ATLANTA - Atlanta police arrested Occupy Atlanta protesters who stood firm at a foreclosed home that group members had taken over.
Channel 2’s Sophia Choi was with the group last week when Reneka Wheeler and Michelene Meusa moved into the home on Windsor Street in southwest Atlanta with their two kids. Other members kept them company, vowing to stand their ground if officers showed up. When officers arrived Wednesday, protestors refused to leave and were arrested.
“Housing is a human right, not for the banks to hold hostage,” Meusa said.
Choi was there when Meusa and three others were taken into custody. They will face criminal trespassing charges, a misdemeanor.
M&T, the bank that owns the property, had flown a representative from Buffalo, N.Y. to the home and asked the protesters to leave.
“It's amazing that the bank can make one phone call and get thousands of dollars of resources from this community,” Occupy organizer Tim Franzen told Choi.
Protesters don’t agree with foreclosures and said the occupation was one way to give a family in need a home that would otherwise remain empty.
Atlanta police said they were just doing their job in removing the group.
“We're just making sure that the criminal trespass warning is enforced,” Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said.
LaShawn Hoffman, with the Pittsburgh Community Improvement Association, said he disagrees with the group’s views but offered members temporary housing.
Occupy Atlanta plans to continue fighting for their beliefs.
“No amount of individual arrests is going to stop what the 1 percent has coming to them," protestor Ben Smith said.