Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Twelve arrested for civil disobedience at gun store are acquitted.

The 12 people who were arrested for civil disobedience at a notorious gun store in Philadelphia during the Heeding God’s Call peace church gathering in January have been acquitted. The trial took place in a Philadelphia court on May 26.

Among those arrested were two members of the Church of the Brethren, Phil Jones and Mimi Copp. The Church of the Brethren’s Mission and Ministry Board helped to support the legal defense for Jones, who at the time of the arrest was serving as director of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office.

Heeding God’s Call marked the beginning of a new faith-based initiative against gun violence and illegal weapons in America’s cities. Those arrested were part of a campaign to pressure Colosimo’s Gun Center to sign a Code of Conduct for Responsible Gun Dealers, and followed several weeks of discussion between the gun shop owner and local religious leaders. The defendants include community advocates from Camden, N.J., and Philadelphia, ordained Christian clergy from three denominations, and a Jewish rabbi.

"Tuesday (May 26) was a most amazingly wonderful day--for Heeding God's Call and for the gun violence prevention movement. Human and Divine justice came together in a miraculous and inspiring way," said Therese Miller of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), who served as gathering director for Heeding God's Call.

In an e-mail report, Miller said that the "Heeding God’s Call 12" were acquitted of all charges "to the joy of the 300 supporters who packed the courtroom, spilled out into the hallway for the morning prayer service, and participated in the midday rally." To mark the occasion of the trial, supporters strung 350 t-shirts around Dilworth Plaza in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall, each shirt pinned with a paper heart naming a local gunshot victim.

Miller added that the trial received much positive attention in the press, including the following available online: ,
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Heeding God’s Call witnesses continue on the sidewalk in front of Colosimo's at 9th and Spring Garden in Philadelphia on Saturdays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and on Mondays from 4-6 p.m.

Source: 6/3/2009 Newsline

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