Community Stands Strong to Block an Eviction
By Natasha Lennard
New York Times
August 19, 2011
From inside Mary Lee Ward’s small and sparsely
furnished living room in Bedford-Stuyvesant, it sounded
Friday as if a block party was in full swing in the
street below. Cars and trucks honked their horns
melodically as they passed and almost 200 voices could
be heard cheering and chanting.
But this was no street party; it was not yet 9 a.m. and
the crowd outside was there as a line of defense.
Ms. Ward – a tiny, soft-spoken 82-year-old – faced
forcible eviction by a marshal on Friday morning
because of a subprime mortgage she bought in 1995. And
so neighbors, friends, housing advocates and supporters
had formed a thick human wall outside Ms. Ward’s small
gray house on Tompkins Avenue in Brooklyn.
Shortly after 9:30, the local state assemblywoman,
Annette Robinson, emerged from the house with news.
“The marshal will not be taking action today,” Ms.
Robinson said over a bullhorn as Ms. Ward stood by her
side. Ms. Robinson vowed to negotiate with the deed
holder to keep Ms. Ward in her home.