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Vacant Bank Occupied at River and Water Streets in Santa Cruz (Part 2 of 2)
by Bradley Stuart ( bradley [at] riseup.net )
Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
On November 30th, more than a hundred activists in Santa Cruz demonstrated in front of a Chase bank, before marching to and occupying a vacant bank building on River and Water Streets at 3 PM. A communique handed out shortly after the building was entered states, "This building is being re-purposed in solidarity with Occupy Santa Cruz. Formerly a Coast Commercial Bank, the building was bought by Wells Fargo, closed, and has been vacant for the past three years. The company leasing the building manages foreclosures for Wells Fargo.

"The building is being re-purposed under Federal and State laws surrounding 'adverse possession.' This law states that space is most beneficial to the people who use it. Spaces like this one, reclaimed from the wealthiest 1%, are places where we can seek redress to our grievances."

Please see Part 1 for the full article and more photos: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/12/01/18701406.php
upside-down-flag_11-30-11.jpg
upside-down-flag_11-30-11...

Please see Part 1 for the full article and more photos: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/12/01/18701406.php
§Bird's Eye View
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
birds-eye-view_11-30-11.jpg
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§Cops in Parking Lot
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
cops-in-parking-lot_11-30-11.jpg
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§Occupy Santa Cruz Tents in San Lorenzo Park
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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§Jumping the Stalls
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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§Occupy Everything
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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§Come Inside. Take a Seat. Relax.
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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§Chris Doyon
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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§A.C.A.B. "all cats are beautiful"
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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acab-all-cats-are-beautif...

§End Foreclosures
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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§Banners Cover Windows
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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§Plainclothes Police Film From Levee
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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§I Held Signs, I Screamed My Lungs Out! Can You Hear Me Now?
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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§Joe Arrested
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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I'll publish an additional series of photos documenting Joe's arrest.
§River Street Blocked
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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§Cops Blocking River Street
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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§Road Closed
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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§Shareholder's Meeting
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:03 AM
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§Tent Inside Bank Vault
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:04 AM
tent-in-vault_11-30-11.jpg
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§Part 1 of 2: Vacant Bank Occupied at River and Water Streets in Santa Cruz
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 1:14 AM
Part 1 of 2: Vacant Bank Occupied at River and Water Streets in Santa Cruz
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/12/01/18701406.php
§One Demonstrator Arrested During Occupation of Vacant Bank
by Bradley Stuart Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 2:48 AM
On November 30th, Santa Cruz Police arrested a demonstrator named Joe on Water Street along the Post Office, while other activists were beginning the occupation of a vacant bank at 75 River Street in Santa Cruz. No witnesses knew why Joe was arrested, but he was later charged with "interfering with an officer", and bailed out of jail for $100. While arresting Joe, the police made sure that he was not able to pass his video camera or phone to bystanders. Furthermore, his video camera and phone were not returned to him after he was bailed out of jail.

Photos of Joe being arrested:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/12/01/18701459.php

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Robert Norse
Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 3:51 PM
One witness told me that Joe was accused of running from a police officer after he'd straightened out some of the traffic cones that had fallen down in the road. The witness continued that when Joe reached the point in the picture above, he held up his hands saying he was peaceful and non-resistant, and was still violently taken down to the curb. A second person was tackled when Joe attempt to pass his camera to that person and his cell phone. Police continued to unnecessarily and threateningly block the sidewalk for minutes after Joe was hauled away.

I witnessed much of the latter part of Joe's arrest, including the police violence against him and others when he attempted to hand off his camera.

Bail was quickly raised for him inside the occupied bank, but was shortly after returned when he was released O.R. (on his own recognizance--or promise to show up in court). He was charged, I was told, with resisting arrest and obstructing an officer. These are classic "fill in the blank" charges which police use when there is no underlying crime.
by Becky Johnson
Thursday Dec 1st, 2011 7:25 PM
I saw the KSBW coverage tonight with Phil Gomez. Despite a rather long piece with interviews with Peter Cook and a pro-occupation supporter, they failed to mention salient facts that the property in question was owned by an absentee landlord who had failed to find a tenant in over three years. Furthermore, the former bank at that site, Coast Commercial, had been bought up by Wells Fargo, one of the banks recently implicated in defrauding Veterans in service in Iraq and Afghanistan by issuing predatory home loans then foreclosing when Vets couldn't make appointments stateside to negotiate loan extensions, etc.

