Several leaders from diverse faith backgrounds, including a Pacific School of Religion faculty and a number of students, were arrested today while participating in a peaceful protest at the Alameda County Wiley Manuel Courthouse. The protesters urged District Attorney Nancy O’Malley to drop charges against fourteen Black activists who peacefully stopped BART traffic last fall.
The Interfaith Committee in Support of the Black Friday 14 organized today’s sit-in. The Committee is challenging the disparate treatment of protesters along racial lines, concerned that the District Attorney’s office is only bringing charges against Black participants from 2014 Black Friday protests, and not people of other races from other recent acts of civil disobedience.
The protesters remained in the lobby after the courthouse closed at 4:30pm, and were arrested while sitting and singing.
Said Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy, President of Pacific School of Religion: “In response to efforts to silence those who were participating in a call for a more just political system, Jesus said that the stones would cry out in their stead. We are grateful for the courage of our faculty and students who today have been living stones calling out for change on behalf of the silenced Black Friday 14.”