A march against economic inequality Tuesday that began in the Financial District with a festive demonstration complete with puppetry and a marching band ended with an Occupy San Francisco takeover and standoff with police at the same vacant building the group called home for 24 hours last month.
At the former mental health clinic at Turk and Gough streets, dubbed the “SF Commune,” some protesters tore down a fence and unfurled banners while others served a vegetarian lunch and played music.
While police initially stood by as dozens of people entered, within two hours they had barricaded the building. During the standoff, a man was seen throwing objects off the roof toward officers, apparently injuring a bystander.
The suspect was arrested.
The building belongs to the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and spokesman George Wesolek said church officials signed a citizen’s arrest for trespassing.
“We are not the 1 percent,” Wesolek said. “I don’t understand the goal.”
An Occupy member who identified herself as Windsong said the takeover was intended to make a statement about the injustice of allowing property to sit vacant in a city with thousands of homeless people.
“This system is not sustainable,” she said.
The building takeover was organized by a small group within Occupy, and most protesters did not know the full plan in advance. A few expressed disappointment that the action was merely a repeat of last month’s takeover, which ended with a police raid in which 75 people were arrested.