Posted 10 years ago on Dec. 16, 2011, 9:43 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
December 16, 2011
Dear Rev. Dr. James Cooper,
We are veterans of the Civil Rights, Women’s, Peace, Environmental, LGBTQ, Immigrant Justice, labor rights and other movements of the last 60 years. Many of us have been or continue to be leaders of religious congregations and organizations, so we are deeply understanding of the need to protect the spaces and buildings that generations of the faithful have transmitted to us.
We are also deeply committed to using the share of God’s abundance that has been entrusted to us for the help and healing of those “least of these” – the poor, the humiliated, the hungry, the homeless, the dis-empowered – whom God has called us to protect.
We have special understandings of both of those commitments because as leaders of the social-change movements of the 20th century we have been called to deploy resources for the sake of racial and social justice and the cause of peace. Today we see the Occupy movement as efforts by a new generation of (mostly young) people to move forward as we did toward fuller justice and democracy for the diverse peoples in our nation.
We are concerned to hear that Occupy Wall Street has asked Trinity Church for use of the Lent-Space on 6th and Canal to gather, and has been refused.
We are especially moved to hear that the Episcopal Cathedral of Boston has invited the Occupy movement there to gather in its space.
We know that some question the need for Occupy to continue to occupy physical space but we have witnessed the impact of communal, inspirational, face-to-face contact in which people can be visible to the world and to one another. We have also been challenged to respond to the question from Occupy, Where can you go if you don’t own something? Does a public even exist if it has no space? And finally, like visionaries before them, many Occupiers have chosen to give up everything to invest in a future that does not exist except in their dreams and visions. In a world where the majority of our nation is oppressed by economic and racial inequality, experiencing isolation and dehumanization at every turn, the Occupy movement in its public presence has provided hope and purpose and a pressing challenge to us all.
We urge you to reexamine the possibilities in the light of the importance of Occupy Wall Street as a spark of God’s “Burning Bush” in this moment of deep social crisis. We urge you to approve the use of this sacred space for a sacred purpose – the pursuit of justice in America.
Council of Elders
cc Vestry Members