Praise the Lord and Break the Law. As seen at the Sugar Creek Midwest Catholic Worker Gathering, fall 2019. Credit: Kateri Boucher
Deadline November 10, 2019
“We need to engage in whatever nonviolent actions appeal to us. There is no act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at critical points to create a power that governments cannot suppress. We find ourselves today at one of those critical points.” – Howard Zinn
“The decision to engage in civil disobedience is challenging not just what the symbol represents, but also the laws that are set up to protect it.” – Bree Newsome, after pulling down the South Carolina Confederate flag in 2015
In countries founded on the legality of slavery and Indigenous massacres, we begin naming the complex relationships between law, violence, and power. Historically, engaging with laws through breaking them has been part of the arc that moves us towards justice. In this issue we hope to unpack the nuances of breaking the law, and the choices we do (or don’t) make in the process. Continue reading
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
By 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
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
By 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.
Paying attention to what they need.
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
Photo credit: Kimiko Karpoff
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
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