Friday, July 19, 2019

70 Catholic Protesters, including a Roman Catholic Woman Priest, Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP, Arrested At Capitol Hill for Peaceful Protest Against Trump's immigration policies and Human Rights Violations Against Migrant Children Detained at Southern Border

by Rebecca Klar
Janice Sevre Duszynska ARCWP, center wears the stole that I gave her for her priestly ordination at demonstration where 70 Catholic protestors, including Janice were arrested at Capitol Hill on July 18, 2019 for their witness for justice and humane treatment of migrant children who are being detained at our southern border.  Janice represents us all as we live Jesus' message of compassion and love.

Our Witness: by Janice Sevre-Duszynska
"We gathered in a park outside the Russell Senate Office Building with about 200 Catholics, including many nuns, to pray and protest the inhumane treatment of immigrants at the border and the denial of their rights to asylum. After prayers we walked to the Rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building. Some of the participants got down on the floor and made the shape of a cross. Within five minutes, the Capitol Police began arresting 70 of us: 45 women and 25 men. We were taken to a Capitol Police maintenance garage for processing. After they removed our handcuffs as we got off the bus, they put on another set of handcuffs.?10 of the 70, including Max and myself, chose instead of paying a $50 fine, to appear in court on August 21st to challenge the government’s concentration camps which many of us find illegal and immoral. We remained there in heat and handcuffs for close to five hours. 
We are very much looking forward to going to court to raise this issue of concentration camps on U.S. soil and the separation of children from their parents." 
"A group of Catholics, wearing photos of migrant children who died in U.S. custody, was arrested Thursday as they protested the Trump administration’s immigration policy.
Franciscan Action Network, a Catholic human rights group, planned the protest calling the border facility conditions a human rights violation and "contrary to religious teachings."
Photos shared by the religious groups show hundreds of participants demonstrated inside the Russell Senate Office Building.
"Images of children kept in deplorable and unsanitary conditions, without access to showers for weeks, and sleeping on concrete floors without blankets, and being detained incommunicado have compelled us to stand in solidarity and say, 'not in our name!'" said Sister Áine O’Connor, a protestor arrested Thursday, in a statement.
U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said 70 individuals were arrested for “unlawfully demonstrating in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building.”
"Scripture reminds us that the Holy Family were once migrants who had to flee their country, and so our faith compels us to be people of compassion and mercy who welcome the strangers in our midst. We are at a pivotal moment of history that demands a faithful and moral response to stop this inhumanity once and for all," O'Connor said.
Sisters of Mercy, one of the protest's participating groups, tweeted video footage of the arrests showing four protesters lying on the ground in the center of the Senate building, surrounded by hundreds more bearing the faces of migrant children who died in U.S. custody.
Seventy people from Catholic advocacy groups were arrested in Washington, D.C. Thursday at a protest against the Trump administration's treatment of migrants and asylum-seekers, police said. The protesters had poured into the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill and recited the names of migrant children who died in U.S. custody.
The protest started on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol before entering the Senate building, where protesters packed into the lobby. They carried photos of the dead migrant children
After entering the building, several protesters laid on the floor in the shape of the cross. Demonstrators also held a prayer vigil and sang lines from a spiritual song: "We shall not be moved. Just like the tree that's standing by the water, we shall not be moved."

"This was the second faith-based protest in Washington this week against the Trump administration's immigration policies and detainment of migrants. Ten Jewish protesters were arrested Tuesday for leaving to refuse the lobby of the ICE headquarters, according to the Washington Post. More than 100 protesters had entered the building.

At least six migrant children and a number of adults have died in federal custody, or soon after leaving it, following their detainment at the U.S. border. The U.S. government's own reports on the migrant detention centers found "dangerous overcrowding" and minors going days without hot meals. "

My Response:

We are called to cry out against the inhumane treatment of migrant children at our southern border. The conditions of overcrowding and abuse of asylum seekers and their children are unacceptable. As we express our concern for the humane treatment for these children and their families, let us remember that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were asylum seekers too. The bottom line for Christians is to ask ourselves what would Jesus do and then do it.  "Whatsoever we do to the least of our sisters and brothers, we do to Christ. "

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

A demonstration to end the practice of detaining immigrant children takes place at the Russell Senate Office Building on Thursday. (Marlena Sloss/The Washington Post)

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