FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2019
St. Louis Faith Community Joins National #ElPasoFirme Vigils Tonight
St. Louis, MO - A group of local people of faith and good will from a handful of congregations and organizations will gather tonight, responding to the call from national groups including Refugee And Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), and the Poor People’s Campaign, to reaffirm our commitment against white supremacy, xenophobia and hatred.
In the wake of the devastating violence that took the lives of more than 30 people last weekend in Ohio and Texas, the correlations between white supremacy, militarization, mass incarceration industry, and immigration could not be more clear. St. Louisans will gather tonight to oppose white supremacy in all forms and honor the lives lost in the weekend shootings.
Rev. Rebecca Turner, Pastor of Christ Church United Church of Christ, who has been supporting Alex Garcia in sanctuary for nearly 2 years, says, “As people of faith and good will, we denounce white supremacy. Hate toward any group of people has no place in our hearts, our houses of worship, our communities, or our nation. We grieve the senseless loss of life in El Paso, and we want our immigrant neighbors to know they are welcome here.”
Pablo Alvarado, the co-executive director of NDLON said, “We know that those who profit from weapons sales, who despise gun control, are often the same profiteers that make millions from arresting immigrants and putting children and families in migrant concentration camps. They profit from the politics of hate and fear.”
In a joint press release with MORE nearly 2 years ago, IFCLA’s Executive Director Sara John wrote, “[It] is clear that this administration will not exercise restraint in furthering an anti-immigrant, white supremacist agenda...Trump’s top immigration agent declared that ‘no population is off the table…[We must] acknowledge that all of this unnecessary action is being done to fuel a white nationalist agenda, reinforced by the economic interests of those that will benefit from these political games. It is a way to coddle and ease the irrational fears of white racists and neo-Nazis. It is also a likely path to help fill prisons and detention centers and line the pockets of the corporations and individuals in control.”
Two years later, we have the unfortunate privilege of seeing exactly how that agenda would unfold with overwhelming support from many Americans, shattering our communities, challenging our faith and devastating thousands of lives. Two years later, we will gather again tonight, resolved in our values and renewed in our commitments to fight fear with love, hate with joy, and injustice with mercy.
WHO: Christ Church United Church of Christ, St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America (IFCLA)
WHAT: Vigil, song, inter-faith prayer, signs
WHERE: Christ Church UCC, 2200 Bellevue Ave., Maplewood MO 63143 (outside, corner of Bruno & Bellevue)
WHEN: Wednesday, August 7 at 7:30pm CST
The St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America (IFCLA) is a non-profit organization that is committed to standing in solidarity with the people of Latin America. For nearly 40 years, IFCLA has worked tirelessly in St. Louis and in Latin America on issues of human rights and social justice. Through education and advocacy, IFCLA convenes an inter-faith community to accompany the people of Latin America in their work for human rights and social justice. For more information, visit www.stl-ifcla.org.