The New York Times today carries a front page story by Matt Flegenheimer on the impasse between Occupy Wall Street and Trinity Wall Street.
The displaced occupiers had asked the church, one of the city’s largest landholders, to hand over a gravel lot, near Canal Street and Avenue of the Americas, for use as an alternate campsite and organizing hub. The church declined, calling the proposed encampment “wrong, unsafe, unhealthy and potentially injurious.”
And now the Occupy movement, after weeks of targeting big banks and large corporations, has chosen Trinity, one of the nation’s most prominent Episcopal parishes, as its latest antagonist.
“We need more; you have more,” one protester, Amin Husain, 36, told a Trinity official on Thursday, during an impromptu sidewalk exchange between clergy members and demonstrators. “We are coming to you for sanctuary.”
Trinity’s rector, the Rev. James H. Cooper, defended the church’s record of support for the protesters, including not only expressions of sympathy, but also meeting spaces, resting areas, pastoral services, electricity, bathrooms, even blankets and hot chocolate. But he said the church’s lot — called Duarte Square — was not an appropriate site for the protesters, noting that “there are no basic elements to sustain an encampment.”
A name that will be familiar to regular visitors of the Cafe appears in the story. The story is interesting for the diversity of opinion it reveals within the Episcopal Church toward Trinity Wall Street.
The Occupy movement has indicated that it will attempt to move into Duarte Square today. We will attempt to keep you posted.