SPOKANE, Wash. - On Saturday, August 11, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM, participants from several Spokane organizations will hold hands while surrounding the Sikh Temple of Spokane as its members worship inside.
The action is a symbolic gesture of support, compassion, and protection of the greater Spokane community in response to the shootings that took place at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin last weekend.
The event is being organized by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, but has quickly gained momentum and enthusiastic support from others, including St. Ann's Catholic Church, Bethany Presbyterian Church, Unity Church, Westminster United Church of Christ, Holy Trinity Church, Congregation Emanu-El, Veterans for Peace, Peace Justice Action League (PJALS), Outspokane, the Center for Justice, and several other organizations and individuals wishing to show their support and solidarity to the local Sikh community.
Rev. Dr. Todd F. Eklof, Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, says his congregation is organizing the event for all who are committed to religious freedom for everyone and to a society that will not tolerate violence against any marginalized group.
"Arms ought to be for hugging people," he says, "not killing them! And that's what ‘Arms of Compassion' is all about, wrapping our Sikh neighbors up in our care and concern in light of this horrific rampage."
In an invitation to the event, PJALS director Liz Moore wrote, "In our violent country, with our history of and present ideologies and structures of racism, when people are targeted because of their race, ethnicity, or religion, folks who are not being targeted or who experience privilege have the absolute responsibility to speak out, stand up, and act."
Event: Arms of Compassion
Time & Date: Saturday, August 11, 2012, 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM
Location: Sikh Temple of Spokane, 1420 N Barker Road, Spokane Valley, WA, 99016