A post on the church’s website says the “decision was made out of an abundance of caution as we continue to face safety issues arising from the sidewalk camp in front of Trinity Church.”
A group called “Occupy Trinity Wall Street Church” – which labels itself as “An action of Occupy Wall Street” – set up a makeshift camp on the sidewalk in front of the church.
Last December, Trinity Church told Occupy protesters evicted from Zuccotti Park they couldn’t stay at Duarte Square, which is owned by Trinity Church. The NYPD said 49 Occupy protesters were arrested attempting to scale a chain-link fence or crawl under it in order to gain access to the property.
“They broke into the Duarte property. We said ‘no.’ They’re just angry about it, I guess,” Linda Hanick of Trinity Church told CBSNewYork.com.
The camp started in front of the church in June.
“By mutual agreement reached by consensus… of those occupying the sidewalk we decided to occupy until James Cooper is fired or steps down,” Occupy Trinity Wall Street Church says in a message on their site.
“It started as an Occupy Wall Street protest but we have seen it devolve into a situation of people with a variety of causes,” Hanick said. “Young homeless people have attached themselves to the camp. These young people are resistive to any kind of housing placement or social outreach.”