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Trinity v. Occupy hits front page of The New York Times

Trinity v. Occupy hits front page of The New York Times

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.


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Personally, I think you two (Jesse and Jim N) are BOTH right.

I’m as likely to demonize my opponent as anyone else (Lord have mercy!).

At the same time, IMHO my voice is having ZERO impact on the larger national dialogue, and I’m PISSED OFF about that! [Longtime unemployed, depressed, owes more money than I can ever HOPE to repay? Please. I’m a loser NO political party really gives a damn about.]

So I say “Oy Vey” and “Lord Have Mercy” and “God bless you, Occupy!” and hope, God being merciful, somebody(s) somewhere figure a way out of this mess…

JC Fisher

Jim Naughton

Jesse, I think your analysis misses the point. The problem with discourse in this country is not that it is impolite, it is that almost everyone participating in it at a national level is a fully-owned subsidiary of a wealthy interest. Tone is the least of our problems.

Jesse Zink

It’s interesting read through these comments and watch the conversation evolve – or is devolve more appropriate?

Some things I note happening as the conversation moved along.

-increased use of “you” language

-use to sarcasm/irony

-move to claim the moral high ground / act put-upon

It seems part of the problem with our country right now is a failure of discourse – we have forgotten how to talk to one another about difficult issues. Congress sets (follows?) the tone on this.

If the church is to be a counter-cultural witness to the world (“Conform yourselves no longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed…”), I wonder if that witness might not begin with our conversations with one another within the church?

-Jesse Zink


There are no ad hominem attacks against KJS or Sisk on this page.

Priscilla Cardinale

Michael, since Steve Jobs is beneath you here’s another one for you:

“We could accomplish many more things if we stopped thinking them to be impossible.”

— Vince Lombardi

I reached out to you in peace. You rejected my offer. So be it.

I pray and sing Oh Adonai for the OWS family and their opposition this last Sunday of Advent.

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