'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Monday, April 02, 2012

OccupySF Occupies 888 Turk Street 

UPDATE 2: Meanwhile, Jessica Hollie of Occupy Oakland was assaulted by a federal marshal while ustreaming the federal raid on the Oaksterdam marijuana dispensary in Oakland. The officer assaults her at the 22:00 mark of the ustream. Raucous scenes as the crowd is outraged over the force used during the raid and subsequent arrests:

Video streaming by Ustream

UPDATE 1: 75 arrested at 888 Turk Street after an SFPD raid that started at approximately 1:35 PM today.

INITIAL POST: Justin Beck ustreamed it live yesterday:

Video streaming by Ustream

EyeofRah of OccupySFTV is ustreaming live from the roof of the building this morning:

Live Video streaming by Ustream

He is reporting that there are 8 police vehicles at the scene. Of course, it is anticipated that the police will raid it. There's a march from the Civic Center to the building starting in about half an hour at 10:00am. A call for support has gone out through the Twitter hashtag #888Turk. You can obtain real time updates there as well, including new livestream and video sources throughout the day.

Here's the statement released by OccupySF:

. . . . Occupy SF, through the OccupySF Commune, has inhabited a vacant building onTurk St. for the purpose of creating a community center in the spirit of this building’s original intention–to create a center for health and healing.

In a city with ten thousand homeless people and thirty-two thousand vacant but habitable units, it is a crime against humanity that people are prevented from sleeping through the night as part of a political protest or as a basic human right. The city wants OccupySF and the homeless off the street–harassing, intimidating, and arresting us every night–so now we are inside creating a vibrant space for health, humanity, and free expression.

This building has been empty for five years and was previously a mental health clinic providing a valuable service to the community. Five years ago the Board of Supervisors cut the funding to this vital community center causing many people with mental illness to be put out on the street and become subject to arrest and harassment simply for now existing in these very same streets they were forced into. This funding cut was brought on by the international financial crisis caused by a corrupt banking system which profits off the backs of the 99%.

This Turk St. building is owned by the Church and the owners, therefore, pay no property tax for it. It has been vacant and unused for over five years and no services have been provided here. Further, the owners have failed to register the building as vacant, avoiding their duty to pay vacancy fees to the public coffers. The building is now occupied by a group of people willing to offer services such as food, housing, education, and community-building skills for free.

We assert our human rights to free expression, dissent, and 24-hour protest without undue harassment.

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