Eight Arrested Trying To Halt KWEX Univision Building Demolition
Complete Wrap (11/13): Within minutes of Judge Janet Littlejohn’s decision to dissolve a restraining order that halted the demolition of the former home of Univision in San Antonio, activists took matters into their own hands.
As real estate developer Greystar was ready to restart the demolition, preservation activists Graciela Sanchez of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center and Antonia Castaneda, along with two others climbed the fence of the demolition site to halt the work.
"We wanted to save the building, we want to save our history but we will do anything to continue to preserve the city of San Antonio’s history, the Mexican history,” Sanchez shouted as police officers walked her into an SAPD van.
A historical designation was sought in September, when Univision was still the property owner, but that was denied. Greystar bought the property from Univision with plans to turn it into high end apartments. David Kinder, an attorney for Greystar said the protestors were removed for their own safety.
"They are trespassing on Greystar’s property and we’re are going to proceed with demolition and we are very concerned that they’re going to expose themselves to heavy equipment that will be tearing this building down and so it’s a life safety issue for them," Kinder said. "We have asked them to peacefully leave the building."
Shortly after the first four people were arrested an additional three people blocked the way of a water truck for the site and an eighth jumped the fence a short time later. Those four were also arrested.
Update (5:00 p.m.): A total of eight people were arrested in today's events at the site of the original home of KWEX TV Univision in San Antonio and demolition is once again underway at the site.
Update (3:35 p.m.): The six people arrested included members of the Westside Preservation Alliance, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center and other activists wanting to preserve the original home of Univision.
Demolition is about to continue.
Update (3:08 p.m.): Two groups of preservationists have been arrested.
Protestor: "Backroom deals and white collar criminals. That's what makes this city run" #KWEXdemo
— Joey Palacios (@Joeycules) November 12, 2013
Update (2:35 p.m.): SAPD have begun arresting preservationists who are on the construction site.
Update (2:20 p.m.): SAPD says they have 10 minutes to leave or they will be arrested.
Update (2:16 p.m.): Members of the Westside Preservation Alliance who are on the demolition side of the fence are being issued trespassing warnings by SAPD.
Original Post: Demolition of the former Univision KWEX-TV station was stopped last week thanks to a temporary restraining order, but this afternoon a judge lifted the order and demolition is now allowed to continue.
Workers were quick to hop on the bulldozers and continue their work, but preservationists climbed over the fence to stop them.
Although much of the building is already destroyed, preservationists hope to save the still-standing studios and control room.
Patti Elizondo is a former reporter for the station and the national Univision Network. She said KWEX was the birthplace of Hispanic broadcast Journalism in the US.