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Final 'Let Justice Roll' in Miami is
Nov.1, 2004, MIAMI, Fla. - In what turned out to be a “star-studded” event, the grand finale of the “Let Justice Roll: Faith and Community Voices Against Poverty” campaign attracted such notables as filmmaker Michael Moore, actress Roseanne Barr, Senator Bob Graham and artists from The Hip Hop Summit GOTV Bus Tour including Nick Canon, star of the movie “Drum Line,” and Hip Hop Artist Stallion. The messages were clear: Poverty must end and registered voters should go to the polls and cast their ballots by Tuesday, Nov. 2.
The Miami “Let Justice Roll” worship service and rally was the final stop in a five-month, 15-city campaign to ask public officials and those running for office, especially the presidential candidates, what they will do to end poverty. Since the campaign began in June, "Let Justice Roll" partners have more than 100,000 voters nationwide.
This final event, which was held at St. Paul AME Church at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31, was focused on encouraging people to go to the polls and vote on Election Day while at the same time continuing to lift up the concerns about poverty in this country. Both presidential candidates were invited to participate in the worship service and rally. Democratic presidential candidate, John F. Kerry, sent Senator Bob Graham on his behalf. According to Rev. Vincent Mitchell, pastor of St. Paul and organizer of the event in Miami, President Bush’s campaign did not respond to the invitation.
Moore predicted that there would be one of the largest turnouts ever on Tuesday. The controversial filmmaker said he is in Florida filming at polling sites to make sure that there is not a repeat of the Florida voting debacle that occurred in the 2000 election.
“I understand why people would not want to vote…but everyone should vote,” he told reporters at the press conference before the “Let Justice Roll” event began. “People have died so that you can vote,” said Moore addressing his comments to the people of Florida. “Don’t dishonor them by not voting on Tuesday.”
Speaking on the topic “No Matter What,” Rev. Dr. James Forbes, who has been the keynote speaker at many of the “Let Justice Roll” events, told the approximately 250 participants that regardless of the outcome of the 2004 elections he believed the “Let Justice Roll” campaign, co-led by the National Council of Churches USA and the Center for Community Change, and the Prophetic Justice Principles, developed by his congregation at The Riverside Church in Harlem, N.Y., had helped to ignite a movement.
“There is a movement afoot. A movement for justice, equality and respect for all of God’s children,” said Dr. Forbes. “Even if we don’t always win, we’re on a winning team,” he said.
Rev. Mitchell agreed: “This is a crusade to deal with this disease (poverty).”
Senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who attended the event as a representative from the Kerry campaign, noted his concern for the poor and emphasized his belief that faith could help unite America.
“The first word in the name of our country is ‘United.’ Faith will play a central role in achieving that unity,” said the Senator who will retire from Congress this year.
He went on to say that, “Faith should not be a force for division. Faith should be a force for the future and for reconciliation,” said Senator Graham, who also once served as governor of Florida.
Ian Rhett, a Christian songwriter performed “(Didn’t Know I Was) Unamerican,” a song he wrote and recorded to lift up his concerns about hunger, poverty, the environment and the war in Iraq. He also offered this assessment of the outcome of the 2004 Election: “No matter what happens on Tuesday our work is just beginning.”
The “Let Justice Roll” campaign was sponsored by the National Council of Churches USA and the Center for Community Change, as well as a host of national, state and local religious, faith-based, and community organizations. Rev. Dr. Paul Sherry coordinated the campaign, which crisscrossed the nation with rallies, candidate forums, voter registration activities and worship services, to make the issue of ending poverty part of the discourse in this year’s presidential election.
NCC Media Contact: Leslie Tune, email@example.com; 202-544-2350 x 11; 202-297-2191
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