More than three dozen local Occupy Wall Street demonstrators gathered Monday at the Nevada City Courthouse to protest the home foreclosures, just as several foreclosed Nevada County homes were being auctioned off right across the street.
"More and more people are losing their homes locally and nationally," Sharon Delgado told the crowd of gathered protesters on either side of Church Street. "If you think this cannot happen to you, think again."
Monday's courthouse demonstration was a precursor for today's nationwide Occupy Our Homes, a campaign of coordinated actions planned by groups to highlight the foreclosure crisis, support families who are losing their homes, and find ways to keep people in their homes, demonstrators declared.
Local demonstrators held their own Occupy Our Homes a day early to coincide with regularly scheduled foreclosure auctions on the courthouse steps.
Shortly after 12:30 p.m., a representative of Lender Processing Services, who declined to give his name, began auctioning off foreclosed Nevada County homes to a handful of gathered buyers on the courthouse steps - a practice that takes place at least once each week.
As the auction began, the protesters enclosed the auction. Some chanted "Save our homes!" while later, others sang songs about losing homes.
"We don't think people should have to leave their homes," said Pamela Osgood, a Grass Valley resident.
As of Monday, Nevada County has issued 668 trustee deeds in 2011, which occurs after a notice of default on a loan or mortgage has been issued, according to the Nevada County Recorder's Office.
The protest was mostly peaceful. Only one verbal confrontation took place when a protester asked a prospective bidder if he thought something was funny.
"If I was you, I'd be out looking for a job instead of standing in front of the courthouse whining," a young, short-haired, prospective bidder told the protester.
Before the confrontation could escalate further, those on hand helped diffuse the tempers of both individuals.
The Occupy Wall Street Nevada County group plans to hold a rally at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Brunswick Road and Sutton Way in Grass Valley.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4236.