In fact there was a Roman Catholic Priest, and a Roman Catholic Deacon
There were two Episcopal Priests
There were five Rabbis
There were eight or more Protestant Ministers
There were Muslim women
We were gathered under the biblical text from the prophet Amos: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an overflowing stream."
We met with many other supporters at St. Martha's Roman Catholic Church in Sarasota yesterday.
Our mission was threefold:
1. To encourage each other as people of faiths in the struggle for justice.
2. To stand with the immigrant farm labourers who labour for our benefit in the tomato fields of Immokalee in South West Florida. ( see http://www.ciw-online.org/ )
3. To encourage the dominant supermarket chain in Florida (Publix) to sign on to the agreements for a living wage for farm workers.
Before the march to the Publix branch at "The Promenade" in SRQ we gathered for "rally". We heard from farm workers, from an African American Methodist Minister, from a Hispanic Quaker, from a local Rabbi, and from the host Pastor of the Roman Catholic Church.
I was there chiefly to support my colleague Presbyterian Minister Clay Thomas, who has been banned from Publix for a year - all because he went into a Publix store AFTER a CIW rally had ended to buy a sandwich at the deli counter. His "crime" was that he was wearing a shirt with a logo in favour of CIW - which the Publix honchos determined was a disruptive act.
My justice juices were flowing well yesterday - especially because we were an inter-faith group with a common mission for human rights. Way to go.
Down below are some of the photo's I took, and also the story from today's Sarasota Herald Tribune. Before you get to them I reproduce what Fr. Faustino the Catholic Priest had to say:
"Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure* for the last days. Listen! The wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts on a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you."
That's radical stuff from a Catholic Priest! ( psst. it's from the bible!)
|Rabbis and Ministers confer|
|Farm Workers at the Rally|
|Youth and age|
|On the road|
|CIW staffer (l), the Revd Clay Thomas (r)|
|The other Episcopal Priest participant, the Revd Bob Thacker (r). Bob also hangs out at St. Boniface Church.|
|Fair Food indeed tastes better|
|Walking down Cocoanut Ave in SRQ (1)|
|Walking down Cocoanut Ave in SRQ (2)|
FROM TODAY'S SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE