Arrested yesterday for Freedom tomorrow

Reb Arthur on March front line with heads of NAACP, AFL-CIO, Greenpeace,Sierra Club,Moral Monday, Communication Workers of America,

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Yesterday -- A Time to Be Arrested As an Act of Freedom for Tomorrow Yesterday I was arrested among about 250 others who gathered on the steps of the US Capitol to block the entrances. We were demanding that Congress pass laws renewing and strengthening the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and creating new ways of getting Hyperwealth out of our elections. This photo shows the front line of the March as we approached the Capitol. Just before this photo was taken by Lynne Iser, Rabbi Mordechai Liebling was in the front line, and Rabbi Julie Greenberg just behind. Together with Pat Carolan of the Franciscan Action Network, Mordechai had led prayers at the rally just before the March began. Looming behind the front line is Sen Jeff Merkle of Oregon. On the left of the line is Rev. William Barber, prophetic voice and extraordinary organizer, founder of Moral Monday  & head of North Carolina NAACP. Then, from Left to Right: Tefere Gebre, executive vice president of the AFL-CIO. Chris Shelton, president of the Communications Workers of America Me ---Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center. I am wearing sunglasses and the Rainbow tallit that my mother sewed for me for my 50th birthday, almost 33 years ago. It symbolized then and now (from the Torah’s story of the Flood) the commitment of the Holy Unity that breathes all life, to give us the wisdom to make sure that never again would the earth be drowned and all life be endangered. I have worn it into every one of my arrests since then. (You can see the Rainbow design better in the next photo, of my arrest.)  Cornell William Brooks, president of the NAACP.  Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace. Aaron Mair, president of the Sierra Club. The arrests were benign – not even handcuffs, and we were soon released.  More dangerous than the arrests themselves was the almost total blackout in the “mainstream” media of ten days in which there had been more than one thousand arrests at the Capitol, capped by an extraordinary coalition of labor, African-American, Hispanic, GLBTQ, earth-protective, and good-government / pro-democracy organizations. All of us are convinced that the damage to demoocratic elections stands in the way of each of our distinctive concerns for a just and peaceful world of sustainable and shared abundance -- - and therefore must be opposed by all of us in unison. What does it mean that the media are blanking out these actions, led by an unprecedented array of leaders and their organizations – all in defense of the heart of democratic process? Perhaps this question is one we need to address along with the Four in the Passover Seder. When Moses, Aaron, and Miriam faced Pharaoh, as the Pharaoh’s arrogance brought down Plagues on his own country,  did the Egyptian town criers and traveling troubadors refuse to mention it? Why? Together with the sweeping entry into electoral politics of a great wave of young people calling for a “political revolution,” this “Fusion coalition” willing to be arrested offers enormous hope – perhaps the only hope -- for the American and planetary future. I am proud that The Shalom Center is taking part in it. For a photo of my arrest, see the attached file. We need your help to keep doing this work. Please click on the “Sustain/ Contribute” button in the left-hand margin, to sustain our work and keep it going.  Thanks!

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2 Comments

Rabbi Waskow,

<p>Rabbi Waskow, I would like permission to include your photo of the front line (together with the names and titles you've listed for the persons shown) in the next issue of the monthly newsletter of the Port Chester-Rye (New York) branch of the NAACP. Thank you for any consideration, Tom Kissner, 1st Vice president Port Chester-Rye NAACP</p>

Using photo

Yes, feel free to do so. -- Reb Arthur

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