NEW YORK -- In celebration of their three-month anniversary, Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City are gearing up for Occupation 2.0, an attempt to occupy a small piece of unused land that is owned by the Trinity Church in Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood. If all goes according to plan, the second occupation would begin this Saturday, Dec. 17th.
"We want to set the religious community on fire about this very question: are you interested in social justice? Because this is a prime opportunity," said Ronnie Nunez, 24, a member of the OWS outreach working group. He handed out fliers with slogans such as "We ask you on December 17th to assemble once more" and "Noon Begins Occupation 2.0."
The Trinity Church owns real estate worth over $10 billion, according to Rev. Michael Ellick of Judson Church. Protesters and other churches around the city are urging Trinity Church to grant OWS access to the space, a sliver of land that remains fenced off from Duarte Square, an adjacent public park. In recent days, a police officer has been stationed at the square and small groups of protesters have been canvassing the neighborhood to garner community support.
"In 15 years, my kids are going to look back and say wow Dad you were a part of this, you were a part of making my future this much better," said Prince, 23, a fashion stylist, sporting hot pink hair and a bedazzled hand bag.
A new public place for general assembly meetings could be a major boost to the entire Occupy movement after the eviction from Zuccotti Park one month ago. These days, Zuccotti is a shell of its former self, playing host to tourists and construction workers on coffee break. On a recent afternoon, a man wearing a Jewish prayer scarf sat next to a large Christmas tree that was erected after the protesters were forced out. Shane, 38, dressed in an army surplus jacket and a black cap, was cuddling a grey and white kitten into his chest as he held out a can for donations on the eastern edge of the park. He had arrived in the park three months ago from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and was one of the few protesters still coming to the park on a daily basis.
“We have an office on 60 Wall Street ... but they got control of the money when the camp was up ... and they are like 'nah, we really don't want to go down there anymore,'" Shane explained.
In fact many in the area are even considering Zuccotti and the entire OWS movement already part of the history books. A group of 7th graders from the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School
"Do you think this would be considered a revolution?" one student asked a passer-by.
Their teacher, Abbie Sewall, was wrangling the youngsters who had been interviewing people in the park all morning.
"Our school is an expeditionary learning school, we have 120 students, all 7th graders who are spread around the city at different revolutionary sites -- and so I have 15 kids here with me who are investigating the revolution of Occupy Wall Street," Sewall said.
Christopher Ye, another of the students, was eager to share his findings with The Huffington Post. "The big banks and the government, they should divide the money so there's like an equal ratio for everyone," he announced.
Watch the video above to find out more about the plans for Occupation 2.0 and the current state of New York's OWS movement.
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