The Common Good
January 2007

Declaring Peace With Iraq

by Laurel Rae Mathewson | January 2007

More than 133 people, many of them prominent religious leaders, were arrested on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in September.

More than 133 people, many of them prominent religious leaders, were arrested on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in September. They were protesting the war in Iraq as part of a national faith-based Declaration of Peace initiative. “Hearing scripture pronounced with great passion in the Hart [Senate Office Building] atrium and then looking up at those tiers of Senate staffers watching, it felt like the beginning of the end of the war,” Judith Kelly, who was arrested, told Sojourners. “I see these nonviolent civil disobedience actions as a big turning point.”

The Washington, D.C.-event was one of 375 organized across the country that resulted in more than 250 arrests. “We have reached a turning point in the struggle for peace,” said Declaration of Peace spokesperson Ken Butigan in a statement. “[Through these actions] we brought the power of moral witness to the decision-makers in Washington, D.C., and to our communities nationwide.”

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