Which Emergency?

By Elizabeth Nguyen

A Day of Civil Disobedience for Social Justice

@RevElizabethN, UUA Leadership Development Associate for Youth and Young Adults of Color reports from St. Louis, MO. where she and more than one hundred Unitarian Universalists, local congregations, and others participated in acts of resistance to mark the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown. This day of resistance was the result of organizing for social justice and change that happens here 365 days a year, and the history of justice work that has come before.

On August 10th, Saint Louis County authorities declared a state of emergency as organizers  shutdown interstate-70,faith leaders demanded that the Department of Justice do its job, and people marched in solidarity all over the country.

As of Tuesday morning, activists are still in jail following the Moral Monday actions . The Black Movement-Law Project asks us to call (314) 615-5245 and ask for the immediate release all those arrested and jailed.

Monday's acts of resistance followed a weekend of mourning Mike Brown and the violence of white supremacy, celebrating the organizing that has brought the movement to this moment, and honoring the way Ferguson continues to teach us all. Local Unitarian Universalist communities and clergy have been powerful contributors to the ongoing fight and I was grateful to learn from their work as I joined a multi-faith action of civil disobedience at the offices of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in St. Louis, MO.

We anointed the DOJ building and each other with holy oil and delivered a scroll demanding to meet with United States Attorney Richard Callahan and that he comply with the Ferguson action demands - particularly the "Re-purposing of law enforcement funds to support community based alternatives to incarceration and the conditioning of DOJ funding on the ending of discriminatory policing and the adoption of DOJ best practices," and "A Comprehensive Review of systemic abuses by local police departments, including the publication of data relating to racially biased policing, and the development of best practices."

Unitarian Universalist youth and young adults of color are harmed at the hands of the same systems of racial profiling, mass incarceration, school-to-prison pipeline and systemic violence that are everywhere. We are in a state of emergency - as Unitarian Universalists, as a community, as a family. The question the people are asking is #whichemergency?

https://twitter.com/handsupunited_/status/630916673923452928 https://twitter.com/BerniceKing/status/630947413067304961 https://twitter.com/brownblaze/status/630959765351329792/photo/1

Ferguson is everywhere. Racism still lives here. Ask which emergency. Find your racial justice frontlines. Here are some ways to get going


Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com