CODEPINK co-founder disrupts mortgage bankers convention: Calls for a moratorium on foreclosures and bailouts with taxpayer money

October 21st, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      CONTACT
Medea Benjamin, 415-235-6517
Jean Stevens, 508-769-2138

   CODEPINK co-founder disrupts mortgage bankers convention:
Calls for a moratorium on foreclosures and bailouts with taxpayer money

WHAT: Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK, interrupts annual conference to demand moratorium on foreclosures to save millions of Americans from losing their homes
WHEN: Oct. 21
WHERE: Mortgage Bankers Association annual convention, San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO -- During a keynote panel with heads of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the Mortgage Bankers Association annual convention on Monday here, the cofounder of the women's peace group CODEPINK walked onstage to call for a moratorium on foreclosures. (Watch video of it here here http://www.truveo.com/Mortgage-Bankers-Gathering-Met-By-SF-Protestors/id/1530783410).

"Since the public bailed out your companies, the public should have a right to ask a question," Benjamin said calmly once she walked up onto the stage. "We need a moratorium on foreclosures. Will you please call for that, sirs?" She was then escorted off.

At the conference, leaders said they are working "to restore confidence in the industry and repair its battered image," according to the San Francisco Chronicle, who documented Benjamin's disruption here (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/10/21/MNMK13L49N.DTL). The new chief executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said they were trying to do more to stop home foreclosures but said many would not be saved partially because many loans have been absorbed by investors worldwide.

But in doing this, the mortgage bankers will continue to profit from predatory mortgage deals, and the government will continue to bail out banks using American taxpayer money.

“I wanted to represent the voice of the real victims of this crisis, like Regina Whittaker of Alexandria, Virginia, whose loan was backed by Fannie Mae," Benjamin said. "While these gentlemen were leisurely talking about the housing crisis, Regina's home was being auctioned and her family tossed out on the streets. We need an immediate freeze on foreclosures and Congress must come back in session and devise a plan that bails out Main Street, not Wall Street.”

For more information, please call Medea Benjamin at 415-235-6517.

CODEPINK, founded in 2002, is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into health care, education and other life-affirming activities. We reject the Bush administration's fear-based politics that justify violence, and instead call for policies based on compassion, kindness and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence. Codepinkalert.org.