OccupySF's failed theft of Catholic Archdiocese building: An insider's view
Last Sunday OccupySF embarked on a long-planned action: To seize and occupy a building belonging to the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco and turn it into an anarchist commune that would serve as the Occupy movement's local headquarters. The Fund47 blog was on the scene and filed this unique report with an insider's view of how it all went down:
Here's OccupySF's press release about the action, revealing their intention to squat in the building permanently:
This action on Sunday is not a temporary protest, but a permanent occupation intended to establish a social center. We will transform this vacant building into a productive and vibrant space, just as we did in the plaza occupation, and we wish others to take similar actions and more.
Wealth inequality is increasing, the environment is being destroyed, the police state and drug war are devastating our communities and social movements, while our foreign wars enrich the 1% at the expense of our troops and innocent civilians. In San Francisco alone, thousands sleep on the street while thousands of houses and apartments lay empty. From Chapel Hill to Seattle, from New York to Oakland, people are rising up to directly change the social and economic system by liberating vacant buildings and reclaiming them for the people.
We are taking this action to bring immediate relief and housing to homeless youth in our community, and to provide a space for assembling, sharing food and healing for all people.
(Left out of their pitiful, adolescent sloganeering is the unfortunate fact that the vast majority of homeless street people in San Francisco have severe psychological or drug-addiction problems and have resisted repeated attempts to house them; many are homeless by choice.)
Housing is a right; free health care is a right; everything is a right in this gimme-gimme 21st century Obama world.
Some of the protesters had shoulder bags glorifying Chairman Mao...
...while others had shoulder bags glorifying President Obama.
Mao, Obama — it's all good.
Eventually the protesters arrived at their secret destination, a vacant building at 888 Turk Street owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, which the Occupiers immediately dubbed the "SF Commune."
"Larry in SF," the author of Fund47's excellent photo essay, goes into great detail speculating as to why the San Francisco Police at first escorted the unpermitted march, facilitating their illegal blockage of street traffic, and then backed off and allowed the protesters to seize the unprotected building.