The Power of the Media and Coalitions

By Tanya
Dennis

Last Thursday I came home from work to another “Writ of Possession” posted on my door.  For those readers that missed my previous article, I repossessed my home on January 18th after Wells Fargo had been awarded an unlawful detainer against me and the sheriff had evicted me and my family on December 7th. After a month of watching people trample through my home I went rogue, changed the locks and repossessed my home.
Unfortunately the Superior Court Judge would not consider my new evidence in the form of a forensic loan audit that proved Wells Fargo foreclosed upon me illegally. Unfortunately for citizens in Northern California courts, the courts fear the banks more than they fear the people.
The Sheriff’s writ of possession stated that I must vacate the premises by Thursday, February 24th.  So now, having no other alternative, I called Wells Fargo and requested a modification.  The answer was no.  Fortunately for me I had written an article last week regarding the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and the Oakland Educator’s Association foreclosure protest that shut down Wells Fargo’s Fruitvale Branch.  ACCE asked if I’d like them to stage a protest in front of my home.  They asked me if I was willing to get arrested, the answer without hesitation was yes.
Tuesday night we sent press releases to over two hundred news sources.
Wednesday morning I called Wells Fargo and asked once again for a modification.  The answer again was a resounding NO!!!  That was 8:00 in the morning.
By 12 noon, I received a call from CBS, NBC and four other news affiliates asking for an interview.  At 12:30 I received a call from the Vice President of consumer mortgages for Wells Fargo Bank asking me if “I was willing to work with them on a modification.”
The power of the press is astounding.  The media called Wells Fargo; Wells Fargo started feeling the heat and changed their adamant no to a compromising yes.  I don’t have the modification yet, but they called today for additional information.  The lesson here is that there is power in media attention, but more important, there is power in forming coalitions.  ACCE is an organization fighting for the people in this foreclosure war.
I also wish to acknowledge the Post for providing space for me to tell my story and I salute them for their courage while Wells Fargo refused to place Black History Month advertising with the Post news Group because of the coverage. I also thank the others who made calls and intervened on my behalf. Given the overwhelming responses my paper has received they have agreed to help sponsor a “Foreclosure Teach-in” with the Citizen’s Reform Center to help prevent the loss of homes. For information contact, Tanyaddennis@yahoo.com. ACCE can be reached at 510-269-4692 x2 or at www.calorganize.org