Thursday, January 24, 2008

United Methodist Minister Sentenced for Civil Disobedience

The Rev. Julie Todd, an elder in the New England Annual Conference was sentenced this week for her participation in the protest against the Columbus Day parade in Denver, Colorado last year. This protest is organized each year by the American Indian Movement in an attempt to witness to the ongoing injustice of celebrating a holiday that marks the initiation of the North American genocide of Native Americans.

Last October, Todd joined others in an act of non-violent civil disobedience in which they blocked the parade route by simply sitting in the street, holding hands and singing hymns. She along with many others were brutalized by police and arrested. Her trial and that of three others happened this week.

During the closing statements, Todd said, "When I am at a loss for words, I turn to my tradition, which is scripture. The word that comes to me right now is 'What does God require of me but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with my God?' That is what I have done. Whatever sentence you give to me today for doing justice, loving kindness and walking humble with God, I will accept."

You can read more about the courageous stand for justice Todd took in coordination with the American Indian Movement (AIM) at the following links:

Trial Blog
Pictures and Video from the Protest
YouTube Video
Denver Westwood News
Rocky Mountain News


BeccaBlue said...

again wow, and props to Julie. The comments on the news stories are really nasty, though, and it looks like the only one that's been removed was one in favor of the protestors. pretty sad how racist some of the comments are. I'd hardly call displaced native peoples "spoiled babies." sheesh.

In other news, mr inclusivity phelps is planning to picket Heath Ledger's funeral becuase, you know, he's not a gay man but he plays one on tv. ass.

larry said...

I'm not wanting to be critical of the minister's position here because I don't know anything about her. But when I see these kinds of protests I wonder what it is we are supposed to do to achieve "justice" for these kind of past issues?

Every year we have independence day parades celebrating a time in our history when we again slaughtered several of our own and another countries citizens for what could be considered a selfish agenda. Do we protest independence day parades too?

My point is I'm sure that the people attending the parade weren't there because they were celebrating the slaughter of Indians by europeans. They were celebrating a country they are greatful they live in, or perhaps even less nobler they were there just becase they like parades. The protesters, in my opinion, wrongly portray parade goers and organizers as being bloodthirsty racists who like the idea of the mass slaughter.

Just as the celebration of independence day is one of thankfulness for our country and our freedom, not a celebration of the violence that led to that establishment, why can't we see Columbus day celebrations in the same light?