The New York Post has a very revealing investigative piece this week on the fallout of one offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement – “Occupy Our Homes” – and the effect it had on one individual’s life. The ostensible goal of the project was to take control of properties foreclosed on by the banks and convert them for use by the homeless. The proposal originally attracted the support of Wise Ahadzi, owner of a property in East New York who had been unable to make his mortgage payments and moved his family to a lower rent apartment while he sought to sort things out with the bank. Occupiers proposed that they would fix up the place for Mr. Ahadzi in exchange for taking part, and he agreed. They busted in and soon installed the family of Alfredo Carrasquillo, a homeless man. So popular was the move that a Democratic member of the city council came to pose for a photo op with the new tenant.
So, how did that work out for Wise Ahadzi? The pictures speak for themselves.
Last week,Wise Ahadzi opened the door to the house he still owns, 702 Vermont Street in East New York.
Inside is a war zone. The walls are torn down, the plumbing is ripped out and the carpeting has been plucked from the floor. It’s like walking through a ribcage.
Garbage, open food containers and Ahadzi’s possessions are tossed haphazardly around the house.
“This is where my kitchen was,” Ahadzi says. There is no sink, no refrigerator and no counter space. Instead there are dirty dishes piled high waiting for a dip in three large buckets of putrid water that serve as the dishwashing system.
The house is now in such a condition that the owner sees it as being fit for nothing other than being condemned. Even if he could get the mortgage situation straightened out, he couldn’t move his family back in. The property is destroyed.
This really looks like a fitting legacy to a “movement” which never had any leadership, never identified the goals it sought to achieve and attracted some of the worst elements imaginable. As the article goes on to note, large numbers of “participants” in the area of Mr. Ahadzi’s home were never even involved as activists. They were simply castoffs from the local homeless shelters who heard that there was a place to get free food and decent shelter. There was no oversight of these “programs” which had such lofty sounding goals but no clue as to how they might be effectively implemented.
Wize Ahadzi is no longer such a fan of the Occupy movement. His former home stands as a testament to the destruction which was left behind after the police finally cleared the park. Perhaps if more of the Big Apple’s residents get to see this story it will serve as a reminder for this spring.