Protesters Await President Obama in Harlem Tonight

Protesters Await President Obama in Harlem Tonight

Progressive groups want President Obama to hold Wall Street accountable for foreclosure crisis.

Published January 19, 2012

Despite the populist message to protect struggling Americans and keep the middle class from slipping away, progressive groups like, Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Harlem are unhappy with President Obama. In a series of protests at big banks around the country, members called on him to order a federal investigation into Wall Street's involvement in the foreclosure crisis. They’ll also be waiting for the president when he arrives in Harlem tonight for fundraising events to make their displeasure known.

“Millions of American jobs and homes have been lost, but the president has yet to hold the banks accountable for the fraudulent foreclosure practices that nearly torpedoed the economy,” said Justin Ruben, MoveOn’s executive director. “President Obama has the power to order a federal investigation and start the year with a real win for the 99% movement. It’s far past time to hold the big banks responsible for the havoc they wreaked on homeowners and the economy.”

MoveOn and other political action groups, including Color of Change, also plan to deliver petitions with more than 360,000 signatures to the White House and Obama’s campaign headquarters in Chicago.

The president’s visit to New York will begin with dinner at the posh upper east side restaurant Daniel, where he’ll meet with Jewish donors ponying up $15,000 per plate, the New York Daily News reports. Then it’s on to another dinner at the home of filmmaker Spike Lee, where a small group of about 40 donors will pay $38,500 per plate. He will end the evening at the historic Apollo Theater, where musicians Al Green and India.Arie will perform. Tickets for the event start at $100, but go as high as $25,000.

Nellie Bailey, a member of Occupy Harlem, told the Daily News that the events represent "a profound disconnect the sitting president has with poor and working class Blacks that constitute his core base of support."

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(Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Written by Joyce Jones


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