New York City: 1997. Single-sided xeroxed A4 flyer. Single-sided flyer which, like the best protest material, is graphically imbued with the urgency of its demands: STOP THE DEMOLITION OF THE 5TH STREET SQUAT! The 5th Street Squat stood at 537-9 5th Street in New York City's Lower East Side, and was one of many buildings reclaimed in the neighborhood (and citywide) in an attempt to access the inalienable right of housing and shelter through the city's glut of empty buildings. As the city and its mayor Rudy Giuliani dug deeper into the pockets of real estate developers, these homes and their homemakers were forcibly evicted, burned out, and run off en masse throughout the 90s (with a few notable exceptions). On February 8th, 1997 the building suffered a small electrical fire damaging only the inside of the building, and was deemed structurally safe by the Fire Marshal. The following day, Giuliani's NYC Building Department showed up with a wrecking crew to demolish the two buildings under the false pretenses of it being condemned. One squatter held his ground, and the wrecking balls started their demolition with him still inside. The 26 inhabitants then became the first squat to sue the city for their material loss.
This flyer was mocked-up and disseminated in one day, referencing "Yesterday afternoon" as the date of the fire, and giving background information for the demolition that was quite literally happening as they typed -- making it a sort of High Noon document of the squatter's rights struggle. On the blank verso side of the flyer is a hand-written catalog list of inventory, by their catalogue numbers (Beastie Boys CDs, etc), for the infamous claustrophobic, cluttered, and 24-hour(!) record store around the corner on Avenue A, ACCIDENTAL CDs, RECORDS, and TAPES. Very Good, some soiling, creasing, small open tear to top affecting only the "H" in "THE" on the title. Item #613