Justiceville, a Skid Row shantytown set up by homeless people, was bulldozed yesterday after police closed it and arrested 12 people.
"We will rebuild Justiceville one way or another," said Ted Hayes, who was among those arrested for trespassing. The residents had decided beforehand that 12 would submit to arrest as a symbolic protest.
"They were very cool, very quiet. There was no handcuffing," Justiceville resident Peter St. Mu said of the police. "I had five shirts, four pairs of pants, an alarm clock. I had a home again.
"Now I have to go back out on the street with my bedroll and bag," he said.
Hayes had leased the site for $1 a month, arranged for a telephone in one shack and brought in four portable toilets. The shack city rose in January after authorities tore down a tent city across the street from City Hall.
City investigators said Justiceville violated city codes, was overcrowded, had no running water, lacked adequate toilets and was infested with rodents and cockroaches.
On Tuesday, the city attorney threatened to file criminal charges against the lot owner, Orient Investment and Realty Co. The firm posted "No Trespassing" signs and warned the squatters that police would be called.