Empty Bank Occupied in Santa Cruz

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SANTA CRUZ, California – An empty bank in downtown Santa Cruz on river and water street has been occupied since 30 November. Initially when police arrived on the scene, around 30 people linked their arms across the entrance to prevent them from entering. [Updated: see below]

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Updates:

Wednesday, 30 November

4:45pm – folks are holding a meeting inside now. One person has been arrested on the other side of the buildings open entrance, but the charges are unclear.

6:30pm – Police are raiding. Occupiers are blockading the primary entrances with desks and sofas. [The police and occupiers went back and forth, pushing the stacked furniture at the doors of the building, but the police failed to gain a foothold. Meanwhile, a larger crowd of 100 or more people partially encircled the 15-30 police in riot gear, stood together with linked arms, and shouted down the police's attempt to evict occupiers.]

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7:00pm – Police just backed off after failing to get in.

8:25pm – So it appears police are staging in various places nearby, but we haven’t seen any sign of police within sight. Currently a GA is happening outside the building. The bank is still occupied.

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(above: inside the occupied bank)

10:20pm – The majority of the folks are now inside holding a meeting. The general assembly that began earlier has been over for a while now. No police presence.

Friday, 2 December

Power and water was shut off in the building.

Saturday, 3 December

After a little more than three days of occupying the vacant bank building, occupiers have withdrawn from the space. Although a number of factors appear to have contributed to leaving the space, the constant, legitimate threat of police eviction deterred the space from developing into the community services center occupiers had initially set out to create. As of Saturday evening, people are still trying to clean it up by the self-imposed Sunday afternoon deadline. Despite the clean up effort, some graffiti and damage has been sustained to the building. Read the statement released after withdrawing from the space.

See More:

  • 75River – The vacant bank occupation’s blog.

Related:

  • Community garden established on empty lot in SC on Saturday, 3 December.
  • Early on Sunday morning, Santa Cruz County Sheriffs raided the part of the #OccupySantaCruz encampment that erected tents and a geodesic dome in front of the county courthouse.
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