(Florida International University)- MIAMI — With the holidays approaching, Emma Ladson says her 10-year-old daughter Maya has only one question: “Mommy, will we be homeless on Christmas?”
Ladson, who faces eviction from her Liberty City home, does not have an answer, but hopes it will be “No.”
Ladson joined area residents for an hourlong Dec. 6 protest against foreclosures in front of the Bank of America branch at Northwest 27th Avenue and Northwest 54th Street, sponsored by the Miami Workers Center.
She said the banks should help people struggling through economic hardship.
“We are fighting for the rights of the citizens, to get protection against foreclosure,” said Ladson, 50 and unemployed for the past two years. “Instead of putting people in the streets, they should be helping with getting them back on their feet.”
The group of 24 protesters stood, sang and danced on the sidewalk in front of the bank, waving signs at passing cars and handing out “Bank of Anti-America” flyers.
Reginald Jones, 48, was a passerby.
“Times are difficult, times are really hard and at this particular time I feel like they should be willing to work with the people more,” said Jones, an automotive equipment operator with Miami-Dade County. “However, there are some people that will probably overextend it and the truth is everyone’s in business to make money.”
The bank closed an hour early, apparently because of the protest, but drive-through banking remained open.
“As is the case with any disruptive situation, a manager may decide to close a banking center early if they determine protest activity to be a threat to the safety and security of our customers and employees,” said Christina Beyer, the bank's southeast media relations manager, in an e-mail statement.
Whitney Maxey, 25, an organizer for Miami Workers Center, said she was pleased with the event.
“We had a lot of energy and everyone that’s driving by here knows exactly what we’re going through.”
Maxey does not face foreclosure, but works to help families who do.
“Some people are squatting because they can’t go to a shelter and don’t want to give up their children to foster homes,” said Maxey. “It’s really sad.”
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Photo: JOHN ROXBOROUGH/FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY