With less than a month to go before the Democratic National Convention comes to town, area clergy members announced Monday they will host a “freedom school” at a Center City church to teach young protesters the Rev. Martin Luther King’s tactics of nonviolent social change.
The freedom school will be held at the Arch Street United Methodist Church, at Broad and Arch streets, in the days before and during the DNC. The church will also host “Know Your Rights” training and first aid for injured activists, and it will invite activists to come and go as needed “for respite” throughout the convention.
“The faith community’s arms are open to activists who embrace and practice peaceful, nonviolent protest in demanding justice,” said the Rev. Robin Hynicka of the Arch Street United Methodist Church.
“We just want to emphasize the efficacy and historical place that nonviolent peaceful resistance has in a time like this,” he added. “There are a lot of good people involved in this grass-roots movement for social change. They have a great potential to affect social change, and we want to help them do that.”
Clergy and other organizers will discuss details at an afternoon press conference Wednesday. Those involved include members of POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild); Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence; the Up Against the Law Legal Collective; community activists from the DNC Coalition; and civil rights lawyers.