Housing advocate Bruce Marks is no stranger to aggressive protests. He knows the perils of releasing rats in hotels, and he´s sent volunteers for his organization, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, to the schoolyards of bank executives´ children to confront them. This weekend, he and about 500 NACA volunteers are gearing up to get personal again with something called the Predators´ Tour.
Mr. Marks and his troops are planning to show up at the homes of chief executives of major banks to protest foreclosures. They´re gathering Sunday morning in Stamford, Conn., and they plan to make their way south to Greenwich and to Mt. Kisco, N.Y., where, as Mr. Marks put it, "the rich and infamous live."
"In essence we´re going to hold them hostage in their own mansions. Just like in a nonviolent confrontational action," Mr. Marks said Friday. "We´re bringing the homeowners who are losing their homes to the homes of the CEOs who are foreclosing on them."
Mr. Marks said no prior protest has involved this many people, but NACA has previously demonstrated outside the homes of banking executives. In 1995, NACA volunteers demonstrated outside the home of Edward Crutchfield, then the president and CEO of First Union, which Mr. Marks said wasn´t lending enough to working-class borrowers.
"We called him `Fast Eddie´ because he was so quick to get to rich people that working people couldn´t see him," Mr. Marks said. "He was going through a divorce, and his wife was not too happy that we had gone to his house and had posted people in front of his house for most of the day."
Mr. Marks would not say which CEOs he´s targeting on Sunday, but he did reveal plans to post their home addresses and phone numbers on NACA´s Website. How does he get this information?
"I´ve got 550,000 members," he said. "The NACA members are police officers; they are security guards; they work for the telephone companies; they are the janitors; they are the computer programmers. They are the inside people at every one of these companies."