter Spencer Plaza in Wilmington, across from the city and state government buildings. August believes the Occupy movement is growing and becoming more organized – a belief shared by Brandi Wilson of Wilmington, who said she has been spending nights at the Wilmington site in addition to visiting Occupy members in New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC.
“With the cold months coming, it’s going to be harder but I’m sure it will survive the winter,” Wilson said, adding she predicts further growth and activity with the Occupy movement when spring rolls around.
As Occupy Delaware members continued their demonstration outside, Tea Party supporter Donald Goldsborough of Smyrna was also making his feelings known. Goldsborough stood on his pick-up truck, which carried a large signs reading “99% of people don’t trash the city” and “99% of people don’t fight with police.”
“I think these people are wrong in the way that they’re trying to go in and stop a legal auction from occurring,” Goldsborough said. “I think the auction goes to benefit the people who weren’t able to pay their mortgage, the banks get paid back, and possibly the houses that are vacant are in disrepair, a new owner may do something with them.”
While Goldsborough said the complex of tents is an “eyesore on public property,” he also conceded there are some things the Tea Party and Occupy Delaware may agree upon – the bank bailouts, for example.
“I protested against them before they even happened,” Goldsborough said.