Huff-Po No: #FortHernandez (VIDEO)

#FortHernandez has been all over the news the past few weeks. It’s the cover story for the next LA Weekly and was on the front page of LA Opinion.  It’s the story of a family standing up to the Bank of America. This week  LAPD and DCFS arrived at the Hernandez home at midnight under false claims of no running water or electricity. The family posted a a video to dispute the claims. They also posted another video of their happy family. 

The Huffington Post chose not to publish this blog submission (below)


The San Fernando Valley summer heat is already threatening at 6 a.m. as the first in an endless parade of LAPD helicopters flies low enough to stir the bees. The hot front creeping in from the Mojave warns a high of 101 degrees.


Photo by Sam Slovick
Javier Hernandez has been up for half an hour on Friday morning doing chores. His three-bedroom American dream home on a quiet street in Van Nuys, Calif., has recently been dubbed “Fort Hernandez“.

The temporary autonomous zone behind a 10-foot curbside barricade rendered in a collage of signs and banners makes a radical statement. Christmas lights on the roof spell out “Evict Banks.”

The house on Leadwell Street is home to Javier, his mother, two sisters, two brothers and four small children. It is also the answer to the pressing question of the future of Occupy LA.

BofA Call with timecode 9 10 from #forthernandez on Vimeo.

Fort Hernandez is a “fort-closure”; a home defense action against Bank of America initiated by OSFV (Occupy San Fernando Valley) 22 days ago. The struggle to save their home has become a local media event.

Just behind the barricade in the front yard wall-to-wall tents with “arrestable” people occupy the space till sheriffs arrive to evict them.

The foreclosure resistance action in Van Nuys is an actively emerging archetype. There are 174 other homes facing foreclosure in this small 91405 ZIP code.

Groups like Occupy The Hood, Occupy Fights Foreclosure and small collectives like MFP are involved in the action at Fort Hernandez. Visitors and supporters include the Brown Berets, Black Riders, R.A.C. (Revolutionary Autonomous Communities,), Hermandad Mexicana and the ISO (International Socialist Origination).

Inside, kitchen committee preps breakfast, lunch and dinner for anywhere from 40 to 100 people. Food not Bombs and OSVF’s Feed The People serve food just outside Fort Hernandez every Friday and Monday at 6 p.m.

Last week the family posted a video of a tapped phone conversation with Debi Haber from the President and CEO’s office from Bank of America. In the call Javier’s younger brother Ulises confronts a decidedly disingenuous Debi demanding that she produce the note to the home loan. The conversation plays like a scene from a Michael Moore documentary as Occupy Wall Street in Los Angeles leans into its second year. The new front of the American class war is playing out at Fort Hernandez.

The constant threat of the L A County Sherriff’s department weighs heavily, but ultimately serves to strengthen the families’ resolve. They’ve focused on building community. Daily outreach to the adjacent neighborhoods and accessing social media networks. Fort Hernandez is promoting a foreclosure free zone in Van Nuys.

On September 19th, Fort Hernandez is hosting a foreclosure fair called BofA-DOA. The date coincides with the final deadline to submit paperwork to qualify for a loan modification.

Weather the family sleeps in their home or County Jail tonight is indeterminate.

Fort Hernandez has tapped in to the vast viral network that was created in the Occupy camp on the south lawn at City Hall almost a year ago.