Waycross Georgia was the 11th stop of the Moral Monday Jailed for Justice Tour on August 7, and the excitement across the state continues to build. We were hosted at the Gaines Chapel AME Church, which we learned was the oldest Church chartered in Ware County. The audience and program included many community leaders all concerned about the problems that affect Ware County citizens.
During our community conversation it was revealed that the county currently has an unemployment rate 2 percent higher than the national average. The citizens also cited concerns about citizens being victimized by the prison industrial complex; one of the most immoral trends happening in the country as a whole. Quality education is another primary concern in the area.
The Mayor of Waycross honored us with a Proclamation making August 7, Moral Monday Jailed for Justice Day in the city. Such was the welcome we received and it continued throughout the program. After the Mayor, City and County commissioners, and leadership of the NAACP from both Ware and a neighboring county addressed their constituents and memberships; the of the Moral Monday arrestees spoke to the crowd about what prompted us to take an arrest to draw attention to important issues facing our state. I was one of those speakers.
As I told the story of my activism and my arrest in protest of the SYG laws in Georgia, I could feel the enthusiasm of the people for such citizen activism. I heard many an AMEN! when I expressed my concern about the travesty of the school to prison pipeline which is enslaving so many of our young black men, often for minor non violent crimes. I could see the pain in the faces of black parents when I talked about the murders of young men of color, and the perpetrators walking free. When I called this what it is, Modern Day Lynchings, the citizens applauded in agreement.
Two of my fellow arrestees also spoke, and were received in the same warm, accepting manner. There was discussion of next steps to create Moral Monday Waycross, and of what that might look like. We got a commitment from these enthusiastic leaders to bring 2 bus loads of people to Atlanta on the 23rd of August for the big planned Moral March on the Capitol in response to our appeal to join us as a part of a southern solidarity call to action by Reverend William Barber, the founder of the Moral Monday Movement.
As the enthusiasm continues to grow, the Tour moves on to Historic Macon, Georgia on August 8. We look forward to seeing our new friends from Waycross in Atlanta in a couple of weeks on the 23RD of August.
Peggy Marx, Guest Blogger, Moral Monday GA arrestee