Protesters occupied 535 Castro Street briefly yesterday in conjunction with World Homeless Action Day. The Chronicle reported that 20 people were arrested after marching form Dolores Park to the vacant storefront shortly after 6PM. There were two paddy wagons and one unmarked police cruiser parked out front of Bank of America on 18th Street and several uniformed police officers patrolling the corner of 18th and Castro around 6:30PM.
World Homeless Action Day takes place the 10th day of the 10th month with a purpose to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness, while taking advantage of the stage an ‘international day’ provides. A year ago the same day housing activists took over Cathedral Hill Hotel at 1101 Van Ness Avenue occupying some of the 600 vacant units.
Flickr user Steve Rhodes was able to snap several shots of the 25+ police officer presence in the Castro that lasted well past 8PM Wednesday night.
View his photos in the gallery below:
Follow Up: Castro Biscuit learned that all protestors have been charged with conspiracy, burglary and vandallism. Bail was set at $300,000 each. This is a very unusual change in policy by the District Attorneys office in tactics when related to community protest. Charged with ‘conspiracy’ implies that anyone meeting to plan a protest could be locked up under those guidelines making citizen’s leery about exploring their First Amendment Right to Protest peacefully. More coverage at the SF Gate.