Occupiers take over another house and create chaos
LuJuan Poole grew up in the quiet yellow house on Varnum Street, in the Petworth section of Washington, D.C.
But now she is in a struggle to get back her family home.
The home has become the “Occuhouse”, a haven for members of Occupy DC and a source of chaos and upset in the neighborhood. Around 3 dozen Occupiers have been reported to be staying there at any given time and they have been occupying the home now for months.
Robert Joyner, 58, who has lived quietly in the neighborhood for almost his entire life, describes the house now. “I don’t even know who these people are. I’ve never seen them before,” Joyner said recently as he stood outside his home on Varnum Street. “They beat bongos. They play guitar. They stay up all night. And they [have sex] on the porch. They also rigged illegal electrical lines that were later disconnected by the utility company.
Supporters say the occupiers think they’re engaged in “land liberation”.
The neighbors, mostly new, younger residents and African American families who have lived there for decades, have complained to the police multiple times. “There’s a lot of concern. There’s rats everywhere, trash everywhere,” said Malita Rankin, 45, a home health-care worker sitting on her mother’s front porch recently.
The problem started back in 2007 when Lu Juan let a friend stay in the house. That friend apparently let Anthony Sluder stay at the house. Sluder, who later became an Occupier at McPherson Square, then invited other occupiers to stay at the house. Sluder, who says he has a lease, claims he has no way of evicting the other occupiers.
He said that he invited Occupy protesters to stay at the house but was unprepared for the “mayhem” that followed. “Friends told friends who told friends, and they were in the attic and the basement and the kitchen, anywhere they could lay down,” Sluder said. “They didn’t respect it as somebody’s home.”
Poole says that Sluder has no lease. She has been trying to evict him and the others, but has so far been unsuccessful at getting them out, in part, because of a requirement that she prove that none of the people are in the military, an impossible task as she doesn’t even now who some of them are.
Poole is just one of a number of people who has had to deal with occupiers occupying their homes. In two most notable examples, in Seattle , they occupied and completely destroyed a home owned by Denmark West, who was fixing it up for a low income family, and in Brooklyn, NY, they perpetrated a fraud on the media with the assistance of Congressional candidate Charles Barron and stole the home of Wise Ahadzi for months, damaging it significantly.
According to Poole, when she tried to confront the occupants, “One of them said, ‘I’ll get out when the marshals come and put me out.’ ”