NYC: Clergy-Led Die-in In the Name of Justice

December 19, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Clergy and others stage a die-in at the busy 120th and Broadway intersection in Manhattan, NYC December 18

Clergy and others stage a die-in at the busy 120th and Broadway intersection in Manhattan, NYC, December 18. Photo: Special to

From a reader:

On Thursday, December 18, after a "prayer breakfast" attended by over 150 people at the Union Theological Seminary in Manhattan, there was a "clergy-led die-in" at the busy intersection of Broadway and 120th Street—with the Union Seminary building in the background and Barnard College, Columbia University, and Columbia University Teacher's College on the other three corners.

The invitation for the prayer breakfast included the following:

"We gather in the spirit of prophetic witness. In light of the recent non-indictments that have galvanized a new focus on diverse movements for social change, we hope to provide an opportunity for all people to uplift one another in the name of justice.

"The breakfast is sponsored by Union, the Riverside Church, Drum Major Institute, Jewish Theological Seminary, the Interfaith Center of New York, and Auburn Seminary. It will include local clergy as well as organizers and clergy from the protests in Ferguson, MO."

At the breakfast a powerful call was issued by three young protestors from Ferguson who said they were in a continuing "war zone" with the police, and needed the clergy and church to bring the resources needed—"band aids, communications technology, food and more…to be in the community with the people." They said that most of the churches in the Ferguson area have literally refused to open their doors to the protestors. One of them said, "We are the ones on the front lines...I have been tear gassed nine times... for Black people this is a state of emergency...we have been fighting for our lives since this country was founded." At the close they led all the clergy and others at the breakfast in chants including, "We are the ones we have been waiting for" and "We have nothing to lose but our chains."

The die-in tied up traffic in all four directions for some 20 minutes.

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