Friend of WBAI, Danny Schechter wrote:
Saturday marked the third month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. It was also Bradley Manning’s Birthday. It was one of those days that confirmed the validity of the chant: “All Day, All Week, Occupy Wall Street”.
Ok, maybe, it wasn’t a whole week but Saturday felt like a week in one day. The plan for the day, as announced, was to gather at Duarte Park at 6th Avenue and Canal Street to attempt a RE-Occupation of vacant land owned by Trinity Church, more of a real estate company than a house of worship.
For a few weeks, the Occupy Movement had been demanding that the church allow the movement to take “sanctuary” on that land. There were earlier protests and even a hunger strike that made page one of the New York Times. Police in riot gear had ousted the occupiers the last time they tried to take over the space a few weeks back, and, since then, there has been a rancorous standoff between a Church that is supported by many fat cat one-percenters and OWS’s volunteer non-violent army of outrage.
The church has repeatedly turned the movement down, despite support for the OWS demands from many clergy in New York and the most famous Episcopal priest in the world, South Africa’s Desmond Tutu,. (Tutu sent OWS a supportive message but, then later sent the Church a disclaimer of any attempt on his part to sanction violence.)
No doubt church lawyers were expressing worries about financial liability should there be any claims, but many of the their trustees had political objections. They are Wall Streeters, including, a Vice President of Brookfield Properties,the owner of the “public” Zuccotti Park that had been the Movement’s home until they were unceremoniously and violently ejected by police in the dark of night. Trinity Church may be there to serve God, but the defense of their real estate portfolio seems to come before their pretensions at social justice..
The gathering at Duarte Park was predictably surrounded by cops, some in riot gear, while what looked like a the Zuccotti Park alumni Association roamed around on a sliver of a City Park next to the unholy Trinity site. At least half of the crowd, which grew as the day progressed, appeared to be covering the other half with still or video cameras and tape recorders. The press was out in force too, no doubt hoping for a bloody confrontation. Pacifica Radio outlet WBAI was broadcasting live and its programming was played back at the crown on boom boxes.