Clergy: Church Can Lead Non Violent Resistance to Zimmerman Verdict

Jul 23, 2013

Some local members of the faith community are expressing their outrage to the recent George Zimmerman verdict and the U-S Supreme Court's decision striking down section four of the Voting Rights Act.

According to the Reverend Lewis Stewart of United Church Ministry, those decisions represent a serious setback in the struggle for freedom, liberty, dignity and justice.

He says to resist what he calls an erosion of civil and human rights, they're introducing a seven part plan, starting with encouraging everyone to take part in the jury pool in Monroe County.

Among other things, they'll conduct a voter registration and education campaign, and resist any efforts by governmental agencies and departments to engage in racial profiling through non-violent means

The Reverend Stewart says they'll also resist by confronting the issues of education policies in the city school district and how they impact students.  He says the superintendent and the Board of Education must be held accountable to the needs of students. At the same time, students must be held accountable for their own academic achievement, and parents must be accountable for overseeing their children's education.

Stewart says their resistance is more than just protests and street marches, it's about putting programs and policies in place, and making sure political representatives are held accountable by the people.

Members of United Church Ministry spoke out against the verdict and Supreme Court decision this morning at Peace Baptist Church on Oregon Street in Rochester.