SWAT team raids Ohio home to enforce eviction
Defenders released, stay strong, the struggle continues
Published May 13, 2010 9:12 PM
Home defender Keith Sadler and six supporters are out of jail after their
arrest during a home invasion and forced eviction by the Wood County SWAT team
early May 7. While the paramilitary police stormed Sadler’s home, about
30 supporters rallied outside in the pouring rain chanting,
“Keith’s house!” The SWAT home invasion and the arrests were
recorded and photographed.
Community supports efforts to save home
WW photo: Bryan G. Pfeifer
Supporters, led by the Toledo Foreclosure Defense League, followed those
arrested to the Woods County jail and continued to demonstrate. They were
joined by the Cleveland chapter of the Bail Out the People Movement; Fight
Imperialism, Stand Together members from Cleveland; and a rank-and-file United
Auto Workers member. They demanded the immediate release of the “Stony
Ridge Seven,” that all seven be fed their vegan diet, that an immediate
moratorium on foreclosures and evictions be declared throughout the U.S., and
that the bankers and other Wall Street speculators who caused the foreclosure
and eviction crisis be arrested, not the people.
The Seven were released on their own recognizance after being charged with
“trespass” and “obstruction of justice.”
Cops remove home defenders.
A potluck and meeting in Bowling Green, Ohio, took place May 7. This had
originally been planned as a potluck and speakout rally at Sadler’s home.
Ongoing plans to continue the struggle, discussed at the meeting, will be
For now supporters are encouraged to pack the Perrysburg Municipal Court at 300
Walnut Street, Perrysburg, Ohio, on May 17 at 9:30 a.m. for a pre-trial hearing
for the Stony Ridge Seven.
The “Stony Ridge Seven” had barricaded themselves in Sadler’s
home since Sunday, May 2 in protest of the bank’s foreclosure of his home
of 20 years.
A longtime UAW member in various manufacturing plants, Sadler was unable to
work after a repetitive strain injury became acute in July 2008. After being
out of work for some time due to his injury and two surgeries on his right
hand, Sadler’s income decreased, and thus it became a severe challenge
for him to meet his mortgage payments.
The bank foreclosed on his home in 2009 and refused any loan modification.
Despite delaying court proceedings through various means and attempting to
procure legal aid assistance, Sadler’s home was sold to the bank at a
sheriff’s sale in January 2010. Sadler was thereafter served with a
notice of eviction for midnight, May 2.
Instead of submitting quietly, Sadler and other members of the Toledo
Foreclosure Defense League barricaded themselves in the house until the SWAT
team dragged them out. They believe that if the big banks can get a bailout, so
can the people. They want an indefinite moratorium on all foreclosures,
evictions and utility shutoffs — now!
During his home defense, Sadler and his supporters received a groundswell of
support from individuals and organizations such as Take Back the Land,
Moratorium NOW!, the Bail Out the People Movement, UAW and other union members
and from the community.
Supporters held a protest at the State Bank and Trust on May 5. Michael Moore
posted the UStream live feed and media coverage on his website. Supporters from
across the U.S. and beyond have been and are sending solidarity messages
through Twitter. During the home defense, messages were posted on the UStream
live feed and watched by people around the globe. This was critical in
spreading the word of the home defense and for garnering support.
Though Sadler’s home’s electric power was cut May 5 — many
suspect by police officials — supporters quickly helped restore power to
his home. They also helped provide alternative sources of energy and
continually dropped off food and other needed supplies.
Sadler told supporters during his home defense: “I basically did
everything within the system to save my house and it all came to nothing. We
are taking a stand. We are drawing a line in the sand and saying, ‘Enough
is enough!’ We’re standing up and we hope others will too. We want
an indefinite moratorium on all foreclosures. Having people’s homes
stolen right out from under them by the banks is not acceptable. We must fight
Sadler’s spokesperson, Lance Crandall, asks that people continue to call
the bank and the sheriff to demand that all charges be dropped. For more
information about ongoing activities, call: 419-309-7040.
Local bank branch: 419-874-2090
Bank HQ: 419-783-8950
Wood County sheriff’s office: 419-354-9001; sheriff’s direct line:
419-354-9008; sheriff’s personal e-mail: [email protected]
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