...The Rt. Rev. Mark Handley Andrus was arrested Thursday for blocking the entrance to the San Francisco federal building. He was among about 200 protesters who had marched from Grace Cathedral as part of a weekly anti-war rally that has been held for about five years.Fr. John was there:
Federal Protective Service officers arrested 11 other protesters for blocking the door, and all were cited and released.
"God is with all who have suffered in Iraq," the bishop, wearing his purple robe and carrying a shepherd's staff, said. "This war needs to be opposed. Even though there is widespread sentiment against the war, we need to continue to push for peace."
...The entire march, liturgy, and civil disobediance were marked by joyful solemnity and a spirit of nonviolence. It was a wonderful opportunity for people from around the diocese to act together in faithful witness of the Prince of Peace to whom we give our ultimate allegiance. It was also good to do so with Jewish, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Buddhist, Quaker and humanist sisters and brothers who share our commitment to justice, peace, and nonviolence. None of us ceased being who we were; we were not boiled down to some kind of imaginary generic human being, sans tradition or history. Yet, for a few hours, we were able to speak with one voice for an end to this unjust and brutal war...Jan was there as well, and brought back some great pics, including the one above. Here is her summary:
...When the Bishop's turn came, he seemed almost in his element. More than one member of the Episcopal clergy remarked to me: "we're seeing a new day."Good old fashioned civil disobedience; worth a thousand words.
The event was surprisingly moving even to this hard-bitten old political cynic. I've been known to be critical of these carefully choreographed "non-violent" protests, even though I've done my share of them. When we the comfortable get ourselves arrested, we don't risk much; the power of nonviolent action is only really revealed when people who have little or nothing choose to demand, through peaceful demonstrative self-assertion, that they have a right to full humanity.
Seeing Bishop Marc get himself arrested wasn't about that; it couldn't be. But it was about seeing him exemplify through action what he thinks the people and clergy of his diocese ought to be about -- and that is quite a call, even here in Left Coast City...
Some days I really miss the Left Coast.