Occupy protesters shut down another downtown LA bank

Arguing Over Occupy

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Dominic Peppe argues with Occupy LA organizer Cheryl Aichele after Peppe expressed his contempt for the group.

Faith Parker

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Faith Parker, 79, from South Central LA, explains how Mellon Bank has foreclosed on the house she has lived in for fifty-one years.

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

The BNY Mellon bank was the site of today's Occupy LA press conference and protest over home foreclosures.

Stop Foreclosures!

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

Occupy LA supporters hold up a "Stop Foreclosures!" sign outside of the BNY Mellon Bank during today's press conference.

Kwazi Nkrumah

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

Kwazi Nkrumah, a community activist who co-founded Occupy the Hood Los Angeles, speaks to a crowd outside Mellon Bank about foreclosures.

Dominic Peppe

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

Dominic Peppe of Downtown LA, interrupted the press conference to shout at Occupy organizers because he was not allowed to enter the bank after security guards closed the doors for security reasons.

Occupy John Lennon

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

An Occupy LA supporter dressed as John Lennon marches outside the BNY Mellon Bank during today's protest.

This Friday the 13th, more than two dozen Occupiers sought to cause some bad luck for the Bank of New York Mellon by protesting outside of the bank for the afternoon.

Protesters from Occupy L.A. and other groups met at Mellon Bank Center with placards and bullhorns. A press conference took place at 12:30 p.m. at the financial center.

Organizers were joined by at least two people facing foreclosure, including a 79-year-old retired school teacher, Faith Parker from South Los Angeles.

Both were there as examples of what Kwazi Nkrumah dubbed the “massive amount of people who have been made homeless” by foreclosure.

“This is a moral as well as a political crime,” Nkrumah, co-founder of "Occupy the Hood," declared. “Our objective over the next 12 months is for the city of Los Angeles to be declared a foreclosure-free zone.”

Nkrumah added that Occupy the Hood was working to institute a rent freeze in Los Angeles.

While the protest didn't draw the hundreds of past Occupy protests, it was apparently enough to shut the bank's doors — as one customer, Dominic Peppe, found out.

"I came here to go to the bank to conduct my own personal business," Pepi shouted, clearly frustrated, "and the guard told me that the bank is closed because these people are disrupting the operations of the bank! They have to close the bank because of safety reasons! [...] These people are constantly causing disruptions—"

At which point an Occupier approached Pepi, telling him vehemently that he could "get into [the] building by talking to anybody in a suit."

“You’re wrong!” Pepi shouted.

“No you’re wrong!”

The Bank had closed for the duration of the protest for security reasons. About a dozen police officers looked on but were unable to escort anyone into the bank, as it is considered private property.

California hit number three on RealtyTrac's 2011 list of states with the highest number of foreclosures. According to CNNMoney, foreclosure filings also fell to their lowest point in four years last November. Meanwhile, the number of homes scheduled for bank auctions grew significantly, indicating that a new wave of foreclosures could hit in 2012, CNNMoney wrote.

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