BY: JAISAL NOOR | JANUARY 10, 2012
JAISAL NOOR, JOURNALIST: In New York, Occupy Wall Street is continuing to shift its focus away from occupying parks and squares to other actions, such as occupying homes. In Brooklyn, New York, an occupation of a vacant home has entered its second month. Twenty-seven-year-old father of two Alfredo Carrasquillo has been in and out of homeless shelters for nearly ten years.
ALDREDO CARRASQUILLO, COMMUNITY ORGANIZER, VOCAL-NY: When I was going through the shelter with my kids and their mother, and we decided we didn’t want to go through that no more. And that’s why I winded up couch hopping, because I didn’t want to go through that experience anymore.
NOOR: But after getting the support of community and church groups and Occupy Wall Street’s Occupy Our Homes campaign, Carrasquillo spearheaded an effort to find a new home for his family.
CARRASQUILLO: So you—please come inside.
NOOR: Carrasquillo moved into a vacant home in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood, which has experienced high rates of unemployment, foreclosures, and abandoned homes. Teams of Occupy Wall Street protesters have joined Carrasquillo in shifts to defend the occupation around the clock. They’re also working alongside him to fix up the house and make it hospitable for his wife and children.
CARRASQUILLO: So I felt it was my duty and obligation to stand up as a young man of color from these communities to lead by example to show that there’s nothing ashamed with admitting that the system is wrong and is not allowing you to progress and be productive and own your own property and become a productive citizen in society.
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