Hundreds of interfaith leaders stood ready to face arrest outside the White House on Wednesday where they delivered a “moral indictment to an immoral administration.”
The march and rally, dubbed Moral Witness Wednesday, was organized to denounce the President Donald Trump administration’s cruel and unjust policies including the detaining of migrant children and attacks on healthcare access. Rev. Dr. William Barber and Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of the Shalom Center, initially conceived of the action, organizations say.
In a tweet ahead of the protest, Barber, who’s also president of social justice group Repairers of the Breach and a co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, explained the motivation for the action: “Jeremiah 22 tells us that when political leaders abuse their office & hurt the poor, we must show up in person to deliver a prophetic indictment. Now is the time. Join us June 12.”
Other religious leaders taking part include Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign; Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid, Ameer/president of The Muslim Alliance in North America; and Rabbi Esther Lederman, director of Communities of Practice and Congregational Innovation for the Union of Reform Judaism.
At the gates of the White House, the activists delivered signed petitions, which state, in part:
As President Trump and his administration let the nation suffer, we must lead with a unified proactive and creative response that is not confined by “Right” or “Left,” Democrat or Republican, but is rooted in the clear moral Center of right and wrong. It is time to warn the nation and call this administration to repent of their sins.
Friends, it is time for us to go together to the palace gates with a clarion call:
- Stop the weaponization of judicial appointments! Attend to the 14th Amendment, the bedrock of equal protection under the law. Uphold the constitution.
- Stop mandating a census question designed to ensure millions are uncounted! Attend to the 140 million poor and low wealth.
- Stop the abuse of executive power to pollute our communities with pipelines and privatizing public resources! Attend to our water and air.
- Stop the assault on the Affordable Care Act and on healthcare for women and children in poverty! Attend to the health of your people.
- Stop the brutal treatment of the stranger at the southern border! Stop warehousing children in detention camps! End child detention. Attend to compassionate and humane immigration policies that affirm the divinity within all human beings.