Third week of action focuses on militarism
WASHINGTON, DC (May 29, 2018) Today, leaders of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a 100-year-old Quaker organization committed to building lasting peace with justice – were arrested in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience as part of the new Poor People’s Campaign. The Poor People’s Campaign is a national mobilization to challenge systemic poverty, racism, ecological devastation, and militarism, led by poor and working people and grounded in faith and nonviolence.
“This country has been engaged in perpetual warfare for decades, driven by a thirst for profits and resources, and resulting in the death and oppression of far too many to count,” said Jacob Flowers, South Regional Director for AFSC. “We came to DC today to put ourselves on the line, to say that it is our responsibility to stop this war machine. We must rise up to demand that our country reset its moral compass in the direction of peace, justice and freedom.”
Jacob Flowers was arrested alongside AFSC’s Midwest Regional Director Rabbi Brant Rosen and dozens of others. AFSC staff also participated in actions at State Houses across the country, including in West Virginia, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Georgia.
AFSC was one of the principal endorsers of the original Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. AFSC’s Barbara Moffet worked directly with Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to develop the campaign’s platform. As AFSC and other organizers from 10 cities and five rural areas strategized and gathered supplies, Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Organizers decided to continue the campaign in King’s honor, and AFSC and other organizers mobilized people across the country to come to Washington, DC for two weeks of protest.
The Poor People’s Campaign has called for 40 days of nonviolent moral direct action, which began on Mother’s Day and will continue through June 23rd. For more on the Poor People’s Campaign, see: https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/.
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The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social systems.