Battle Brews Between Occupiers, Tenants at "Fort Peace"

Tenant Charane Odho and others say they want the Occupy Miami members out

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The place the Occupy Miami movement calls “Fort Peace” has apartment doors removed from their hinges, sheet rock ripped from the walls, and garbage littering the ground. Tenants tell NBC 6 they want their building back and the occupiers out. The occupiers, though, say they will stay until the landlord, called "Peace" kicks them out. (Published Friday, May 25, 2012)

    The place the Occupy Miami movement calls “Fort Peace” has apartment doors removed from their hinges, sheet rock ripped from the walls, and garbage littering the ground.

    There are also plenty of rainbows and murals. But months after the Overtown building’s owner invited the Occupy Miami movement to stay there, the actual tenants are fed up and say they want the Occupiers out.

    "When we asked you, you said they were only going to be here for a few days. They ended up staying for almost 6 months now,” tenant Charane Odho said. “We want our building back. We want our peace and quiet back."

    Miami Police say they have pulled up to the building on Northwest 7th Street between 5th and 6th avenues eight times in the last month for disturbances, twice for assaults and one time for a landlord tenant dispute.

    "It's like a police station over here. We’ve counted 78 times we call the police in three months,” said former manager Miguel Bonilla.

    Most of the 52 units are filled with either squatters or guests, depending on whom you ask. Landlord Rodrigo Duque invited the Occupiers, and they simply call him Peace.

    "We’re not going until Peace says he doesn't want us here,” said Bob Andre of Occupy Miami.

    Looking through newspaper clippings of stories on the movement, disillusioned activist Alfridy Diaz-Hernandez says he's sad about the current state of Fort Peace.

    "Those bad apples, they’re just parasitos,” he said, using the Spanish word for parasites. “And it never worked out."

    The dilapidated building has been deemed unsafe by Miami-Dade County's building department. Occupiers received letters from the Faro International Corporation warning them to vacate the premises by May 23.

    That date has come and gone – so an unlikely status quo remains, for now, at Fort Peace.

    For more coverage of Occupy Miami, see here, here and here.