Nonviolent Civil Disobedience: The Arrest of An Activist

filibuster reform

Leah Greenberg, the Indivisible Co-Founder who spoke at our event recently, was arrested on Monday, July 19, 2021 in a non-violent direct action speaking up for the filibuster reform.

The following is a letter from her - we have only added links for edification.  


I was arrested Monday.

I joined Reverend Barber's Poor People's Campaign with over 100 activists from around the country to collectively demand that President Biden and Congress end the filibuster, act on voting rights, and guarantee a $15 minimum wage. Following the leadership of Rep. Joyce Beatty, chair of Congressional Black Caucus, and activists who were arrested in the Capitol last week, we stood outside in the streets and chanted until the Capitol police arrested us.

I didn't take this action lightly. But I felt called to do it. On Saturday night, Ezra and I attended a vigil for John Lewis. We listened to Rep. Sherman, a member of the Texas Democratic House of Representatives. Rep. Sherman, along with his fellow representatives, have fled the state to deny Republicans the quorum they need to pass vicious voter suppression legislation. They've come to Washington because they need every one of us to fight just as hard for the For the People Act as they're fighting for Texas.

And we heard the words of John Lewis himself, in his final essay:

"Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.

When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war."

After the vigil, we went home and I thought about what I'd tell my 9-month-old son about this moment when Republican attacks on the freedom to vote threatened everything we hold dear. And I knew I needed to act. So Monday morning, on the anniversary of the 1848 Seneca Falls Women’s Convention, I joined the Moral Monday march. This action will be one of many happening across the country as part of the Season of Nonviolent Moral Direct Action campaign -- and I want you to support these events. 

Click here to sign up for more information on upcoming events in your community next week, and be part of this historic moment for voting rights and democracy reform.

Our nation is at a crossroads. Down one path lies voter suppression, gerrymandering, the erasure of our history and the entrenchment of corporate power, white supremacy, and authoritarianism. Down the other path lies a true reflective and representative multiracial democracy. If we're going to take the second path, we need to throw everything we've got at it.

Every step of the way, Indivisibles have been fighting for the freedom to vote, to stop billionaires from buying elections, to end gerrymandering and protect our democracy. In the last two weeks alone, Indivisibles led nearly 340 events nationwide declaring that we're facing a Deadline for Democracy. We support the leadership of the Poor People's Campaign in their Moral Direct Action campaign.

I want to be clear: Some of the events being organized by the Poor People’s Campaign will include nonviolent civil disobedience, and that means there is a chance that those who participate will be arrested. You should make an intentional decision on whether or not you, or anyone attending these events, would want to participate in a civil disobedience action. The Poor People’s Campaign event organizers will provide guidance and training prior to the event, so be sure to check the website or contact the event organizer for more information.

We all have to decide for ourselves what we're able to give for this fight. But if you're able to, take a look at their website, and keep an eye out for Moral Monday nonviolent direct action events coming up near you (they’re adding new events each day, so sign up now and check back for more updates!)

This is the moment we all must ask, of every single one of our leaders, the same question that I carried on my sign on Monday: Which side are you on?

In solidarity,

Leah Greenberg

Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, Indivisible

ps: If you aren’t able to make your local event, making a phone call to your senators every day will make a major impact. And for the rest of the month, we’ll send you a “No Filibuster” sticker to thank you for lending your voice. (Don’t forget to hit “I’m done!” in the red bar at the bottom of the page to claim your sticker after you call.) You can use our click-to-call form to fill out your information, and we’ll connect you automatically with your senator’s office -- then be sure to fill it out again so you can call your other senator!

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