A Cross of Human Bodies: How 71 Catholics Were Arrested for Protesting Immigrant Child Detention

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Image via Kayla Lattimore

By Rose Marie Berger, re-shared from Sojourners

I spent five hours as a guest of the U.S. Capitol Police last week. It was hot, really hot. And those plastic handcuffs leave bruises.

I was one of 71 Catholics arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police in the rotunda of the Russell Senate building in Washington, D.C., for “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding” while praying the rosary. My prayer was — and is — to end the warehousing of immigrant children in cages — 63,624 of whom have been apprehended by border patrol at the southwestern border between October 2018 and June 2019 and seven of whom have died after being in federal custody since September. More than a dozen Catholic orders and organizations sponsored the event. Seven Catholic bishops sent letters of support. Continue reading

Journaling on the outside of the Jail

20181211_192911By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

This Advent my dad, Bill Wylie-Kellermann, spent 10 days in jail for an action he was part of in the spring with the Poor People’s Campaign. Each night I journaled and shared them on facebook. It was a practice that held my heart steady in a rather chaotic week and a half.

Day 1 of Dad in Jail for Advent
“But who will….”

My morning was crappy. Both kids with tantrums leaving it almost impossible to get everyone where they needed to be on time. On the way to school, I pulled a completely unnecessary turn around, scraped a log next to someone’s driveway which pulled off my bumper.

So, I am driving down 96 to concerning sounds of things scraping against my tires and wind rushing through the exposed mechanics of my car. I am running late, but trying to still make it to see my dad and Tommy Tackett turn themselves in at court today. I want to get video statements. I want to help alert press releases with on the ground information. I want to say thank you to my dad and hug him goodbye. Continue reading

Disobedience Here Below

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Alana Alpert, Bill Wylie-Kellermann, and others shut down the Department of Environmental Quality on June 4 as part of the Poor People’s Campaign.

Re-shared from Tikkun.

Ordained from Hebrew College of Boston in 2014, Rabbi Alana Alpert serves a dual position as rabbi of Congregation T’chiyah and as a community organizer with Detroit Jews for Justice. Because they have been working closely together on the Michigan Poor Peoples Campaign, she invited Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann to share the teaching for Rosh Hashanah. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary in NYC, Bill is a non-violent activist, author, and United Methodist pastor recently retired from St Peter’s Episcopal, Detroit. What follows are their remarks for the day.

Rabbi Alana Alpert: Shanah tovah!!!

I suppose you are used to most of my heresies by now, but I’ll admit a new one: vegan coneys. There is a new place in Brush Park. Just a few weeks ago, I sat around a long table of Detroit Jews for Justice leaders discussing the implications of our recent arrests as part of the Poor People’s Campaign, a national campaign uniting tens of thousands to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation & the nation’s distorted morality. Continue reading

Why is Grandpa in Jail?

33116241_10214353738810852_6880318968586829824_oBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

I wrote this as a children’s book for Isaac during the Poor People’s Campaign. He was very concerned about why Grandpa kept going to jail when we were also teaching about how we dont believe in jails and prisons. So, I wrote this to try to explain it to him. We printed it out and he and Cedar and Ira and their friend helped illustrate it as a birthday gift to my dad.

Why is Grandpa in jail?
We don’t like jails. We think they shouldn’t exist.

If people make bad choices, there are better ways to help them be better.
Talking.
Caring.
Paying attention to what they need.
Teaching.
Loving.

Locking people up for years of their life only….
Takes them away from their families.
Makes people feel lonely.
Takes them away from the sun and the trees.

It is a broken, sad system.

So, why is Grandpa in jail? Continue reading

Sermon: In the water we are whole

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Photo credit: Kimiko Karpoff

Acts 10:44-48,
John 15:9-17

By Reverend Clare Morgan
Preached to the beloved faithful at St. Margaret’s Cedar Cottage, Vancouver

Most of you know that last weekend I attended the People of Faith and Friends against Kinder Morgan event on Burnaby Mountain to participate in a nonviolent blockade of the gate onto the work site. It was a truly inspiring act of political resistance that made me proud to be a Christian, especially an Anglican Christian, in the Pacific Northwest at this watershed moment in human history. Continue reading

A Letter to Judge Wynn: Meditations on Breaking the Law

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U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Dec. 7, 1995. Kneeling first row (left to right): Jim Wallis, Henri Nouwen, Eugene F. Rivers III, Graylan Hagler, Rose Marie Berger.

By Rose Marie Berger

If we could split ourselves
like a crack in the cement
(children’s names written when wet
a heart a flower a handprint)
like that mystical bread
(calloused hands holding up hunger
and night sweats and the one we once loved)

then we would say in our first voice: Law
and Order out of Chaos
we would listen and obey
teach our children hands up, look both ways
(pack them bubble-wrap safe
for shipping from this world to the next) Continue reading

Resistance to Drones in Upstate NY

MarkFolks in upstate NY have been engaging in a long-term campaign of civil disobedience in resistance to drone warfare. Below is the reported testimony at Mark Coleville’s trial as reported on http://upstatedroneaction.org.

Mark Colville, a Catholic Worker from New Haven, Connecticut, was tried on September 18 and 19 on five charges stemming from a peaceful, nonviolent protest at Hancock Air National Guard Base, which is a drone control site located outside Syracuse, New York.    His Sentencing Hearing is coming up on December 3. Mark, who faced the court pro-se (presenting his own defense rather than having an attorney do it) was tried in DeWitt Town Court before a jury of 6 persons, with Judge Robert Jokl presiding. Mark was charged with 3 Violations: Trespass and 2 counts of Disorderly Conduct; and 2 Misdemeanors: Obstructing Governmental Administration and Contempt of a Court Order. Continue reading