Members of Occupy Wall Street Stage Sit-In
at NY AG Eric Schneiderman’s Office
Citizens Risk Arrest to Demand Public Accounting of Federal Mortgage Fraud Investigation
New York, NY–Today, more than a dozen people staged a sit-in at the office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, pressuring him as co-chair of the federal Financial Fraud Task Force’s Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, to make good on his pledge to investigate and hold accountable Wall Street’s crimes that have contributed to an economic crisis and more than 11 million underwater homeowners in the US. Participants in the sit-in and demonstration expressed outrage at the lack of apparent progress in investigating or prosecuting the crimes of the big banks against the American people and our economy.
AG Schneiderman recently called on the public to “help make this investigation as strong and thorough as it needs to be.” Those organizing and participating in today’s sit-in say they are answering that call (the AG’s words appeared on several signs), and have vowed to stay until Schneiderman agrees to attend a public forum in New York to provide answers about the about the working group’s resources, staffing, and timeline.
Outside, dozens of people passed a hat to raise funds for the working group, which critics have decried as woefully underfunded and understaffed. The Obama administration has so far promised 55 investigators (who have yet to be appointed), compared to the approximately 1000 federal investigators focused on the much-smaller Savings & Loan crisis of the 80s and 90s.
“Since its creation more than 3 months ago, the silence from the federal mortgage fraud working group has been deafening,” said Han Shan, one of the sit-in participants. “We’re here to make some noise and show we won’t be satisfied with lip service and lies. Homeowners and working people across the country continue to suffer from the economic crisis created by Wall Street fraud, and we want accountability now.”
Alex Krales, one of the people sitting arm-in-arm on with protesters on the floor of the building lobby, demanded that the task force “step it up,” citing the fact that no banks or bankers have had to answer for their infamous crimes against the American people and our economy.
Outside of the office building at 120 Broadway where the Office of the New York State Attorney General is located, only about a hundred yards south of the Occupy Wall Street movement’s birthplace in Zuccotti Park, scores of demonstrators rallied in support of the sit-in. In addition to signs that quoted Schneiderman’s own words, people held banners that said “Banks Steal Homes” and “Bring the Banks to Justice.”