Why didn't the Redevelopment Agency tag this building as blighted when it hasn't housed a business, provided a single job, or produced any taxable income in over three years?

Why do OUR POLICE suddenly reschedule all other work, and organize 30 at a time to take back property from an absentee landlord?

Can you find a clearer example of OUR POLICE RESOURCES being used as private security guards for an absentee landlord?

Why do they serve the 1% as a knee-jerk first reaction?
by Ben
Friday Dec 2nd, 2011 9:59 AM
"Why didn't the Redevelopment Agency tag this building as blighted when it hasn't housed a business, provided a single job, or produced any taxable income in over three years?"

Because the building does not fall into any category to be considered as blight. The building has not been abandoned. It is being maintained as if there were a tenant, and no decay has taken place. The grounds are being maintained. Electricity has been consistently provided and water functions are 100% operational. They just don't have a tenant. Unfortunately in these trying economic times many landlords are having problems finding the right businesses to take over such large buildings. And the landlord actually is currently and actively looking for a tenant. Almost all big buildings in downtown Santa Cruz have an exceptionally low occupancy rate for offices and businesses. The building on the old Cooper House site is almost totally vacant from the second floor up. The old Borders building is also quite empty. Then there's The Rittenhouse building. This is an unfortunate sign of the times and people's willingness to invest in Santa Cruz as a business home.

As for the building not producing a single job, that is false. The landlord has hired people to maintain the interior and exterior of the building. They have hired local landscapers to groom the property. They are also paying for private security to watch over the building and keep it safe. Those are all local paying jobs. They are also paying property tax on the building and land. And lets face it, tax on a $3M+ property is no small change to the city and county. To imply that the property is not generating any tax revenue is false.
by Ben
Friday Dec 2nd, 2011 10:09 AM
It does look as if there was a big effort to subdue the guy. Your comment tells us what happened after whatever incident caused this, but do you know more about what happened before your first hand experience? You mentioned that the man was trying to straighten cones that had fallen over. But there are also reports, some from people I know, that some of the protesters were throwing the cones at passing cars and into the street. In addition to the cones, a road block was removed and thrown into the San Lorenzo. Are you positive that the young man was being courteous by putting the cones back or could it be possible that he was involved in their removal and projection of the cones into traffic? Some more information would be helpful in determining what really happened.
by logic
Friday Dec 2nd, 2011 12:23 PM
Becky, thanks for pointing out that tax payer $$ will be used to evict these trespassers. Occupation of a private building against the wishes of the owner is a crime. Everyone who has participated knows this. When crimes are committed it is the job of the police to handle them. The police are going to evict you, and it will cost the citizen of Santa Cruz to do so. Thank you for wasting my money.

And thank you in advance for deleting this comment. We can't tolerate opposing perspectives. That might lead to honest dialogue.
by fire the cops
Friday Dec 2nd, 2011 3:03 PM
over half the cities budget is wasted on police as it is. that money is already spent whether the cops arrest the occupiers, ticket sleepers, or eat doughnuts. we currently waste over $170,000 a year just on our former police chief's pension. you never whine about that, because you are an idiot.

most of the time police have discretion whether to arrest or not. they don't have to do anything about the occupation at all.
by logic
Friday Dec 2nd, 2011 3:13 PM
How can you say that I never whine about the city wasting tax payer money on police? First of all, you are incorrect and I do object to the city's dispersal of funds. Second, you have never met me nor have you ever had a conversation with me, so how is it that you feel qualified to make absolute statements about my actions or beliefs? While your statement was inflammatory and rude, I hope that the moderators will leave it up so that we can open a dialogue. That is, if you are willing and able to converse in a mature manner. I have my suspicions that you may be incapable or unwilling to engage in a civil conversation, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt and not close off my mind to the possibility.
by fire the cops
Saturday Dec 3rd, 2011 7:35 PM
got a link to a post where you complain about the police chiefs pension? the city spends more on him doing nothing than it spends on all the homeless combined ($160,000 to the HSC).
if you wanted a dialogue, it would have been logical to address my points.
i don't care what the censors do. i post here to support the radicals.
by your t-shirt at the anarchist cafe
Saturday Dec 3rd, 2011 8:02 PM
Best Symbol for Whole Movement. Way to go santa cruz autonomous direct actors!