Hoping to steer national politics in a different direction, black clergy from several denominations came together for the first-ever “African American Clergy Advocacy Day” on Capitol Hill to protest federal budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration.
As happened last week at a similar protest, 16 protesters were arrested Tuesday (July 18) on charges of “crowding, obstructing or incommoding” while trying to raise awareness of what they said was unjust legislation.
“Since all of these folk make a big deal about putting their hand on the Bible and swearing themselves into office, we’ve come to let them know what’s in the Bible,” said the Rev. William J. Barber II, a North Carolina pastor at the forefront of state and national protests focused on poverty and civil rights.
The event was organized by the National African American Clergy Network and included meetings with members of Congress, speeches outside the Capitol and civil disobedience — protesting inside the Senate office buildings.
Politicians such as Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., reiterated the point that black leaders will keep fighting the Trump administration.
At last week’s march, Barber and other clergy members were arrested after protesting planned Medicaid cuts in the now-defunct Senate GOP health care bill.
Tuesday’s event was a response to a wider range of issues, from Housing Secretary Ben Carson’s controversial statements on slavery to cuts in President Trump’s budget for programs such as Meals on Wheels.
Religion News Service