Police Arrest 15 in Springfield Protest
(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) (WGGB)– Protesters from across the state rallied in downtown Springfield on Monday.
The anti-foreclosure group “”No One Leaves” organized the rally to bring its message to the community according to David Dunwell,” We have had some devastation through natural causes, but we have also had some devastation in Springfield through some unnatural causes, Springfield being the City of Homes has become the leader in foreclosures in the state,” says Dunwell.
The protest began in the South End.
They picked up signs and then headed to downtown Springfield chanting anti-big bank slogans along the way, saying big banks have victimized homeowners by foreclosures.
Once downtown, the demonstration centered on the Bank of America branch.
Several protesters made it inside the bank, they sat down, refused to leave and police then moved in to arrest them, according to Springfield Police Commissioner William Fitchet, ” They’ve been arrested for trespassing, they blocked a door, an entrance to the Bank of America, a few got inside, they protested by sitting down, the arrests were really uneventful,” says Fitchet.
After the initial arrests, four more protestors got into the ATM area of Bank of America, where they also refused to leave and one by one had to be removed.
Even as the arrests were being made, demonstrators continued to protest outside the bank.
Eventually the protesters dispersed and the rally came to a peaceful end.
Organizers say the Monday rally signals a rising outrage that’s being felt not only in big cities like Boston or New York, but in mid size communities like Springfield as well as the frustration and anger over the mortgage crisis they say reaches out to Massachsuetts residents from Boston to the Berkshires.