Thousand Ministers March for Justice

Aug 29, 2017

By Nora Howell, Sr. Warden

August 29, 2017

The following photos and words comprise an attempt to give you a sense of the protest, the Thousand Ministers March for Justice.  If Michele were in town, she would no doubt have been there front and center, so I decided to go to quietly represent the parish simply with my presence.  It turned out to be a lot more than I expected.

First, the diocesan group gathered at the WWII Memorial.  It felt good to be with a small group of like-minded souls – and to reconnect with Trisha Lyons and Gayle Fisher-Stewart.  Here we are in that “gathering” mode.  See our Trisha Lyons in the center?  I especially loved it that children were designated to carry our diocesan banner; here they are practicing.  They actually carried it for a good part of the march.

By the time the diocesan group had fully formed, we numbered at least 30.  Here we are as we are led in prayer before we moved to join the larger group of faithful protestors.

Then we moved to the MLK Jr Memorial – where we joined a YUUGE group of Jewish and Christian and Muslim ministers and congregation members from a wide range of religious organizations, including Jews, Unitarians, Methodists, Baptists, Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics, and Episcopalians.  In addition to Gayle and Trisha, I also saw Stephanie Nagley, our former Associate Rector, and Ken Howard, a former St. Mark’s seminarian.  We were well-represented!

Finally, we started to march.  Here’s a shot of about half of the full parade walking towards Constitution Avenue.  The organizers asked for 1,000 ministers to come – based on the crowd size and the reports in the press, there were about 3,000 people, including well more than 1,000 ministers!

For those of us who live in this town and ride on these streets, the concept of walking down a major street in the middle of the day is quite mind-blowing!  After walking down a blocked Constitution Ave, we turned up 15th Street, then onto Pennsylvania Ave.

Throughout the march, there were songs and chants.  The most lively chant was “What do we want?  Justice!  When do we want it?  NOW!”  In front of the Trump hotel, the energy increased and the chanting got even

We ended our march at the Justice Department, with more speeches, and the crowd blocking that intersection.

For more information about the messages delivered before and after the march, see these articles written for the Washington Post:

What Did It Take to Finally Unite Blacks and Jews? Donald Trump

Religious Leaders Gather In Washington to Show Unified Moral Opposition to Trump

All day long, we listened to speakers from a wide range of denominations:  Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. It was so heartening that all of them expressed a common message of unity in the love of justice.  They repeatedly reminded us that it’s not enough to say something and then go back to sleep – we must act and act with persistence until all people are actually treated equally in the justice system of this country, have voting rights, and have access to adequate health care.  It was an honor to be there.

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