While Friday's Occupy Broadway was a decidedly lively event, things were a little more somber for three Occupy Wall Street protesters engaged in a hunger strike outside Duarte Square at Sixth Avenue and Canal Street. Diego Ibanez, twenty-three, Shae Willes, twenty-two, and Brian Udall, eighteen, were arrested shortly after noon on Sunday and charged with trespassing, at the behest of Trinity Wall Street, which owns the space. The men have been there "as part of a continued effort seeking sanctuary on Trinity Wall Street's unused and vacant lot of land," after being evicted from Zuccotti Park last month.
The Episcopal Trinity Church at the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway, which has taken a generally favorable stance towards the protesters, released a statement yesterday, stating:
"Trinity Wall Street supports the right of peaceful protest, which can take many forms. However, the enclosed lot at Duarte Square is not available nor is it suitable for large-scale assemblies or encampments. Trinity supports the vigorous engagement of the issues Occupy Wall Street has raised. However, we do not condone breaking the law."
Meanwhile, protesters across the country are running on fumes, as earlier this week encampments in L.A. and Philadelphia were broken up by police, with roughly forty and 300 arrests respectively. And on Saturday night, the Occupy Portland camp was shut down by authorities, to the tune of nineteen arrests.
The mission of the protesters, if anything, continues to be, for all intents and purposes, solidarity amidst disparate agendas. Having no clear-cut raison d'etre is both a strength and a weakness. The three young hunger strikers have since been released, returning to their spot where they've been joined by three new hunger strikers, and a handful of supporters. Ibanez had said on Saturday, "I am definitely worried about being hungry and being sick, that's definitely crossing my mind, but I am more worried about people being apathetic."
A noble sentiment, but, unfortunately for activists, the various movements of late might more accurately be called Occupy Jail Cells.