Whose Street? Trinity's street

Trinity Wall Street, one of NY's largest landlords, has been described as a real estate company with an altar. The church and the OWS movement, evicted from the "public" space at Zuccotti Park, have become embroiled in a fight over some unoccupied space owned by Trinity near Wall Street that shows no signs of abating.

Read more here

Advertisement

And some interesting observations on the deeper need for real public space from Donna Schaper:

We clergy were all somewhat skeptical of the demand for public space. You could hear the ministerial, rabbinical hrumph,hrumph in the room. (Most of us had never occupied Zucotti Park and a downward trend in temperature wasn’t going to improve on that.) But the occupiers edged toward the theological as they articulated a need for communal, inspirational, face-to-face contact in which they could “appear” to one another.

Secondly, they talked about the nearly complete privatization of municipal public space in a way that made a deep and tragic sense. Where can you go if you don’t own something? Does a public even exist if it has no space? The great irony is that they have been called the virtual demonstration, and here they were talking about old-fashioned, in-person, human interaction.

 

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Crystal Watson
6 years 5 months ago
"Where can you go if you don't own something?"

This isn't a new question.  Where do the people who are homeless have to go?
Stan Chaz
6 years 4 months ago
 You don’t need to be religious to understand -and embrace- the idea that ''Whatsoever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'' But many of the 1%, in blind greed and endless schemes, have forgotten this. They have closed their eyes to what the word ''society'' should really mean, what it can mean. But due to Occupy Wall Street, we are finally talking less about CUTS and more about BLEEDING. Instead of demanding m-o-r-e budget cuts -to be borne by the middle class and poor- we are FINALLY focusing on the shameful bleeding that the poor and middle class has endured, for all too long. Instead of talking about even m-o-r-e cuts in the taxes of millionaires....we are now talking about fairness and justice - about an economy and a political system that is increasingly run for the rich, and by the rich. Instead of talking about LESS government, we are talking about a government that WORKS FOR ALL OF US, not just a favored few. Thank you OWS, for reminding us that people -ordinary working people- really DO matter! The attempt by OWS to occupy Duarte Square (the empty lot owned by Trinity Church) is much more than a plea for sanctuary. For like Zuccotti Park, it’s an attempt to carve out a protected space, a living conscience for the city, amid the repression. A refuge...in a city where control-freaks would sweep us under the rug, and out of the way. In a city where they would pen us in, and permit us to death. In a city that tells us  to “move on, move on”..... you don’t belong, you don’t count, you don’t have a right to be here...don’t assemble, don’t block the street, don’t trespass, don’t EXIST! They would deny us, deny our lives, deny our very futures. IF WE LET THEM. But OWS responds, both in word and in DEED: it says we’ve had ENOUGH - we BELONG, we STAND our ground, and we DO matter! This IS our land, and we want it BACK! The word OCCUPY...says it all! That’s why OWS has captured our imagination. That’s why a living breathing OCCUPIED public space is important for OWS. Like Lady Liberty’s never extinguished torch that burns in our harbor, OWS needs to have a concrete, persistent, in-your-face presence.. ..to continually remind us of what we’ve lost, of what we are, and what we can be; a protected place to affirm, to illuminate, to defy...and to inspire. Trinity Church, with its oft-proclaimed ideals (and its huge land holdings), should look deep into its collective soul, do the right thing, and help OWS secure a sanctuary. Not merely a space of refuge, but one of hope, non-violent change, and compassion. And dare I say: a space of love -  love of country, love of your fellow man and woman, love for the poor and oppressed. Can thoughtful Christians argue with these simple Christian / human values?

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

 Pope Francis arrives in procession to celebrate Mass marking the feast of Pentecost in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 20. The pope at his "Regina Coeli" announced that he will create 14 new cardinals June 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Eleven of the new cardinals are under the age of 80 and so have the right to vote in the next conclave.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 20, 2018
Images: AP, Wikimedia Commons
Bishop Curry described Teilhard as “one of the great minds, great spirits of the 20th century.”
Angelo Jesus CantaMay 19, 2018
Both men were close to each other in life, and both are much revered by Pope Francis.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 19, 2018
The Gaza Nakba demonstrations this week have done nothing to advance the situation of Palestinian refugees, nor did they provide relief to the people of Gaza, who dwell in an open-air prison, hemmed in and oppressed at every turn.