“Episcopal Church takes stand for civil liberties” @ Fight Back! News

Posted on July 19, 2012

July 19, 2012: “Fight Back! interviewed Newland Smith, a member of the Committee Against Political Repression in Chicago, the local affiliate of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression. Smith led a campaign within the national convention of the Episcopal Church to take a stand for civil liberties in the face of repression of Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians and peace activists. The convention adopted a resolution expressing concern, which will become part of the Episcopalian legislative agenda. There are 30 to 40 members of U.S. Congress who are practicing Episcopalians.

As the first national religious denomination to adopt such a resolution, this is a very important development and sends a strong message to President Obama and Attorney General Holder that opposition to political repression is spreading.

Fight Back!: You’ve been involved in the peace movement for a while. Tell us about your history.

Newland Smith: I became involved in the peace movement in the 1980s when I became an active member of the Chicago chapter of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship. One of the members was Michael Yasutake, a Japanese American Episcopal priest who was very active in a ministry to political prisoners. I also am one of the founding members of the Episcopal Diocese’s Anti-Racism team which came together in 1999 in the struggle to dismantle structures of institutional racism…………………………”

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