(Editor's note: MADSA was an active member of Moral Monday GA in 2014-15, as we staged weekly rallies and civil disobedience to pressure the Georgia legislature on several key issues, including the necessity to expand Medicaid. Lorraine Fontana, author of this post excerpted from a longer report on her Facebook page, was among our members who participated and accepted arrest.)
For those of us hoping the Moral Monday Georgia coalition/movement would re-emerge, this was a hopeful event. Could this be the beginning of a re-boot of MMGA? Maybe.
The definite religious, faith-based underpinnings of this gathering (after all, it was a "revival") were on display as many clergy from various religions and spiritual traditions were on hand - either to speak or to be present for the consecration at the end of the revival. I myself call it a Love Fest, as that is what I felt was most present throughout the evening - in all its forms, and offered through words, music, movement, compassionate listening and responding, hugging and laying on of hands. . . .
The Rev. Barber, NAACP Board member and leader of the Moral Monday North Carolina movement, spoke with a basic intro to the meaning of the evening (photo by Steve Eberhardt). He stated his opinion (which many of us agree with) that the policies being passed in too many Southern (and other) legislatures are "morally indefensible, constitutionally inconsistent, and economically insane." He asked "hasn't someone been hurting our brothers and sisters far too long?"- YES!
In addition to Rev. Dr. William Barber, we heard from Rev. James Forbes, senior pastor emeritus at Riverside Church in NYC, and Rev. Dr. Francys Johnson, president of the Georgia NAACP and key MMGA leader. . .
. . . A group of folks were called up to the stage to deliver pieces of their indivdual stories - each one having experienced hardship/struggle due to their identity or position in our broken system. . .All who spoke and witnessed were called to come up front, join hands in a line. (Photo by Lorraine Fontana)
Sponsoring organizations included the American Friends Service Committee, Georgia NAACP, New Georgia Project, The Coalition for the Peoples Agenda, Raise Up ATL, Athens for Everyone. (Everyone was invited to sign a pledge of support for the revived movement, including the option of attending a training and pledging to participate in three actions, as yet unspecified, on Mondays in September.)