Night to Bear Witness

Night to Bear WitnessThen Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” — Matthew 26:52

With the humility of a lay person, I offer the above words as a succinct symbol of what has been going on with the War on Drugs. Have our legal policies and postures in the last several decades improved the situation or have they fanned the flames and come back to bite us?

RAPP’s next film will examine the economic and moral failure of the War on Drugs. “The House I live In” is a powerful documentary that melds the ideas forwarded by author Michelle Alexander and journalist David Simon. If you have read Alexander’s The New Jim Crow or seen any of Simon’s work on HBO (‘Homicide: LIfe on the Street,” ‘The Wire” ) you may be familiar with the knowledge that the attempted suppression of drug use in America has been an assault on poor communities of color and has not reduced the consumption of drugs. Simon describes the injustice and toxicity of the war as a “holocaust in slow motion.”

RAPP (Read and Practice Peacemaking) and The Montrose Peace Vigil are joining with Progressive Christians Uniting, Justice Not Jails, and Learning Works Charter School to present this important documentary. After the film, we will have a panel of individuals with first hand experience on the front lines of this unnecessary but very real battle. Learning Works provides educational opportunities in Pasadena for youth who are vulnerable to economic and legal injustice. They will have some successful graduate/leaders present on the 13th to share their perspective. Justice Not Jails works to correct the injustice of mass incarceration. They will have some representatives with personal experiences of the struggle with drugs and justice.

Here in La Crescenta, we are familiar with the misuse of drugs and the harm that it can bring to individuals, families, and communities. We hear and read about much more severe symptoms in inner cities. Are our problems and theirs connected by the same laws and policies? Would it be possible to respond in unity to create healthy solutions? This film and panel discussion afterwards will look into these questions and will be an opportunity to learn and connect with other caring people. If there is a slow motion holocaust taking place, don’t you want to know and find out what you can do to reverse it?

I hope you’ll join us on the 13th. CVUMC is at 2700 Montrose Avenue, Montrose. Doors open at 7. Film at 7:30.


Jeanne Lavieri