Saturday, December 17, 2011

Trinity Wall Street vs OWS

You may recall that  St Paul's Cathedral, London, wound up with egg on its collective face when it decided it wanted the Occupy London protestors to leave its property.  All in all, the C of E was not covered in distinction with that one.  Alas, it has happened here as well, with Occupy Wall Street protestors wanting access to an unused (but leased out) piece of property owned by the very, very rich Trinity Wall Street parish, and Trinity refusing.

Despite requests from Bishop of NY and the Presiding Bishop not to do so, today the OWS protestors entered the property and were promptly arrested.  But they were led by a retired Bishop, George Packard, leadingto this iconic image (from the Lead) .  Now there's a Bishop for ya.  Nice move, wearing the purple cassock.

You can reasonably argue that just by virtue of being OWS, the protestors don't have the right to seize and occupy private property at their whim.  And of course, that's true.  But there's more to it than legality, and in this era and at this time, it's past time to ignore legal niceties, and seize an opportunity to be prophetic.  Trinity Wall Street could have added a powerful voice to the dispossessed.But instead, it sided with the "1%" which isn't surprising given its incredible wealth.  Just like St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Poor Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori hasn't had a good day. I'm afraid her letter to OWS doesn't come out so well, and then it turns out that Sudan has disinvited her from visiting because of those pesky gays.


JCF said...

God bless ya, Bishop Packard!

JCF said...

Brook Packard has just posted that Bishop Packerd is out of jail and home safe.

IT said...

Actually, I think this was not a necessary fight on the part of OWS-- although I'm generally sympathetic with them, I don't think they necessarily have a "right" to squat everywhere. A protestor saying "you have more, we have nothing" is going to provide a Faux News soundbite that will tar the OWS movement as hippie commies.

But regardless, like SPC, Trinity can't win, regardless of legality. Especially given that it is an incredibly wealthy landowner that is benefiting from the current system. It's well and good to run soup kitchens, but if you are benefiting from actions that are making those people hungry in the first place....