Showing posts with label Bishop George Packard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bishop George Packard. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Bishop George Packard giving a quick lesson in peaceful civil disobedience at Occupy Wall St. He was arrested minutes later.

...gets arrested. But he didn't mean to. It just sort of happened.  The Occupy Faith group of 30+ gathered, but then others joined them.
So we practiced--all 500 of us by now--right there in that space by first all sitting down. It went well and as I led this exercise I thought I couldn't abandon them if it came to a later action. OWS asked us to lead the procession to the NYPD checkpoint and we did. It was there you could access to the Stock Exchange. Once there we sat down and the arrests began. That was about 8 AM..

As we reached 200 in that holding cell we whistled "Battle Hymn of the Republic", one fellow composed two rap songs (I'd rather stand up proudly in jail than spend my life on my knees!). We sang a few more protest songs throughout the day. In two instances of creativity the plastic water cooler and garbage can were inverted and becoming an ersatz drumming circle a la Blue Man Group. When an officer took those things away because of noise with, "these are for you to clean up in here." To which we chanted, "We are here to clean up out there! Never try to match one liners with Occupiers. In one corner an affinity discussion group convened while some began "silent meditation" in another section.
Read George's entire post titled, "It's Better in Jail."

What frightens Mayor Bloomberg so - especially as the Occupy protests were declared by Andrew Ross Dorkin to have "fizzled" in the "Newspaper of Record"
It will be an asterisk in the history books, if it gets a mention at all.
Why then the fear and heavy NYPD presence and the heavy-handed tactics with the protestors?

You laugh or you cry at ABC News coverage of the protests and of Bishop George's arrest:
At times it seemed the mass of the protest was made up more by the media covering the event than by anyone with a political agenda. A pink-frocked "bishop" protester arrested by police was surrounded by a media scrum so dense the police came to break up the knot of humanity.
The pink-frocked "bishop" with scare quotes?   You have to wonder if the reporters asked any questions before they wrote the know, the way investigative reporters are supposed to do.

Thank you, members of Occupy Faith for standing with the protestors.  Thanks for all you do.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


From Trinity Wall Street:
We are saddened that OWS protestors chose to ignore yesterday’s messages from Archbishop Tutu, from the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, and from Bishop of New York Mark S. Sisk. Bishop Tutu said: “In a country where all people can vote and Trinity’s door to dialogue is open, it is not necessary to forcibly break into property.” The Presiding Bishop said: “Other facilities of Trinity continue to be open to support the Occupy movement, for which I give great thanks. It is regrettable that Occupy members feel it is necessary to provoke potential legal and police action by attempting to trespass on other parish property…I would urge all concerned to stand down and seek justice in ways that do not further alienate potential allies.” Bishop Sisk said: “The movement should not be used to justify breaking the law nor is it necessary to break into property for the movement to continue.”

The Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, Rector of Trinity Church
Today I was wondering what was in the minds and hearts of the people at Trinity after they read the stories and saw the pictures and videos of the events at Duarte Square yesterday. Now I know. They are saddened.

I assume the folks at Trinity were saddened when they saw the pictures of Bishop Packard going over the fence, getting arrested, riding in the police van. They were saddened by Brook Packard's account of getting kneed three times by a policeman until she fell and then being lifted by another policeman and thrown on a pile of people. They were saddened when the police used excessive and unnecessary force against bystanders outside the fence looking on, not trespassing.

Bishop Packard is my hero. I will never forget the video of him stumbling over his magenta robe as he climbed the ladder to make it first over the fence. Several people nearby said they cried. How proud I am that he is a bishop in my Episcopal Church.

I am saddened, too, but for different reasons than the folks at Trinity. I am saddened that Trinity did not offer a place, a home, a refuge, to the Occupiers. I am saddened that Trinity did not ask the police to stand down.

Bishop Packard has written a must-read post on the events of yesterday at Occupied Bishop which I urge you to read.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


From Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's sermon at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis:
I am profoundly struck, however, by the parallels between the Occupy movement and Jesus’ band of homeless wanderers.

“Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’” It seems to me that most of these bands of campers have done just that. “Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house.” The Occupiers have shared food, cared for each other, and challenged the rest of us about justice in the size of paychecks. Now those who have been evicted are struggling with how to continue their global demonstration.
From Bishop George Packard at his blog Occupied Bishop:
I've been doing reluctant shuttle diplomacy between the Occupiers and Trinity Church and in a moment of pique I posted this on Trinity's Facebook page:
I have this great worry that this venerable parish will be on the wrong side of history in a few weeks. Surely there's some consummate wisdom in the leadership that can offer Occupiers a chance to express their prophetic destiny in these days. It's a matter of record that the church is good with the provision of service and succor for the neighborhood; they are unable, it seems, to understand their dynamic needs. Plainly said, this means looking afresh at lease arrangements for a season regarding the Duarte property. Think of it as offering hospitality to travelers from our future who bring the message of "no injustice, no more." If we really saw OWS for who they are rather than putting up roadblocks in their path we'd truly delight in their coming!
I thought it was fairly innocuous but apparently they didn't think so and deleted it an hour later. I'm actually sympathetic because who wants a rabble rouser in the system? But actually, I thought, wouldn't this kind of conversation be active in the parish?
As I said in the comments at The Lead, I agree with the bishop. What I'd suggest is that Trinity negotiate with the Manhattan Cultural Council, which owns the lease for Duarte Square, for the Occupiers to use the square until spring when the council installs their exhibit, a suggestion which I'm certain is not original.

That Bishop Packard's comment was deleted at Trinity's Facebook page is surprising and disturbing to me. Whatever side you take in the debate, squelching dissent does not seem wise.

George E. Packard retired as Episcopal Bishop to the Armed Forces and Chaplaincies in May 2010.

Image from the Occupy Wall Street Facebook page.

H/T to Torey Lightcap at The Lead for the link to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's sermon.

H/T to Nicholas Knisely at The Lead for the link to Bishop Packard's blog.