Once the last major Occupy camps had been razed by police forces, pundits began to crow that the movement was finished. Of course, once it became clear that thesis was not grounded in reality, the professional ponderers went on to wonder aloud (and in print) if occupations would still be a major part of the group’s agenda. In other words: could Occupy still be Occupy without ongoing occupations?
An Occupy Wall Street action in San Francisco of between 100 and 300 activists achieved what New York Magazine calls "one of the first real occupations of 2012" when they took over a building belonging to the city Archdiocese. (photo via @OCongress)
Police in riot gear stormed the two-story building Monday afternoon after breaking through a barricade the activists had built and arrested nearly eighty Occupiers.
Police in riot gear pushing back a line of protesters outside the occupied building and throwing one young man to the ground:
Activists said they chose to take over the building because they believed it has been vacant for five years and should be used as a center for health services and education instead of standing empty.
George Wesolek, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said the activists were wrong about the building’s vacant status. The building was used for regular music classes until as recently as 18 months ago, Wesolek said. The archdiocese was also considering leasing out the building and using the revenue to help with financial aid for low-income Sacred Heart students, he said.
"This is definitely not a vacant building," Wesolek said. "It’s not forgotten. It has a purpose."
It was the archdiocese that signed a citizens’ arrest late Sunday night for the occupiers on charges of trespassing and graffiti.
As the details of the raid trickle out, the usual sprawling chasm between print claims and the facts on the ground has already began to emerge.
Police reported no one was injured during the arrests, a claim countered by independent journalist Susie Cagle who tweeted a protester named Nick had his hand injured before he was cited for trespassing. (photo by @tigerbeat)