Dear Friends everywhere,
Yesterday, the United States and the world witnessed an act of insurrection at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Friends General Conference condemns this violence and the attacks on the electoral process, prays for the safety of everyone involved, and calls for nonviolence and de-escalation as the situation continues to unfold.
As Friends, we affirm that:
Our shared future depends on a peaceful resolution to this crisis.
Regardless of our political affiliations, we affirm that progress is a community effort and mutual respect is the foundation of all healthy societies. To build mutual respect, we encourage all political leaders to engage in open and truthful dialogue at this time.
During times of political unrest, community members who are Black/Indigenous/People of Color face the greatest risk of violence.
Without question, white supremacy and many of its manifestations played a part in yesterday’s attack. In 2020, nonviolent protestors of color and their allies were tear-gassed and beaten by law enforcement, while white extremists carrying guns stormed state capitol buildings without the threat of confrontation or arrest by police. As this crisis unfolds, it's important to remember that the Capitol and surrounding areas are staffed by Black/Indigenous/People of Color workers who face a disproportionate risk of violence in this chaotic situation. Advocating for the safety of people who are most vulnerable to harassment and violence in our society while also urging de-escalation on the part of those who might see violence as a tool to enforce their will on others is a reflection of our values as Quakers.
In times of crisis, many people turn to their faith tradition and faith leaders for direction and reassurance.
We are committed to interfaith action to see a de-escalation of this crisis. As Quakers, our faith (for many Friends and members of the broader community) is synonymous with peace, equality, and community. Quakers have marched and advocated for civil rights, the protection of Black lives, environmental preservation, LGBTQ+ rights, and to stop war in all its forms. Because of this history, when tragedy strikes, members of the larger community sometimes seek comfort in Quaker worship and spirituality. Be available to the spiritual needs of these seekers and available for the broader needs of people across this land. This is a time for us to cultivate the best in one another, through our commitment to peace and honoring that of the Divine in each and every person we meet.
The seed of God exists in every human being. Let our actions reflect this. In every word and deed over the coming hours and days, we must all work for nonviolence and to de-escalate the crisis that is currently unfolding in Washington, D.C. Our shared future depends upon it.
Barry Crossno, General Secretary of FGC
Marvin Barnes, Presiding Clerk of FGC