Strength in solidarity

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the interfaith service and solidarity walk for justice this past weekend. The event examined the oppression of immigrants and refugees in the U.S. and of Palestinians in Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza, and illuminated shared tactics of oppression, such as restricting freedom of movement, family separation, and child detention. 

We were led by celebrants and readers from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities and from congregations that know intimately, and experience directly, the effects of the Muslim ban, surveillance of people of color, deportation, unjust incarceration, and military detention of Palestinian children. 

Referencing scriptural works from each of the Abrahamic faiths, those assembled prayed for compassion and solidarity. Remembering that "the Matriarchs and Patriarchs, Christ in his years on earth, and the Prophet Mohammad were all migrants, seeking shelter in new lands from broken communities, stripped earth, and oppressive power structures," we sought a shared communion. 

We mourned the deaths and exiles caused by draconian and racist state policies along with the walls that are used to separate us. We also sought a shared vision of a more just world and prepared our spirits and hands for the work ahead. 

In a meditation on a segment from Kairos Palestine, we considered how to both acknowledge opposition and work toward a healing unity, considering the possibilities of "resistance with love as its logic. Through our love, we will overcome injustice and establish foundations for a new society both for us and for our opponents." 

We are thankful to have been welcomed into two churches and to have received support as we walked through downtown Oak Park. Our village has had the wisdom to pass its own comprehensive Welcoming Ordinance that embodies the spirit of solidarity. May this vision illuminate our nation as well.

In radical love,

Interfaith Action Group on Peace and Justice in Israel and Palestine

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