Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, writing in Religion Dispatches:
On Monday night, November 14, 2011, the mayor of New York City ordered the police to evict the 500 or so overnight occupiers in Zuccotti Park. As part of the eviction, tents and computers, books and papers, food and toilet paper were destroyed, actually ground fine in dumpsters. Many falsely thought the movement wouldn’t survive its physical eviction and material destruction. They were and are wrong.
Sacred space may start with tents and have a middle stage in church buildings, even sanctuaries. But sacred space has no need of one place. It can occupy many at the same time. They did not destroy all the books in the Occupy library. Some of those books are being retrieved at the New York Police Department “lost and found.” Sacred space is not one place; and you can grind a book to dust but not destroy it.
Though she doesn’t mention it specifically, I couldn’t help but think of the destruction of the Second Temple and the creation of the Jewish diaspora when I read this description of the razing of Zuccotti Park. Indeed, wasn’t this precisely the idea that gave birth to rabbinical Judaism? Following the trauma, there came the realization that “sacred space is not one place”
From the Temple to tent cities, tyrants have made the fatal mistake in believing that by destroying the place they can destroy the idea…