Occupy the Mission?


Photo taken by Geoff King outside 1950 Mission Street on May 1, 2010.

As the Guardian reported yesterday, protesters camped out at Occupy SF rejected the city's offer to grant use of 1950 Mission Street, the fenced-in site of a shuttered school near 16th and Mission streets, in exchange for clearing out of Justin Herman Plaza.

Occupiers ultimately opted not to sign a facility license agreement prepared by the city that would have granted them use of the empty lot and some structures -- with about 17 strings attached, including rules banning minors or pets from the site. However, some occupiers noted at a meeting yesterday that they saw potential in the space and liked the idea of relocating to the Mission.

It's worth noting that this offer isn't the first time the site, which formerly housed the Phoenix Continuation School, has been linked with economic justice activism. On the evening of May 1, 2010, around 100 activists -- many of them clad in black with bandanas covering their faces -- participated in a May Day march that culminated with a takeover of this very same abandoned lot.

While it was more common to hear rallying cries of "reclaim" than "occupy" at that point in time, the action was meant to draw attention to the fact that the abandoned school could be put to better use. After people broke into the property and mingled around within the fenced-in area, announcing they wished to hold the space and ultimately turn it into a free school, police wound up cutting off access to the street and making arrests.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, a raid at Occupy SF seems imminent. According to a text update from the Guardian's Yael Chanoff, who has been closely following Occupy SF since its inception, about 80 officers were on the scene as of 6 p.m. Dec. 1, and police barricades were already beginning to surround the camp.