Statement on David Goodman’s Arrest at a Poor People’s Campaign Rally

Through the important legacy of the Civil Rights Movement, we know there are times when the degree of oppression we face necessitates civil disobedience. This is one of those times.

Yesterday, David Goodman, the President of The Andrew Goodman Foundation, joined Bishop William Barber II and Reverend Liz Theoharis in Washington, D.C. as part of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Alongside the leaders of the campaign, David was arrested while fighting for equal access to the ballot for all Americans.

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival revives Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign to end systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy. United across the country, tens of thousands of people challenge the nation’s distorted morality through this campaign.

Monday, May 21, 2018, marked the beginning of the second week of the campaign’s 40 Days of Moral Action. As part of the week’s message of “Linking Systemic Racism and Poverty: Voting Rights, Immigration, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and the Mistreatment of Indigenous Communities,” David Goodman spoke at the rally on the U.S. Capitol Lawn. Exactly one month before the 54th anniversary of Andrew Goodman’s kidnapping and murder, David addressed the crowd about the legacy of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney and the continued racial discrimination and voter suppression plaguing our nation today.

David Goodman at the Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C. Tune in to minute 48:46 to hear David’s speech.

David joined clergy and activists as they marched to and entered the U.S. Capitol, where they read a list of the movement’s demands, including the full restoration of the Voting Rights Act. In refusing to disperse when ordered by the Capitol police, Bishop William Barber II, Rev. Liz Theoharis, Rev. Jesse Jackson, David Goodman, and dozens of other faith leaders and activists were arrested.

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” David’s arrest and the arrests of other activists in cities across the country represent the continuation of the civil rights struggle for which Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner sacrificed their lives 54 years ago. The struggle we face today is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. It is a moral issue. We cannot remain silent while our brothers and sisters suffer as a result of voter suppression and other forms of discrimination. We must join forces to address the systemic inequality in our country.

The Andrew Goodman Foundation stands with the Poor People’s Campaign. We will not give up the fight until every American’s basic human needs are met.