Two weeks ago, three Occupy Wall Street members began a hunger strike in front of Duarte Square. They were protesting Trinity Wall Street Episcopal Church for not allowing them to use the empty lot owned by the church’s real estate arm, Hudson Square Properties. The demonstrators were arrested…twice…for trespassing on the church’s land.
It seemed like an odd battle to pick for Occupy Wall Street; especially since Trinity Church had provided the OWS with space to hold meetings, use WiFi and public facilities, and even join in discussions with religious leaders. But since Nov. 17th’s Day of Action saw members get arrested for trying to make a temporary camp in the empty lot, the Occupiers have focused their energy on guilting the church into just giving them the land.
Except, as we noted at the time, this was never going to happen. Trinity Church owns a substantial chunk of New York real estate, bequeathed to them by the Queen Ann of England in 1705. The money goes back a long way, and now so do the vestry. So when the OWS posted a blog “Trinity Wall Street Vestry’s 1% Connections,” noting all the big-name real estate developers and very rich people associated with the church, the feeling is sort of like…well, yes, of course this is the case. Obviously.