Since late October, even before the clearing of Zuccotti Park, some Occupy Wall Street protesters were using a loft space in lower Manhattan as one of many places throughout the city to meet and sometimes sleep (as well as party, apparently). The only problem: Its actual tenant wasn’t paying his rent. Yesterday, after multiple eviction notices since December, about a dozen demonstrators were removed from 40 Exchange Place, which they’d nicknamed “Magic Mountain.”
George Weathers, who held the lease for his education business, told the Wall Street Journal that he stopped paying his $6,200 rent in August. Since he was “sympathetic” to the occupiers’ cause, and because evictions take a while, he let the protesters crash there in the meantime. When living on uncertain terms, it usually helps to be discreet, but the building was also known for “raucous parties and unsavory behavior,” according to the building management’s lawyer.
For their part, protesters said they weren’t properly served papers and want to fight the order, but an unaffiliated housing lawyer called this one for The Man: “It looks like it’s over,” he said. Good thing it’s springtime.