October 11, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO — Police in riot gear broke down a door and stormed a vacant downtown San Francisco hotel occupied by homeless advocates Monday, arresting three people during a tense room-by-room search, authorities said.
A group of about 20 homeless advocates broke away from a Sunday march in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood and occupied the hotel which had last been used for student housing by the Academy of Arts.
They barricaded the door and all the stairwells. Meanwhile, police surrounded the building and kept it cordoned off overnight.
“The trespassers have erected various types of obstacles and blockades inside the building,” Sgt. Mike Andraychak said.
Police made entry Monday and began clearing the obstacles room by room from the six-story building after attempts to negotiate with the group failed, Andraychak said.
Police said they believed the majority of the protesters had left the building during the night.
The group Creative Housing Liberation said in a news release that the action was intended to call attention to homeless people’s right to housing, as part of Sunday’s World Homeless Day event.
Organizers claim that while thousands of San Franciscans are homeless on any given night, many more housing units in the city remain vacant.