The Pose and the Reality

On Palm Sunday, April 1 a group of vandals belonging to Occupy SF broke into and “occupied” a large building at 888 Turk Street in San Francisco. The building turned out to be the property of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. It had been used for music classes at nearby Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep High School, but was currently vacant.

On Sunday, the online San Francisco Chronicle reported: “Emma Gerould, who identified herself as an Occupy SF spokeswoman, said the protesters were aware the building belonged to the archdiocese and intended to put Catholic officials on the spot. 

“There is no reason why any building should be vacant when people have no housing,” Gerould said. ”We ask that the archdiocese do the right thing and allow these services in these buildings.’ A banner hung from the building quoted the Lord’s Prayer: ‘Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses.’”

The “occupiers” break-in comes one month after the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco hosted the 2012 Global Women’s Rights Forum. The forum is an annual event at USF. The opening workshop of this year’s forum, held on March 5, was entitled Economic Justice & the Occupy Movement.

The event description reads: “This panel provides an opportunity to hear from women who have been organizing around issues related to economic justice for decades and how their work intersects with the Occupy Movement, as well as how to leverage the current momentum for action to implement lasting change.”

On March 29, the Foghorn, USF’s student newspaper, in an article covering the conference, quoted USF Professor Dorothy Kidd, one of the forum panelists, describing the Occupy movement as “…one of the most creative and imaginative forms of protest she’s ever seen and she added that it ‘strings across the world’ political, social, and economic issues.”

The Chronicle reported that “occupiers” entered the building at about 5:45 pm on Sunday, and continued: “Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak said the department was ‘still talking’ to the building’s owner (the Archdiocese of San Francisco) to determine the next step. Reached late Sunday, archdiocesan spokesman George Wesolek said church officials had decided to ask police not to take any immediate action. ‘We will revisit the situation in the morning,’ he said.”

What Professor Kidd described as a “creative and imaginative” form of protest apparently looked a little different to those responsible for the property. By late Sunday night, Archdiocesan officials had already “revisited” the situation and signed a citizens’ arrest warrant for the occupiers on charges of trespassing and graffiti. At 1:15 pm on Monday afternoon, police in riot gear stormed the two-story building, after tearing down a barricade protesters built to block the main entrance.

A second San Francisco Chronicle article, dated April 3, reported “Demonstrators had ‘stockpiled’ bricks and cans of paint on the roof of the building (and) they blocked windows and doors with plywood and stacks of chairs.

After police broke through the main door, protesters fled deeper into the building, barricading doors and stairways along the way, (Sergeant) Andraychak said. One man jumped from a second-floor window to avoid police, but was caught soon after, he said.

“There were no injuries during the arrests”, Andraychak said.

There were certainly injured parties, however, especially the parishioners of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, who will be ultimately responsible for cleanup costs. The Chroniclecontinued: “The interior of the building on Monday afternoon, after the protesters had been removed, was covered in spray-painted graffiti and posters and photographs from previous Occupy events. There were signs on the walls to designate sleeping areas, ‘media free zones’ and smoking rooms.

“Protesters left behind sleeping bags and backpacks, guitars and a tambourine. A half-eaten sandwich sat on a crate in one room, and in the kitchen were boxes full of fresh fruits and vegetables. In one large room on the second floor, a bowl of dog food sat next to an empty bottle of tequila.”


Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 12:26 AM By charlio
Google “occupy rich kids”.

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 4:54 AM By Canisius
one of the most creative and imaginative forms of protest she’s ever seen and she added that it ‘strings across the world’ political, social, and economic issues.” Typical leftwing vapid hokum, spreading the same leftist half truth and outright lies. Filthy old hippis along with some filthy young ones, they have become irrelevant….Smash the Spirit of the 60’s

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 5:55 AM By JanJan
If I return home and find that my house has been broken into, by people were claiming a right to be there, I would not be willing to “revisit the situation in the morning”. Glad the SF diocese decided to man up and boot those trespassers out, albeit, better late than never.

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 6:17 AM By Daphne de rutte
airheaded “intellectuals” in our Church invite this sort ov civil disobedience.The rest of us then have to deal with the consequences.Thank God no one was injured so far.

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 7:09 AM By Amy
May I suggest that Professor Dorothy Kidd at USF start a fund raiser to help the Archdiocese clean up the mess left by the Occupy Movement that she has encouraged. Perhaps, USF could be one of the donors. This is the gratitude that the Catholic Church receives for all the acts of chairty they perform. Eaten bread is soon forgotten!

