EPF PIN member Newland Smith also attended the action last week in Washington DC. Here is his reflection.
Leaders did an amazing job in preparing participants for the actions at the convention center. The four hour long training in non violence included practicing being in solidarity in a given action. So come Monday we were well prepared when we attempted to gain entrance to the convention and to persist outside the convention in pounding on the doors and singing chants.
Tarak Abuata both at the training and during the action connected the call to speak out against the racist ideology of Christian Zionism with the call to be in solidarity with communities of color. I was moved to see several people who attended the panel discussion Sunday evening at the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ wearing Poor People Campaign’s t shirts as well as a woman at the convention center who had attended the Poor People’s Campaign Moral Congress in Washington D.C. As one who attended the Moral Congress in June, I knew that the call to change the moral narrative of our country included calling out the racist ideology of Christian Zionism.
But having participated in this action, I do ask myself, “So what”. Is this dramatic action at the convention center on July 8 just a flash in the pan or will it be one small but important step in the ongoing struggle for justice in Palestine and Israel? Tarak Abuata reminded participants of the necessity of working with local congregations in becoming prophetic communities. The Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ led by its Senior Pastor, Graylan Hagler, is a good example of a prophetic community. This is clearly a challenge for PIN members in the Diocese of Chicago.