Occupy Pledges to Hold Building As SFPD Blocks Access

Food supply is running low inside Occupy-controlled building.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Occupy Wall Street demonstrators stand and cheer in front of the George Washington statue on Wall Street as they celebrate the protest's sixth month, Saturday, March 17, 2012.

    San Francisco police are blocking access to a vacant former mental health clinic seized on Sunday by Occupy SF, which has pledged to stay despite a lack of food, according to reports.

    The building is at 888 Turk Street and is owned by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the local arm of the Catholic Church, according to the San Francisco Appeal online newspaper. Occupy SF entered the building on Sunday evening, and set up housing, communal space, and were hosting yoga classes as of Monday, according to reports.

    The protesters held a news conference at 9 a.m. on Monday but were thwarted when San Francisco police officers, who are forming a perimeter around the building, blocked reporters from approaching and blocked demonstrators from leaving. They have also blocked any shipments of food to protesters inside, according to reports.

    About 100 protesters remain inside, according to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, who has a reporter embedded inside.

    The building has been vacant for five years and will be turned into a homeless shelter with "medical services and food," according to a protester.

    A spokesman for the archdiocese said the building is owned by nearby Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory High School. The protesters have hung religious banners from the building's windows and roof -- "Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses," words from the Our Father prayer -- but the religious leaders appear unmoved.

    "Whatever their agenda is, they are thrusting it on our property," said George Wesolek, a spokesman for the archdiocese. "We have not been in contact with the occupiers, but we certainly would like them to leave."