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 7:22 AM By Gabriel Espinosa 
Empty bottle of tequila? Enough said!

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 7:26 AM By MacDonald
What a pain in the neck. These characters, who sprayed the anarchist symbol all over the place, failed to take note of the fact that Father Brian Costello and the Archdiocese of San Francisco just recently turned a truly vacant building (an empty convent at Star of the Sea Parish in S.F.) into a shelter for homeless women and children. I don’t know why the police let them in the door in the first place. As for them proudly proclaiming this to be a “second French Revolution,” that horrible guillotine was used to kill countless priests and others who were unwilling to worship secularism under the new regime known as the Reign of Terror.

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 7:33 AM By Brian S
I’m happy to see that the protestors had fresh fruits. I hope they were limes. But I agree with Professor Kidd – it was imaginative for the likely unchurched protestors for social justice to refuge to the champion of social justice, the Church, and is yet another proof of how the Church’s teaching has the power to move and resonate even with a rejecting society.

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 7:40 AM By JMJ
That ding-bat of a ‘professor’ Kidd should be forced to help pay for the damages and all of the legal fees, as she ‘thinks’ that this is wonderful idea. Maybe when they invade her home and property, she might grow up and think as an adult. +JMJ+

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 7:44 AM By Susan
Despicable. Prosecute them without delay! The money that the faithful give to the church is to serve the needs of worship, education and good works prescribed by Christ, not to allow vandals, burglars and thieves to rob us blind in the “name of justice.” As a practicing Catholic, I hope that this issue will be exposed for what it is: anti-Catholic ranting, rioting and breaking and entering private property.

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 1:44 PM By Michael P. Mc Crory.
Good for you Susan ! Tell it like it IS. Keep it simple: These people are anti-catholic bigots deserving of condemnation by ALL decent persons. One’s cause becomes irrelevant when carried out in such a disgraceful manner.

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 2:04 PM By gk
USF and “occupy”, a match made in… Just wanted to point out that the new logo for USF is perfect….it has arrows pointing in every direction; meaning there is no direction.

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 3:32 PM By Brian S.
Causes are irrelevant? What Catholic philosopher every said that?

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 3:57 PM By steve
let’s have the Occupy thugs block Planned Barrenhood’s across the nation for a day, what do you think?

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 7:02 PM By Amy
Thank you, Steve for your post of 3:57 p.m. What a brilliant idea. It would be a fantastic idea for these Occupiers to storm the Planned Parenthood Aboritoriums across the U.S. Turn about is fair play. Since these people are so interested in Social Justice – how about their speaking up for the most vulnerable in our nation….the pre born in their mother’s womb. I would venture to bet that not one has occupyed the sidewalk in front of a PP speaking for the unborn and asking pregnant ladies to rethink their actions. They are only interested in anarchy fueled by the urging of people like Professor Dorothy Kidd. Indirectly urging people to destroy property is not the American way. Is this what they teaching at USF?

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 9:10 PM By JLS
Waiting for the movie, “Thugzilla” to come out … wonder if “Occupy” will have a part in it.

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 9:15 PM By JLS
Wonder when Occupy will invade a private property building and encounter men opening fire with guns to protect themselves. Self defense, and sue Occupy for clean up costs.

Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 9:47 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
The most constructive idea came from JMJ at 7:40 AM. Great idea JMJ, if I were up there I might try to organize an invasion of her home! Why not, we in Operation Rescue picketed abortionists’ homes. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Thursday, April 05, 2012 7:27 AM By Brian S
Amy, the abortionists certainly consider sidewalk counselors in the same vein as you do these occupiers, and they protect the boundaries of their properties – almost as zealously as JLS could hope. As for America and the destruction of property, John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Samuel Adams not only indirectly urged it, but formed and funded a mob to do it in Boston, in 1773, and that action isn’t normally thought of as being un-American.

Posted Thursday, April 05, 2012 10:04 AM By gk
Amy they teach worse there….destruction of human life and the family.

Posted Thursday, April 05, 2012 10:53 AM By Abeca Christian
Maybe it’s true, that when we send our kids to college, they are actually being unknowingly, sent into indoctrination camp, into adopting very liberal and dangerous thinking!