Occupy Miami's Overtown Safehouse Now Owned By Non-Profit, But Neighbor Complains Conditions are "Worse Than Ever"

Categories: News, Occupy Miami

Jacob Katel
Rodrigo Duque, AKA "Senor Paz," signed the building over to Peace City Inc.
Earlier this month she sent a letter to Miami mayor Tomas Regalado, city commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, and chief of police Manuel Orosa complaining about the eyesore. She says cops with the local Neighborhood Enhancement Team called her back a couple of days later.

But when police, building, and code enforcement officials showed up to 540 NW 7th Street last Wednesday, Matias says they did nothing at all.

"They showed up in the shiny truck and held their flashy little make believe meeting," she says. But they haven't responded to her since.

"It's a disgrace for the city," she says. "The building was deemed unsafe a year and a half ago. So why is the city still permitting people to live there?"

Jacob Katel
Occupy Miami members at 540 NW 7th Street
"The conditions are getting worse because the city has ignored this particular building," Matias continues. She says she couldn't care less who owns the place, as long as it's imperiling the neighborhood.

"The new ownership has nothing to do with it," she says. "If the building is unsafe, it's unsafe. Close it up, get some plans, but until you do something [to fix it up] you can't have people living there."

After complaining for 18 months, Matias says she only has one more recourse: "to just embarrass the shit out of the city bureaucrats."

"I don't want them to think that that little meeting, that little performance was good enough," she says. "I'm not going to let it go. They have to close that building down."

See also:
- Occupy Miami's Overtown Safehouse Raided by Dozens of Miami Police With Assault Rifles
- NATO 3's Bumbling Miami Background
- Miami-Dade Police Watched Occupy Miami's Facebook Page for Months

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Follow this journalist on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.

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Michael you are more than welcome to call me in regards to Peace City Inc and our plans for the building; as well as our comments on this story.
I work 50 hrs a week, but I'll be off tomorrow if you would like to call me.
Email me at kevin.young001@mymdc.net for the number.

We plan to demolish the building and in its place create a community education and health center, constructed out of shipping containers. Here is a link to the google doc I created explaining our position. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xvib6v1q7Rmk_5XkmNslQpoLjgtNKblJYlVB5BS83D8/edit?usp=sharing

 I find it troubling that though you and I have met before in person, and my name is clearly on the papers for Peace City Inc; you made no attempt to contact me or Karel. 

Perhaps you could ask the police why they refuse to respond to calls to the building. Why they refuse to arrest or remove individuals who are violent and/or clearly intoxicated. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that the police department is being sued for their illegal and unjustified raid last year; or perhaps they just don't care about anyone in that community until someone gets shot. 

While the building was never officially endorsed by the Occupy Miami General Assembly, there are only 2 or 3 people who are still there that were present when the eviction of the Occupy Miami Camp took place; and your original hit piece was published.  Your integrity as an objective journalist is clearly questionable at this point, but if you or your editor care to get the whole story, feel free to contact me.


It is so easy to locate Karel Soucre's contact information...this is really lazy reporting. Durrr - I sent an email to hotmail and it bounced back! What do I do now?

WhyNotNow topcommenter

This place is no longer part of Occupy Miami. This is a mental institution, cell block free-for-all. I live directly behind the building and have witnessed violent chaotic incidents here on a daily basis. Quite frankly, even the drug dealers in the neighborhood don't want this eyesore as it scares away their customers. The city has turned a blind eye to the problem and soon it is going to blow up in their face. They better douse the flame before the whole area goes down in conflagration. The people living their are no more than unsupervised mental patients. The Occupy Miami people want to further the goal of helping the 99%. This crowd should be called Chaos Miami. And the city just ignores the problem. Rome burns while Spence-jones et al fiddle.

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