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Occupy Together: Press Release from the Interfaith Working Group of Occupy Philly

Acting in Faith  |  Nov 17, 2011

Speak Love with Power at Occupy Philly

Photo: AFSC / Tony Heriza

Below is a press release written and endorsed by the Occupy Philadelphia Interfaith Working Group. It calls for consideration of a 'third way' in ending the dispute between the city and Occupy Philadelphia about whether to move the encampment.  In Peace, Lucy

Occupy Philadelphia Interfaith Working Group Calls for Creative, Non-Violent  Response

As people of faith we are committed to the universal principles of justice, compassion, and love.  Therefore, we stand in solidarity with the principles of the Occupy Movement. Grounded in our traditions of nonviolence, we are committed to being one community, pursuing the goal of economic, political, and social justice for all.

We recognize that the occupation of Dilworth Plaza presents both the residents of Occupy Philadelphia and the City administration with challenges not heretofore encountered.  We celebrate the cooperative and collaborative relationship that has existed to date between Occupy Philadelphia and City officials.  As we witness the violence in other cities, we cherish and seek to sustain this unique relationship.

Our respective faiths teach us to always remain open to unseen possibilities, and to welcome the movement of the spirit of love within and among us.  We fear for the safety and well-being of the residents of Occupy Philadelphia that a forced eviction would pose, and express our deep concern in particular for those residents who have no permanent housing alternatives.

We call upon Mayor Nutter, Commissioner Ramsey and the other decision-makers of the City of Philadelphia and the residents of Occupy Philadelphia to continue to work collaboratively and cooperatively, and to imagine and discover as yet unimaginable possibilities in their relationship. 

We pray that a confrontational eviction of Occupy residents, with its attendant potential for violence and injury, may be avoided at all costs.  We pray that all parties may be led to create a new paradigm that serves as a beacon to the world and is worthy of the City of Brotherly Love (and Sisterly Affection).  


Rev. Peter Friedrichs, Minister, Unitarian Universalist

Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director, The Shalom Center

Shane and Katie Jo Claiborne, The Simple Way

Rev. Robin Hynicka, Arch Street United Methodist Church

Lucy Duncan, Friends Liaison, AFSC, member, Goshen Friends Meeting

Aaron Crosman, Peace and Concerns Standing Committee Clerk, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

Viv Hawkins, member Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of Friends and Evergreen Worship Group, program coordinator Shalom Center

Hollister Knowlton, Religious Society of Friends

Seth Horwitz, Member, Mishkan Shalom Synagogue

Marylin Huff, Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County

Janine Schwab, AFSC

Walter Hjelt Sullivan, member, Providence Friends Meeting

Pat Evans, Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration in Mount Airy

Rob Gurnee, Danielle Heitmann, Pavi Jaisankar, Crissy Bowen, The Christian Association at the University of Pennsylvania

Dustin Wright, Student, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

Reverend Deborah Mero, Unitarian Fellowship of West Chester

Amy Yoder McGloughlin, Pastor, Germantown Mennonite Church

Eileen Flanagan, former Assistant Clerk, Chestnut Hill Monthly Meeting, Religious Society of Friends

Will O’Brien, Project H.O.M.E./Alternative Seminary

Madeline Schaefer, Relgious Society of Friends

Sharon Gunther, member Swarthmore Friends Meeting

Uda B. Bartholomew

Craig McDonald, Ordained Minister, Disciples of Christ

Chana Rothman

Michael Ramberg



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About Friends Relations

Lucy Duncan and Greg Elliott work together and with other AFSC staff to foster strong relationships between AFSC and Quakers.

Lucy is AFSC’s Director of Friends Relations. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience. She attends Green Street Friends Meeting (PhYM) and lives with her son and partner in a Quaker cemetery.

Greg is the Friends Relations Associate. He grew attending North Branch Monthly Meeting in the Poconos of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Greg currently lives in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.