The plaza in front of Oakland City Hall became an Occupy site again on Wednesday night when an interfaith group of Occupy leaders held a service for Trayvon Martin, the African-American youth killed in Florida, and said they would not be leaving the plaza.

“When we all heard about Trayvon and the tragic way he was killed, none of us could avoid thinking about Oscar Grant,” said Rabbi David Cooper of the Kehilla Community Synagogue on the Oakland Piedmont border, speaking from the platform where Occupy holds its general assembly meetings.

Trayvon Martin was the unarmed 17-year-old African-American boy in Florida who was shot dead three weeks ago while walking home to his father’s house in a gated community. The gunman was a self-proclaimed neighborhood watchman. Oscar Grant was, of course, the young man from Oakland who was shot dead while he lay, unarmed, on a BART station floor. The gunman was a BART police officer.

Rev. Phil Lawson, a Methodist minister and retired Interfaith Director of the East Bay Housing Organization, said, the killing of young Trayvor Martin was nothing short of lynching, “the lynching that we thought we had put behind us.”

Interfaith Occupy groups from around the country have been meeting at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley in recent days for a National Occupy Faith Conference. They had already planned to gather in Oakland at the site of the Occupy tent city and then the tragic slaying in Florida became the focus of the prayers and speeches.

Unitarian Universalist Minister Rosemary Bray-McNatt from New York told the approximately 150 people at the plaza that New York’s Union Square Park was also occupied. There, several thousand people gathered to march for Trayvon Martin.

In Oakland, as in New York and elsewhere, faith groups participated in the Occupy movements and often acted as buffers between police and protesters, trying to keep things peaceful. Still, the interfaith tent dwellers in Oakland and in most cities have been told to pack up and go away like other Occupy settlers.

Rev. Rita Nakashima Brock, Director of Oakland-based Faith Voices for the Common Good, said that although the Interfaith Tent at Occupy Oakland was the last tent standing for a while after the Occupy site was dismantled, they too were told to go. They came back with umbrellas until authorities again told them to leave.

“Even though they made us take our tent away, some of us came down here with our occu-brellas. Then they said we couldn’t even stay here under our occu-brellas,” said Brock. “So, we are back with our illegal occu-brellas and we are not going to leave,” she said, as she and many others at the gathering held umbrellas over their heads even though it was not raining. They also assembled a canopy that they said was a sacred space and religious sanctuary.