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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Women In Black

Today  Seattle's Women in Black/Homeless Remembrance project held it's monthly vigil for the homeless who have died.  There is a world wide Women in black movement composed of diverse and not necessarily affiliated groups who hold vigils to give witness for peace and justice. In Seattle one Women in Black group holds peace vigil's, and the other gives witness to those who have died in or because of the condition of homelessness.

At the vigil downtown today four who died were remembered:

Jeffery Davis, 44 by suicide 1/4/2015

James Carlson, 56 outside, cause of death pending 1/7/2015

Kevin Guempel, 49 , cause of death pending 1/13/2015

Juri Skolin, 60, found on Third Ave., cause of death pending.

According to the Women in Black 45 homeless people died by violence or outdoors in 2014 and since then 5 more.  The Women in Black leaflet calls on us to be a community and to support a basic social network including shelter. It calls on us to stand with them and to support the Homeless Remembrance Project.  This project is tied to Wheel, a project to organize homeless women.

A Women in Black vigil 5 years ago:

To give witness, to hold a vigil, it to be a constant reminder of what is good as against an evil.  It calls on all of use for better behavior, most especially on those with power and authority.  It prevents us from forgetting a problem.

It is within the Christian tradition to give witness.  Jesus said that he would divide households. This is what witness does.  Before we can be united for what is good, some have to divide from something that it not good.  In the case of the homeless, someone has to give witness to the fact that the homeless are being dehumanized, robbed of their dignity, and denied basic human needs.  The homeless go not only without shelter, but without hygiene and personal security.

Information on the Homeless Remembrance Project can be found here:

Homeless Remembrance Project

Here is information on Wheel:

Women's Housing Equality and Enhancement League

Here is information on the movement worldwide:

Vigils Around the World

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