Hundreds of advocates from various Christian denominations, including representatives from CMSM, gathered in Washington, D.C. this past weekend for Ecumenical Advocacy Days, with a focus on education and skills training for a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill to promote a moral federal budget.
The Lobby Day included a press conference rebuking the Trump administration’s plan to curtail funding to human needs services in the U.S. and around the world, while increasing an already exorbitant Pentagon budget. 7 clergy and religious leaders, including four Catholic leaders (3 associated with Catholic men’s religious organizations), also participated in a planned prayer witness inside the atrium of a Senate Office Building and were arrested while praying, for refusing to disperse when ordered by U.S. Capitol Police. The seven were processed and released about eight hours later. The goals of the direct action were to better illuminate the immoral budget proposal, take risks together to build trust and momentum in the movement, as well as to energize other Christian leaders for creative and courageous mobilizing back home.
Pictured below are the 7 leaders shortly before their arrest. (Photo from Disciples Church Justice Action Network). A video of the event is also available.