San Fran protesters occupy church building

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2 (UPI) -- The Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco says it wants Occupy protesters to leave a building it owns and plans to use as a homeless shelter.

George Wesolek, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said the archdiocese had not been in contact with Occupy San Francisco protesters, Bay City News Service reported.


"But," Wesolek added, "we certainly would like them to leave."

He said the two-story building belongs to Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory High School, though it had not been used for classes in about 18 months.

Wesolek said he didn't know how protesters got inside the building and doesn't know why police are allowing them to remain.

"Whatever their agenda is, they are thrusting it on our property," Wesolek said.

Sacred Heart serves an urban population, he said.

"Many of the children are from lower-income families," Wesolek said.

"The use of the building is intended for that."

Police surrounded the building Monday.

Beth Seligman, an Occupy protester, estimated a few hundred protesters were inside.

Speaking at a news conference, Seligman said Occupy protesters were trying to contact the archdiocese, which she said "won't take immediate action."


Seligman said protesters, who entered the building Sunday, plan to stay put indefinitely, using it as a shelter and to provide medical services and food.

Protesters hung banners, including one reading, "Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us out trespasses."

Police Lt. Troy Dangerfield said anyone who leaves the building won't be allowed to return.

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