A group of housing activists who occupied the vacant second floor of the former Sierra SRO Hotel on the corner of 20th and Mission Streets were arrested this morning at around 11 a.m.

A group called Direct Action to Stop the Cuts claimed responsibility for the occupation. It said it was calling attention to the fact that the building has been vacant while thousands of people go without shelter.

The arrest occurred without incident. Activists were escorted to a police van, chanting slogans like “The people, united, will never be divided!” and “House keys, not handcuffs!” According to police at the scene, the activists did not vandalize the building.

Police had been trying to contact the building owner since yesterday, when the activists took over the second floor of the building at 6:30 p.m. The owner was reached on Tuesday morning and promptly signed the trespassing report that allowed the arrests, as well as a citizen’s arrest form. According to a certificate of use found inside the building, it is owned by T.M. Patel and Edward Litke.

At the time of the arrest, the five individuals had occupied the building for nearly 16 hours.

“They made their point,” said Sgt. Limbert of the Mission Police Station.

Matthew Crain, one of the activists arrested, told a Mission Loc@l reporter over the phone that they were cited and released at approximately 1:20 p.m.

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Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

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  1. Thanks for your comment. I have not talked to my editor yet, but I think this story does need a follow up. My guess is that there will be one, I’ll keep you posted. I Also did try to talk to one of the owners at the scene and he declined to comment.

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