Building takeover leads to arrests


Believe it or not, there were people in the city of San Francisco that weren’t glued to the Giants game yesterday.

Quite the opposite. Protestors donned masks — and were later arrested — after taking over an empty building in the Castro as part of a rally in conjunction with World Homeless Action Day.

SFGate reports about 50 protestors gathered at Dolores Park around 5 p.m. before marching up 18th Street into the heart of the Castro district.

A select group of the protestors — wearing black masks — then broke into an empty building at 535 Castro Street and hung signs.

Activist Tommy Avicolli Mecca said prior to the march:

“In San Francisco we have anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 homeless people, yet we have all these empty buildings. Do the math. Why are we not using them? We’re the city that thinks outside the box.”

Neighbors of the “occupied” building, however, were not impressed by the protestors efforts. Resident Iris Dolowitz told the Chron:

“I’m a little confused as to why these people are in the building. I would assume the landlord didn’t allow them to do that. It’s not an abandoned building — it’s just empty.”

Police arrived at the building before 7 p.m. to break up the protest. They arrested 20 and emerged from the building an hour later. One protestor twisted her ankle in an effort — albeit a bad one — to run away from the cops.

This wasn’t the only protest held Wednesday. Across the Bay Bridge, over 100 people gathered to celebrate the anniversary of the Occupy Oakland movement.

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