Occupy San Francisco Turns Vacant Church Into Commune

 

Few people expected the Occupy Wall Street movement to survive the winter. But as many of the 99% have come to realize, not even snow, police brutality and bloated politicians can extinguish an idea once it’s caught fire in the minds of the people.

OWS challenges the status quo, questions corrupt authority and seeks to remind the people that they alone can spark the revolution so desperately needed in this country. And it’s not always about clever signs and protest marches, sometimes it’s about providing the community with a place to share with and encourage one another.

Yesterday, members ofOccupy San Francisco reclaimed a vacant building owned by the Archdiocese of San Francisco and announced plans to establish a permanent occupation — including a social center, shelter, and food bank — on the site.

The April 1st action began with a lively march from Union Square before arriving at the building just before 6pm. When they arrived, Occupiers who had already secured the building greeted the marchers with open doors.

The two-story building, located at 888 Turk St., soon filled with hundreds of exuberant Occupiers. Preliminary reports indicate that the Archdiocese asked police not to take any action at the time.

Local media described the action as a “well-organized takeover.” Speaking to local press, a representative of Occupy SF stated, “There is no reason why any building should be vacant when people have no housing. We ask that the archdiocese do the right thing and allow these services in these buildings.” In part directing their message at Church officials, Occupy SF hung a large banner quoting from the Bible: “Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses.”

Today, Occupy SF organized multiple marches to engender community support for the SF Commune.

“We are showing the world what is possible when we take direct action to liberate spaces and create community,” reads a statement on the Occupy SF website. “We have workshops and skill shares scheduled for the day, as well as guest speakers and we are serving food.”

As of 1 pm PST, OWS reports thatpolice had surrounded the building with barricades to prevent supplies from getting inside.

Update [8:32 PST]: SF Gate reports thatpolice stormed the two-story building, which is owned by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, at about 1:45 p.m., after tearing down a barricade that protesters had built to block a main door.George Wesolek, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said the activists were wrong about the building’s vacant status. The building was used for regular music classes until last year, Wesolek said.The mayor also said he sympathized with the Occupy protesters’ concerns over vacant buildings, but suggested they compile a list of vacant properties and share it with city officials, rather than going the attention-grabbing route and taking them over.

 

Related Reading:

Parents Occupy School To Prevent Its Closure

Occupy Wall Street Joins Farmers’ Fight Against Monsanto

OWS Protesters Violently Evicted From Zuccotti Park…Again

 

Image via Occupy San Francisco

27 comments

Ruth R.
Ruth R5 years ago

This realy is about giving land to people who are willing to live on it, and become self-sustaining.
Some places have to be given to people who have been pulled into this movement -- so they can have a place to live. This is not about not having enough in the USA -- that they could have let people stay in their houses to begin with, grow backyard food, and be given some water, and make a solar cooker. Look where this nation has been failing, then find some places where people are capable to live sustainably -- without hardy a payment -- and

PLEASE CONSIDER GIVING GOOD LAND --please consider giving good land to people who need and desire good land and will live sustainbley for years off the land that is viable. It was to the benefit of all -- to pass down the land from generation to generation. It was to every man, woman and childs benefit -- to let the poor have some free land to farm and/or use.


SHARING: Sharing was and is for all people to do -- when they had more than enough.
Receiving was and is something for all people to do -- when they had to little.
This is a basic life principle that after some time and getting used to -- made all the men, women, and children all feel better.


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Ruth R.
Ruth R5 years ago

This realy is about giving land to people who are willing to live on it, and become self-sustaining.
Some places have to be given to people who have been pulled into this movement -- so they can have a place to live. This is not about not having enough in the USA -- that they could have let people stay in their houses to begin with, grow backyard food, and be given some water, and make a solar cooker. Look where this nation has been failing, then find some places where people are capable to live sustainably -- without hardy a payment -- and please consider giving land to people who want it and will live off the land that is viable. It was to the benefit of all -- to pass down the land from generation to generation. It was to every man, woman and childs benefit -- to let the poor have some free land to farm and/or use. (If I am wrong --skip it.)

Sharing was and is for all people to do -- when they had more than enough.
Receiving was and is something for all people to do -- when they had to little.
This is a basic lif priciple that after some time and getting used to -- made all the men, women, and children feel better.

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Ruth R.
Ruth R5 years ago

HEY MEN, WOMEN, PEOPLE NEED TO HAVE SOMETHING TO START WITH -- LIKE LAND HANDOUTS -- SO THAT THEY CAN SUSTAINE THEMSELVES. PLEASE WILL YOU COMPASSION FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT HAVE.

What kind of compassion is that -- unless you give these people a place to live, and let them move themsleves without force? PLEASE WILL THE PEOPLE IN AUTHORITY REALIZE THAT THEY ARE BEING USED BY BEING PLAYED AGAINST GOOD PEOPLE WHO GOT DISPLACED BY ANY NUMBE OF reasons that more thatn likely meant that some bank was taking too much money, or some lack of employment. That some people got this whole situation messed up -- so much so -- that there is a need to let these people have their own new start on land that is free.

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Sarah M.
Sarah M5 years ago

Damn police! Stay strong OSF!

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Lori E.
Lori E5 years ago

The mayor also said he sympathized with the Occupy protesters’ concerns over vacant buildings, but suggested they compile a list of vacant properties and share it with city officials, rather than going the attention-grabbing route and taking them over.

Um, isn't that the city officials job in the first place to take care of vacant buildings?! Apparently the attention-grabbing route was needed in order to get anything done. They should have been allowed to stay.

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TJ D.
TJ D5 years ago

we need to keep this movement going!! sooner or later they will have to respect the will of the people.

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Ken W.
Ken W5 years ago

This is sad so thing that could be used for the good of the people !!!!

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Carole L.
Carole L5 years ago

wow, the Archdiocese would rather leave their building vacant and susceptible to vandalism, than used to actually serve the community the way churches used to. i'm surprised more ppl don't turn to atheism as atheist are much more compassionate toward the lesser amongst us. what intelligent ppl... the Archdiocese... are not.

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Vivianne Mosca-Clark

Really??
Humm.....just give the building to the OWs people. They can 'donate' the the people for a change.

People have donated to them for centuries.

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Vivianne Mosca-Clark

Really??
Humm.....just give the building to the OWs people. They can 'donate' the the people for a change.

People have donated to them for centuries.

SEND