PC(USA) Office of Public Witness decries treatment of protesters


(PNS) The PC(USA)’s Workplace of Public Witness has issued an announcement decrying the usage of heavy-handed techniques to manage protesters and criticizing the passage of legal guidelines limiting the fitting to protest.

The assertion by OPW’s director, the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, and Langley Hoyt, a fellow for home points, speaks in opposition to the usage of police violence to silence protesters.

Jimmie Hawkins, coordinator of the Workplace of Public Witness

“Within the weeks following the loss of life of George Floyd, as protestors proceed to fill the streets with largely peaceable demonstrations, police proceed to retaliate with reveals of drive and militarization,” the assertion says. “The violence police use in opposition to Black Lives Matter protestors stems from a protracted historical past of police attacking marginalized teams advocating for his or her rights.”

The assertion likens 2020 strong-arming of protesters to examples relationship again to 1917 when suffragettes have been focused and persevering with via the Civil Rights Motion when hoses and canines have been set on protesters within the 1960s.

“That is the modern-day iteration of a historic sample of police violence in opposition to peaceable protest,” the assertion says. “To guard the civil rights of the American folks, the police should be reoriented to undertake extra acceptable measures in response to demonstrations which pose no menace of violence.”

The assertion advocates reducing funding “to police budgets that present insufficient coaching and military-grade weaponry,” and it suggests utilizing the saved {dollars} to pay for efficient neighborhood packages and sources that communities want.

The assertion notes that lawmakers in varied states have handed quite a few legal guidelines “criminalizing and proscribing the fitting to protest.”

“These legal guidelines additional defend violent police forces whereas permitting the prosecution of Individuals for working towards their First Modification rights,” the assertion says. “This can be a transfer within the incorrect course as native police departments should be de-militarized.”

Christians are urged to acknowledge that they serve a person of shade, Jesus, who was arrested and killed by Roman keepers of the regulation. The assertion additionally highlights a portion of Matthew 26, through which Jesus de-escalated a violent encounter whereas he was being arrested.

It says partly, “Then they got here and laid arms on Jesus and arrested him. All of the sudden, a type of with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the excessive priest, reducing off his ear. Then Jesus mentioned to him, ‘Put your sword again into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.’”

To learn OPW’s full assertion, go right here

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