For those familiar with the protest movement in Charlotte, ActionNC organizer Luis Rodriguez has been noticeably absent from all of the marches and rallies held downtown since the Democratic National Convention started on Tuesday.
On Thursday morning, however, he was spotted standing alone at the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets with a microphone and a large speaker, speaking on the banking crisis, Wall Street and big banks' foreclosure practices.
Had Rodriguez had gone rogue?
ActionNC executive director Pat McCoy explained that Rodriguez had simply been biding his time while waiting on the Sanchez family to arrive. Thursday's noontime rally would share their story.
"He might as well be up there preaching what he believes," said McCoy. "We got enough angry white men out here preaching about 'Jesus is your savior' and they're all saying the same thing."
When the Sanchez family arrived, Rodriguez kicked off the rally with introductions. The family consists of Sylvia and her two children, Jessica and Israel. Sylvia's husband, Gonzalo, was not in attendance. The Sanchezes were told recently they have to vacate their home off of Sugar Creek Road after falling behind on payments when Gonzalo lost his job.
Jessica, 17, suffers from spina bifida and is confined to a wheelchair. She has lived in the home since she was 5, and much of it has been remodeled to fit her needs.
"I don't know where I would go because no other houses are modified for my needs," said Jessica. "I know where everything is at in that house, even with the lights off."
Sylvia told rally attendees that she was crushed when Bank of America told them their house was being foreclosed on. "We spent a lot money putting ramps and other things into this house, and now they're telling me I have to get out," she said.
McCoy had planned on approaching Bank of America following the rally and demanding an immediate sit-down meeting with the Sanchez family, but he said that recent media attention has changed the bank's attitude toward the case.
McCoy said that Bank of America has been in touch with the Sanchez family and has promised to begin "serious talks" about fixing the problem.
"This is only after many calls went unanswered, a lot of paperwork was lost and other problems, that the bank saw the story in the paper and decided to call," said McCoy.
McCoy promised that he would give the bank some time, while reminding those listening on Thursday that there were many people facing the same problems and being bullied by the same banks that caused the economy to crash in the first place. He also vowed to make sure that Bank of America followed up on its promise to the Sanchez family.
"If something isn't done, and done soon, we will be back and we won't be so polite next time," said McCoy.
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