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Occupied Oakland Promotes Occupying Vacant Properties

The ""Occupy Oakland"":http://www.occupyoakland.org/ group is starting a new wave of occupations. They intend to occupy vacant properties.

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The Occupy Oakland group announced on Twitter earlier this week that its general assembly ""just passed a proposal to encourage the occupation of bank-owned/foreclosed and abandoned properties across #Oakland.""

On Wednesday, a group of Occupy Oakland members took a first step in this direction by entering a vacant building formerly used by the Traveler's Aid Society.

The group ""hoped to use the national spotlight on Oakland to encourage other occupations in colder, more northern climates to consider claiming spaces and moving indoors in order to resist the repressive force of the weather,"" states a blog ""post"":http://incorporealcommittee.wordpress.com/ on the _Occupy Everything!_ Blog.

""None of this should be that surprising, in any case, as talk of such an action has percolated through the movement for months now, and the GA [General Assembly] recently voted to support such occupations materially and otherwise,"" states the blog post.

This is not the first time the idea of occupying or squatting in foreclosed and vacant properties has been endorsed.

In fact, the group, ""Homes Not Jails of San Francisco,"":http://www.homesnotjailssf.org/wb/ has promoted the use of vacant properties by the homeless since 1992. The group recently partnered with ""Occupy San Francisco"":http://occupysf.com/ to convert several vacant properties into homeless shelters, according to the ""_Huffington Post_."":http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/11/homeless-advocates-occupy_n_1005833.html

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) has been telling homeowners facing foreclosure not to leave their homes since 2009. ""I say to the American people, you be squatters in your homes. Don't you leave,"" she said in a February 2009 press release.

If squatting in foreclosed and vacant properties becomes a widespread trend, ""it would definitely slow down the market,"" says Melva Wagner, owner of ""Sellstate Island Properties"":http://sellstateislandproperties.com/our-agents.cfm in Florida, and government relations representative for the ""National Association of Women REO Brokerages"":http://www.nawrb.com/ (NAWRB).

""The recovery market is already slowed down because of tenants in properties,"" she adds.

""Each state has their own guidelines for squatters,"" she says, so the process of evicting squatters and preparing homes for sale would vary throughout the country.

As for the Occupy Oakland action Wednesday - the evening ended in violence and about 100 arrests. Protestors broke windows and set fires, according to the _Wall Street Journal._

On Thursday, Occupy Oakland said in a public statement they do support the occupation of vacant buildings but ""Occupy Oakland does not advocate violence and has no interest in supporting actions that endanger the community and possibilities that it has worked to build,"" according to the _Journal._

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