Great news, and I can’t put it any better than SAFE activist Josh Farris:
“We punched capitalism in the nuts and we won a battle.”
So what exactly happened? The Stranger reports:
“A group of activists from Standing Against Foreclosure and Eviction (SAFE) sat outside Mayor Ed Murray’s office for four hours today, asking that he intervene to prevent the eviction of veteran and his wife from their West Seattle home, until the mayor and his chief of staff came out and met with them this afternoon.
According to SAFE organizer Josh Farris, Murray told them “the SPD is not coming” to evict Byron and Jean Barton, and that he’d let the activists know if anything changes.
As I reported on Friday, SAFE—joined by members of Socialist Alternative, including state house candidate Jess Spear—surrounded the Bartons’ West Seattle bungalow when King County Sheriff deputies arrived that morning to enforce an eviction order, following the foreclosure and sale of their house. The deputies attempted to evict the couple by loading Byron, who uses a wheelchair to get around, into an ambulance.
Supporters of the Bartons lay down in the way of the ambulance, preventing it from leaving, and the authorities eventually gave up. It’s now fallen to Seattle police to enforce trespassing laws.
But activists demanded that they hold off, and the mayor has agreed. “He’s has asked SPD not to act until we’ve explored all options,” confirms mayoral spokesperson Megan Coppersmith. “That means essentially standing by while the latest court proceedings unwind.” (The Bartons are currently challenging the legality of their foreclosure in court.)”
Once again, we see what happens when we fight–sometimes we actually win, even if only for a short time. If the Bartons and SAFE had given up–had complied with the eviction and stood down–the Bartons would be homeless. Instead, the opposite is true, so kudos to the Bartons and SAFE and to Mayor Murray. Now let’s work on keeping the Bartons in their home permanently!
Past LRM coverage of the Barton saga: