Trinity Church canceled its eighth annual Halloween celebration because an offshoot Occupy Wall Street group is creating unsafe conditions, according to church officials.
The Rev. James Cooper of the church, at Broadway and Wall Street, said that the events were nixed "out of an abundance" of caution.
"It is with great regret that we are obliged to cancel our popular annual Halloween activities this year ... as we continue to face safety issues arising from the sidewalk camp in front of Trinity Church," Cooper said.
Linda Hanick, a church spokeswoman, added that health and safety concerns were the deciding factor.
"We felt that it was not an environment where we wanted to have a lot of children coming through the gates," she said.
The group, called Occupy Trinity, is an affiliate of OWS and has been outside the church since June. Yesterday, amNewYork saw about a dozen protesters near Trinity, but church officials and occupiers estimate that as many as 40 camp out. NYPD officers stood nearby.
Linnea Palmer-Paton, a spokeswoman for OWS, said the cancellation was "unnecessary."
Fathema Shadidi, 57, who said she was homeless and camped outside the church, condemned the church's closure of its celebration.
"This is another tactic to make us look bad, because of the exposure we're giving the church," Shadidi said.
(Sheila Anne Feeney)