An “Occupy Wall Street” protester in Seattle was so desperate to save a 107-year-old building from destruction that she decided to marry it Sunday afternoon.
According to ABC affiliate KOMO-TV, Babylonia Aivaz made the unorthodox decision to go into wedlock with the “10th and Union” warehouse after hearing it would be replaced for a new apartment complex.
Aivaz fell in love with the warehouse in December after she and 16 other “Occupy Seattle” protesters surrounded it to protest against gentrification.
“I was transformed by the event,” she said, whose friends sang “Lean On Me” with her during the ceremony. “Gentrification is happening. It’s a serious issue that affects poor people and especially people of color and this is just the beginning of the fight.”
Aivaz decided that the building is female, making her wedlock a “gay marriage,” which provoked some disagreement among protesters.
“Her saying it’s a gay marriage sets the community back with Christians and politicians and gives them a chance to say, ‘See, we told you, they’re going to want to marry everything if we give them the opportunity,’” said one man. “Having compassion against something you love, I understand, but to call it a gay union is irresponsible.”
Aivaz mentioned how the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United also inspired her decision to elope the warehouse.
“If corporations can have the rights as people, so can buildings,” she told KOMO-TV. “I’m doing this to show the building how much I love it, how much I love community space and how much I love this neighborhood. And I want to stop it from gentrification.”
“Stop the city council murderous policy and giveaways and public money to real estate developers,” a fellow protester explained. “If corporations can be people under Citizens United, then buildings can be people. And this is obviously a female building, and so it will be a gay wedding.”
The “marriage,” however, was purely symbolic and legally non-binding. It will not stop the warehouse from being torn down.
WATCH: Video from KOMO-TV, which was broadcast on January 29, 2012.
Andrew Jones is a staff writer/reporter for Raw Story. Besides covering politics, he is also a freelance sports journalist, as well as a slam poetry and music artist. You can follow him on Twitter @sluggahjells.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.