Friends, Earth Quaker Action Team is asking for your care and attention for two members of our community: Gail Newbold (London Grove Meeting) and Vint Deming (Central Philadelphia Meeting), who will be attending a hearing in court this Thursday (details below) as a result of their arrest for a peaceful act of witness inside a Philadelphia PNC Bank last December.
For the last two years, EQAT has been working within the Quaker tradition of nonviolence to address PNC’s investments in mountaintop removal coal mining. During a demonstration in which we built two beautiful windmills inside the lobby of a PNC here in town, five members of our organization chose to remain in the bank when the rest of us were asked to leave, risking arrest in the hopes that they could hold a personal conversation with the regional vice president, based on our firm belief that there is that of God within everyone.
Our “Windmill 5” spent the night in Philadelphia’s jails and two of them, Gail and Vint, have elected to take their case to trial, thus carrying on the tradition of George Fox and other founding Friends who were frequently arrested and went to court to defend their right to worship and practice freely so many years ago.
Our Friends face misdemeanors that could result in fines, probation, and community service that will mean frustration and inconvenience for them and their families; their courage and spirit has been an inspiration to all of us as we move forward against obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable.
In view of the challenging circumstances into which our Friends have been led, we are asking for all Friends and friends of Friends to join them in the courtroom on the day of their trial:
Thursday June 7th, 8:45am,
1301 Filbert Street (Room 406) Philadelphia PA. 19143
We have wonderful legal representation that believes in what we are doing, but but it is critical to fill the courtroom with supporters. Our friends do not deserve to be punished for doing what is right, and if enough people come out to show that they are loved and supported then we can help everyone in the future who will face criminal charges for acts of conscience.
If you can be there, please attend the trial and stand by these courageous local environmentalists when they need our support.