November 20th Call to Faith Leaders Join in Solidarity with AZ Humanitarian Aid Worker on Trial
Join Jim Wallis and Miguel de la Torre for a National Call Out- Faith Floods Courtroom for Scott Warren Human Rights Activist on November 20th
We're calling on people of faith and people of conscience from across the country to flood the courtroom on November 20th in Tucson, Arizona to show support for Scott Warren, Human Rights activist facing 10 years of jail for providing life-saving aid to migrants in the desert.
The ongoing prosecution of humanitarian aid workers is an escalation in the government’s war on undocumented people. On January 17th, 2018, No More Deaths released part two of a three-part report series The Disappeared. That very same day, Border Patrol raided No More Death’s humanitarian aid base in Ajo, Arizona and arrested two individuals receiving humanitarian aid and Scott Warren, a No More Deaths volunteer, find out more here.
In June 2019, the trial against Scott Warren began and people of faith responded. We gathered from across the nation to stand in solidarity with Dr. Warren, to stand in support of the right to administer humanitarian aid, and to stand against the ongoing criminalization of immigrants.
It was a sobering experience to sit in the courtroom and hear the federal government do all that it could to criminalize the values that so many of us believe are fundamental to our faith.
But they ultimately failed. After days of deliberation, the jury was unable to reach a verdict and the judge declared a mistrial.
The very next day Border Patrol Agents found the body of 6-year-old Gurupreet Kaur on the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument where Dr Warren and others have focused much of their work. Her cause of death was heatstroke and she passed away while her mother was searching for water.
Unfazed by the ongoing suffering in the desert and their inability to get a guilty verdict, federal prosecutors announced in July that they would re-try Dr. Warren.
The second felony trial of Scott Warren begins on November 12th. He is charged with two counts of felony harboring under 8 U.S.C. 1324.
Once again this is a pivotal moment— not just for Dr. Warren, not just for No More Deaths but for all of us who believe that our faith calls us to act in the world for peace and justice.
Let’s be clear— he is facing prison time for doing that which our faith traditions demand of us — welcoming the stranger, feeding the hungry, offering water to the thirsty. And let’s be very clear — any one of us could be on trial.
You are invited to join faith leaders from across the nation to once again, come to Tucson for Faith Floods the Courtroom on Wednesday, November 20th.
On the morning of November 20th, we will gather at approximately 8am outside the Federal Courthouse in Tucson (405 W. Congress Street) for an Interfaith Prayer Service featuring local and national faith leaders who will be calling for an end to the criminalization of humanitarian aid and an end to the criminalization of the fundamental principals of care and compassion. After the prayer service, a key group of national religious leaders will go with volunteers from No More Deaths will provide humanitarian aid by going on a water drop in the Arizona desert, while the rest of us fill the courtroom with our presence and hold vigil outside the Federal Courthouse as a visible witness of our support.
The visible presence of faith leaders during Dr. Warren’s trial is incredibly important as it undergirds the fundamental notion that not only is humanitarian aid not a crime— it is a fundamental aspect of what it means to be a person of faith in the midst of the death and suffering in our borderlands. Our visible presence communicates to the judge, to the jury and to our community that we stand with Dr. Warren, with No More Deaths, and with efforts to end death and suffering in the desert— and it clearly communicates that we stand against the clearly retaliatory actions of the Trump Administration against No More Deaths.
For over a year, faith leaders in Southern Arizona have been standing with No More Deaths — hosting vigils, knocking doors, calling the US Attorney to ask that the charges against Dr. Warren be dropped— and now we invite you to join us in this struggle.
Please note that there is no call for civil disobedience at this gathering.
These are frightening times. He could go to prison for actions that are fundamental to what it means to be faithful to the commands of our faith. In this moment, where it seems that there is a lot on trial, let’s stand together-- there is power in our presence.
Tuesday, November 19
· Mass Meeting 7pm
Wednesday, November 20th
· 8 AM Interfaith Prayer Service outside Court
· Fill the courtroom for the trial
· Hold vigil outside the Federal Courthouse
(Detailed agenda to come for those who RSVP)
Faith leader attire
If you are a faith leader, please bring appropriate attire from your tradition for the Interfaith Prayer Service and court solidarity including clergy collars, stoles, robes, prayer shawls or other symbols of your faith.
Flight— the best airport to fly into is Tucson International. Flights to Phoenix can be less expensive but you will have to rent a car and drive the 2 hours to Tucson.
Hotels— All are within a mile of the courthouse, from closest to farthest. Prices are approximate. Recommended hotels found at this link:
Rev. Alison Harrington
Senior Pastor at Southside Presbyterian Church, Tucson, Arizona
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