Volume 80, Number 48 | April 28 - May 4, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Photo by Jefferson Siegel

A ‘Stations’ with special stops

On Good Friday, Judson Memorial Church staged a “Social Justice Stations of the Cross” procession around Greenwich Village. More than 50 participants symbolically re-created Jesus’ walk, but with a socially conscious twist.

They made eight stops, including in front of the location of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, now the N.Y.U. Brown Building, where a statement on the travails of sweatshop workers past and present was read. They next paused at a small fountain outside Judson Church, where statements about immigration were offered. It was noted that back in 1890, the fountain ran all summer long. The area from Washington Square Park south to Canal St. was home to a large immigrant population, with the South Village being predominantly Italian. Many immigrants didn’t have running water, so Judson’s fountain had a significant impact on their lives.

The procession next stopped in front of the McDonald’s on W. Third St. near Sixth Ave. to lament the ongoing problem of homophobia. It was near the fast-food place that the alleged gay bashing of Damian Furtch, 26, occurred last month. Photos of Furtch were added to a cross bearing a piece of fabric from the Triangle Shirtwaist stop and items representing the other points on the route. On Washington Place, they passed two men sleeping on a grate to keep warm, above.

“Judson has a long history of social activism and the arts,” said Emily Brown, one of the Washington Square South church’s community ministers. “Jesus’ ministry was kind of street-theater-ish,” she said by way of explaining Friday’s procession.

Jefferson Siegel

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