Me, Dani and chilly arrived after several days’ worth of delays and a 14hr bus ride from Charlotte around 2:30 p.m. We grabbed our gear and made the trek across town from the Port Authority to the corner of Broad St. and Wall St., a more than 60 block march in the afternoon sun.
When we arrived at Trinity we were greeted with hugs and a “Welcome Home,” from several O.W.S protesters, some we had met on previous assignments other for the first time. All are welcomed as brothers and sisters by the ones out on the street doing the dirty work of occupying.
It felt like coming home to your family after years of being away. However, like all families it was obvious that this family had its share of drama, like many families there was a lot of contention between member and the occasional provocateurs.
There was a great love in the air, but also great tension, O.W.S. had been occupying the side walk in front of Trinity Church of Wall Street for much of the year.
The occupation is in response to the churches apparent withdraw of support for the movement after their eviction from Zuccotti Park and their storming of the promised, then withdrawn half acre of Duponte Sqr. owned by the church.
The property is slated to be used to build a high price residential tower and school.
The church had nearly 60 occupiers arrested when they tore up part of the fencing, through ladders against a large concrete barrier and took the park.
Some who were arrested were members of the clergy, and former congregants who supported the occupation at Zuccotti Park.
But why Trinity Church and not the real estate company with whom they must deal with? The fact of the matter is that Trinity is the real-estate company. The church uses its 501(c) status to disguise its ownership of nearly one third of the properties in the Financial District of Manhattan for profit, from the IRS.
The church has a strong connection to the Wall Street machine through its ownership of several of the buildings on Wall Street and other holdings of the church.
In addition to their potentially criminal activity, the outrageous salary of 1.5 million Dollars a year, 5 million dollar town house, plus other benefits made by the rector of the church, they have closed at least one shelter for the homeless in which the church owned in order to build a new luxury condominium again in the name of profit.
The Church and New York Police Department have conspired to harass protesters since the beginning of the vigil.
This harassment has been steadily increasing over the course of the past several weeks, with new rules being added daily; newly instituted side walk cleanings conducted twice a day by a private maintenance company and enforced by the police.
“The church has been cleaning the side walk for several weeks,” said NYPD Lt. Palmeri.
Police walked up and down the line of protesters shaking and kicking people awake at 7 a.m.
Within 10 minutes the number of police increased to four officers, a sergeant and a Lt. from the 10th precinct.
One arrest was made for obstructing the sidewalk; a young Spanish man who had been sick apparently didn’t get up fast enough.
This is a revolution not a negotiation, right now we are in an information war, against the fasco- corporatist propaganda machine,” said Damascus Kimory, 33. He was one of several protesters who refused to move when the police ordered them to, in order for the maintenance company to clean.
Police ordered the maintenance company to confiscate anything cardboard that was not in someone’s hands, despite the fact that police representatives told me the day before that as long as property was not past the first line in the side walk it would not be confiscated.
None of the property confiscated was past that line, in addition to the cardboard; several other personal items were taken, including a table, ottoman, and several chairs.
Numerous precincts operated in the area, the police presence was a like a patch job of precincts from the 1st to the 110th precincts.
Police conspired with the head of Trinity Church’s security to find a way to legally evict the vigil, an tempt was unsuccessful as of last night.