Protesters from Occupy Our Homes Atlanta today crashed the Atlanta Press Club during a luncheon for Egbert Perry, Integral CEO and Fannie Mae board chair at the Commerce Club in Atlanta.
After the lunch and an introductory conversation with Perry, APC facilitator and board member, Maria Saporta, noticed the Occupy members starting to spreading themselves throughout the meeting room, standing in between tables and chairs, and also holding up signs and distributing printed materials stating, “Shame on Fannie Mae.” Saporta asked the protesters repeatedly to sit down and remain quiet.
“What Fannie Mae has done to this country is criminal,” said the protester closest to the podium where Perry was speaking. But not heeding her demand, she announced the program was over. Perry was whisked away by his staff as Occupy members encircled him for a direct talk.
In his short stay as a highlighted speaker, Perry did say that the city of Atlanta has “an absent vision and is left with opportunities to cannibalize” both at the urban and rural levels in Georgia. He said Atlanta is not a city of collaborators, and leadership does not exist to make investments in infrastructures including transportation, education and water issues. “The metro area (Atlanta) is separated by large distances,” said Perry in regard to the city’s public transportation system.
The city of Atlanta started discussing the MARTA system (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit System) in the 1950s, but the first bore hole was not made until June of 1979. With $12.9 million in their pocket, the vision was to be Atlanta’s primary bus and rail transportation system. By the 2000s, MARTA rail line only expanded to one stop north of Sandy Springs and as far south as the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. To the east, the last stop ended at Indian Creek and the western stops ended at Bankhead and another stop inside the 285 beltway.
“It ought to be a ‘no brained,’” said Perry. As far away as the state of Connecticut there are effective transportation services to provide an infrastructure up and down the East Coast, he said.
A U.S. veteran, Mark Harris, also interrupted Perry’s conversation with APC guests. He said Fannie Mae evicted him from his home. Literature distributed by protesters stated that Harris was only $100 away from a compromise to keep his property, when Fannie Mae evicted him.