Episcopal clergy among those arrested in Maundy Thursday protest

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles reports that several of its clergy were among 35 people arrested during action to support immigrants.

The LA Times describes the incident this way:

Police arrested 35 demonstrators Thursday in downtown Los Angeles during a protest over recent actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, officials said.

The demonstrators were cited for refusing to comply with police commands after blocking the entry into the Metropolitan Detention Center at 535 Alameda St., said Officer Irma Mota, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department. They were later released. …

…“ICE is an active danger to members of our community — both our community at All Saints Church and our wider communities of Los Angeles, California and the nation,” the Rev. Mike Kinman, who was arrested, said in a statement. “Its targeting of people for deportation is based on race and class. It splits up families, has communities living in fear and exacerbates the already shrinking trust between communities of color and police and government authorities.”

A press release from the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles reads:

Several diocesan clergy were among those arrested during the Maundy Thursday Interfaith Day of Prophetic Action to protest the recent actions of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.

About 300 demonstrators gathered at the La Plaza United Methodist Church at La Placita Olvera and marched along Los Angeles Street, waving signs and chanting, ‘Immigrants are welcomed here.’

Inspired by Holy Week, demonstrators participated in footwashing and other religious rituals.

The Rev. Joanne Leslie, archdeacon, among those arrested, said she hoped to ‘pull the eyes of the public to the problem of deportation.

‘What ICE is doing is heartless and unnecessary,’ Leslie said in an April 14 email to The Episcopal News. ‘The prophet Ezekiel says, ‘Divide it up as your inheritance and include in it the resident aliens who have made themselves at home among you and now have children. Treat them as if they were born there, just like yourselves.’

‘This is what we are called to do. But we are doing the opposite and it is a sin,’ she said. ‘We are tearing apart families, ‘criminalizing’ people who have worked hard, paid taxes, contributed to their communities and have been loved as our neighbors, in many cases for years. ‘

Troy Elder, bishop’s legate for Global Partnerships, also participated in the march but was not arrested. He and the group marched to the Metropolitan Detention Center and ‘we could see detainees looking out through tiny windows down at us,’ he said. He said the protestors waved their signs ‘and sang songs and just stood in solidarity’ with the detainees.

The group called for the release of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, who was arrested in February by ICE after dropping off his daughter at her Lincoln Heights school.

Also arrested were the co-facilitators of Episcopal Sacred Resistance, the diocesan sanctuary task force: the Rev. Francisco Garcia, rector of Holy Faith Church in Inglewood and the Rev. Canon Jaime-Edwards Acton, rector of St. Stephen’s Church in Hollywood, as well as the Rev. Mike Kinman, rector of All Saints, Pasadena. About 35 were arrested for blocking the entry to the detention center. They were released immediately.

Read more at the LA Times, and the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

Photo by Cam Sanders (portion), via Episcopal Sacred Resistance on Facebook

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6 Comments
  1. Not a Trump fan but his deportations are similar to Obama’s policies. http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/04/us/trump-ice-apprehensions/
    “So far, Trump’s efforts are consistent with his predecessor’s. In February 2017, the first full month of Trump’s presidency, 17,226 people were removed from US soil, 52% of whom (9,032 people) were convicted criminals, according to ICE. During the same period last year, under the Obama administration, 17,606 people were deported, 60% of whom (10,509 people) were convicted criminals.”

    • David Allen

      I think that folks are more up in arms about everything immigrant at this point because of the executive orders soon after Trump’s inauguration.

  2. Sheila Thrash

    Thank you for your service and heart for the marginalized. You are true followers of Jesus.

  3. Barbara Gray

    Glad you were all released.

    Thank you, brave souls, for standing up for our brothers and sisters threatened, diminished and marginalized. So grateful to those throughout time who have stood against oppression and injustice in any form. Speaking for myself, I draw the line at going to jail! So, again, I thank you and admire your courage, compassion and sacred activism.

    Justice has no borders.

    Proud of this church, and the community outreach, and of walking the talk.

  4. Marjorie King

    These clergy are inspiring!

  5. Hannah

    Thank you for standing up for the voiceless!!! We have 30 children that will see deportation happen to their family in Northeast OH. Our priest are silent!!!

    [Hannah- please sign your full name when you comment. thanks, editor]

Comments are closed.