Rev. Dr. Christopher Elwood
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2011
“You Are Now All Under Arrest… No one may leave the secured area.”
With that, U.S. Park Police Lt. Marshall snapped off the megaphone, and walked back to the armored SWAT truck.
137 of us stood or sat completely still, in five ranks, with our backs to the White House’s iron pickets. The time was 11:31, Thursday morning. Ministers, retirees, college students, programmers, and farmers among many others awaiting search, handcuffing, and the paddy wagons bound for Anacostia and processing. The first to go was a wheelchair-restricted woman named Lolly, who was taken away to thunderous applause of all of us awaiting our own turn, and of the hundreds of onlookers across the avenue in Lafayette Park.
|Lolly, the first to be arrested|
Next to me stood my brother, Christopher Elwood, a Presbyterian minister. For the next three hours, our steadily diminishing band hoarsely belted out familiar tunes, reworked on the spot with lyrics to urge President Obama not to approve the Tar Sands pipeline from Canada to the Gulf.
|137 lawbreakers demanding the President protect the earth|
There were indigenous people who testified to skyrocketing cancer and illness rates in the tar sands region. They told of hunting elk and moose which were covered with sores from toxic waste. They told us of the utter destruction of their lands and waterways.
|Clothesline Report editor John Elwood|
But all of us are indigenous to the earth that God has made for us. And some of us were keenly aware that we are only tenants, and that this planet belongs to Him. Even more, the Christians among us affirm that the earth is not principally our inheritance, but Christ’s. We stood at the White House gates out of allegiance to the Savior to whom all things belong.