The focus of the May 21 gathering was “Ending Systemic Racism and Voter Supression.” Again about twenty members from EUUC attended the event. Again the training included speakers sharing how racism has impacted them and presentation of the day’s planned direct action. Following the rally on the Capitol steps, clergy in attendance facilitated Communion to honor those Black men and women who have been killed by law enforcement, with the acknowledgement that there are rarely consequences for these deaths. The group then went into the Capitol building and those prepared to commit nonviolent civil disobedience sat in a circle in the middle of the rotunda. Singing, chanting, and testimonials, reminding us of why we were there, continued for several hours. When it was announced that the building was closed, only those willing to be arrested remained in the building. Those singing inside were able to hear those singing outside, which kept up everyone’s spirits. Washington State Patrol officers gave several warnings, then arrested the 19 people remaining in the building. All were processed in the basement of the building, charged with first degree trespass, and released from the Capitol building. It was with gratitude that those inside the building connected with those waiting outside. Three members of EUUC were arrested. One of the state tri-chairs of the Campaign said white people involved were not just allies – they are co-conspirators.
EUUC Racial Justice Working Group has provided funds to cover the costs of a banner identifying the group as the Washington Poor People’s Campaign.