“My name is Ashley, and me and my four children live in a Bank of America foreclosed home,” declared Ashley Gray over a security guard’s threat of arrest. “If we didn’t live there, we would be homeless.”
Ashley and 15 other homeless and formerly homeless activists, sporting “Take Back the Land” t-shirts and holding a “Bad for America” banner, had just marched into the Madison, Wisconsin, corporate office of Bank of America. They wanted to meet with the bank’s local director.
Most of the time, poor people will go out of our way to avoid the police and any occasions that might lead to our arrest, because like dominos standing in a row, an arrest can lead to the toppling of our precariously balanced lives.
Most poor people are forced by necessity to commit civil disobedience. We crowd extra people into our apartments, trade some of our food stamps for gas for our cars when we have them, drive cars without insurance and put our utilities in other people’s names so we don’t live in the dark.