Woke up this morning with a wine glass in my hand, whose wine, what wine, where the hell did I dine? Must have been a dream I don’t believe where I’ve been.
Oops! It wasn’t like that this morning . . . more like:
Woke up this morning with a cop standing over me, Trinity Church security to the side, a puddle of water under my feet, water soaked sleeping bag on wet cardboard and tarp . . . and the sun was shining bright for all to see that Trinity Church had poured water on me from the holes they drilled in the scaffolding above my ‘bed’.
Very Christian of them . . . just sayin’.
Speaking of churches and Christianity, Trinity Church embraced “The Five Marks of Mission” this past July. These ‘marks’ are guidelines for the church. They state that the mission of the church is the mission of Christ, that they will proclaim the good news of the Kingdom, that they will teach, baptize and nurture new believers, that they will respond to human need by loving service, that they will seek to transform unjust structures of society and that they will strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of Earth. I know it is safe to say that in all the 5+ months we have been occupying Trinity Wall Street Church the Five Marks have not been consulted by CEO/Rector Cooper — unless, of course, he has five friends named Mark with which he discusses these topics. Things that make you go hmm.
Trinity Wall Street Church has displayed no Christian behavior whatsoever. Consider that the minor charitable works they do are exceeded by the poorest churches I’ve known — and Trinity Wall Street is the richest parish in the world. It is, in fact, the richest parish ever. What does it do with its money? Well, it sends the bulk of its piddling little charity overseas to Uganda where it serves to prop up anti-gay churches that support imprisoning gays for life. This while proclaiming itself gay-friendly. I didn’t know hypocrisy was a Christian virtue, but I have witnessed that Trinity Wall Street has polished hypocrisy to a golden sheen. Many billions in assets (enough money to hide the actual amount from everyone) and the best the church can do for New York City is two bag lunches a week for the poor, and a drop-in center (Charlotte’s Place — mainly for tourists) open 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. During Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Athena Trinity Wall Street kept its iron gates chained shut lest the homeless seek shelter on the front steps. Oh, they did eventually hold a benefit concert . . . for The Mayors Fund — but even then, with their billions they asked for donations to be made in their name. Hypocrisy, thy name is Trinity Wall Street Real Estate Church, Inc.. There is a street chant that says it all, and it originates pre-Occupy: “Trinity Church you look so pretty, but you do nothing for New York City!“
Tonight is Raid Night. There will be a gathering of Occupiers from 11pm to sunrise (maybe longer, much longer) at Liberty Park (aka Zuccotti Park). I will be there. The trauma of the event one year ago already has my current emotional state in its grip. I feel the adrenaline racing through me whenever I think of Raid Night. The unbelief, the fear, the terror, the anger, the rage, the helplessness . . . most of all, the lonely helplessness.
We were riding the crest of the wave of history one year ago. Anything was possible, and a new society was aching to be born. But the Federal Government and 18 city mayors got together and stomped on this purely American Ideal that is Occupy.
I am a street medic. My job is to aid all those who need medical attention. Yet, that night and many other days and nights afterward, the NYPD physically prevented me from helping the people to whom they were inflicting grievous bodily harm. They prevented me from helping my comrades, my friends, my Occupy family. That night, all night, they kept me, my medic buddy, several reporters, and a growing number of Occupiers kettled between the second and third barricades. I could not see what was happening in the park except for the smoke and pepper/tear gas rising up from behind the line of police vehicles and sanitation trucks. However, I could hear the screams of my comrades, my friends, and my Occupy family. I could hear the scream of Liberty and Justice denied. How hypocritical that the Statue of Liberty is almost within sight of Liberty Park.
The New Colossus
(by Emma Lazerus)
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
What lies they have taught us. What horrendous lies.
It is time to unleash the lightning in her torch. Come to Liberty Park. Occupy.