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NYC protesters demand freeze on home foreclosures

Wall Street rally wants more help for victims of subprime mortgage meltdown

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Story Transcript

ZAA NKWETA, PRESENTER/PRODUCER: Flanked by African American leaders and activists, Jesse Jackson led a protest on Wall Street on Monday. The rally demanded more help for homeowners affected by the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States. An estimated 1.7 million families have lost their homes, and at least another 2 million remain at risk.

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New York Stock Exchange

New York City, December 10, 2007

REV. JESSE JACKSON, FOUNDER RAINBOWPUSH COALITION: Restructure, not repossess. Red and yellow, brown, black, and white, we’re all precious. Together, together, save our economy, save our economy.

MARILYN RUANO, QUEENS’ RESIDENT: You walk on the street, you go around my corner, you have people homeless, sleeping in the street. There’s no need for that. Sending all this money to other countries, rebuilding other countries. What about us? How about our people that are living in the streets? Children living in shelters? It’s just not fair.

JACKSON: About 2.2 million homes would be, in two years, 3.5 million homes. It’s not just the borrower that’s in trouble; it is now the entire economy.

DANNY SCHECHTER. MEDIA CRITIC & FILMMAKER: Two and a half million people facing foreclosure, and we’re just finding out about it now. It’s in the back of the paper. It’s in the business section. It’s not in the headlines. It’s not on the front pages. Where are the investigations of the various investment houses and hedge funds on Wall Street and how they concocted these schemes to securitize loans, to slice and dice, to lateralize their obligations? Where are the brokers and the executives right now?

MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: It’s an appeal to the halls of Congress and to Wall Street to help out Main Street America, where black people and white people, Hispanics and Asians and Native Americans, people of all walks of life, but particularly people of colour, are burdened by this subprime crisis.

LESLEY KAGAN, UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE: The country’s priorities are all turned upside down. Instead of making sure that people have housing, not just housing but good housing, affordable housing, housing that they can own, instead of that, billions, hundreds of billions of dollars poured into a war that never should have happened.

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According to The San Jose Mercury News, Washington’s recently announced bailout will help only a small percentage of borrowers facing foreclosure. The cascading impact of the subprime mess is clear: a credit crunch, a sagging real estate market, jittery financial markets, and massive layoffs and writeoffs by mortgage lenders and investment firms. Short of a massive bailout, no mortgage relief plan can undo the loose practices of the real estate bubble.

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Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.