Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A video from #OccupyPortland

The video thanks to Joseph Rose, a reporter at The Oregonian.

The story behind our "all-denomination church area":

The Interfaith Guild of Chaplains did not start or build the sukkah.  It is a project by Sara Hope and has been supported by her friends as well as by P'nai Or of Portland.  In fact, Rabbi D'vorah Kolodny, the new resident rabbi of P'nai Or, recently used the full text of the Occupy Wall Street declaration in her preaching, and is by far among the most vocal clergy supporters of #OccupyPortland.

When Sarah Morrigan started the IGC, the sukkah was still under construction and she wanted to see something happen there, as it was beginning to be encroached by -- and even occupied by -- some Occupiers who perhaps did not know the significance of the sukkah.  This aside, the sukkah is located in the quiet part of the encampment far from the centers of noise and activities, providing for an ideal setting for meditation, prayer and silent reflections.  So the IGC kind of co-opted the sukkah.  As it happened, over a half of the original group of chaplains ended up from the Jewish traditions, so our first organizing meeting began with a lovely havdalah service.

Wayne, a member of the legal team, noticing the encroachment, made a sign that read "All-denomination Church Area" and kept new Occupiers from setting up too close to the sukkah.  This is also a good fire safety measure, as the sukkah is made from plant-based materials that could become a fire hazard if proper precautions are not followed.

So this is how the sukkah became our de facto base of operation.

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