WESTFIELD, NJ — Criminal charges have been dropped against six people, including four clergy members, who were arrested at a sit-in to support “dreamers” Feb. 6 at Congressman Leonard Lance’s Westfield office, according to Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz of B’nai Abraham in Livingston.
Dantowitz, along with Rev. Ann Ralosky and Rev. John Rogers of First Congregational Church in Montclair, Rabbi Elliott Tepperman of B’nai Keshet in Montclair, Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit member Kristen Peck and Make the Road New Jersey youth leader Nedia Morsy pleaded “not guilty” to defiant trespassing on Feb. 20.
Tuesday’s court date for the group, scheduled as a pre-trial, was its fourth and last.
The six entered Lance’s office that February afternoon to demand that he publicly support a “clean” DREAM Act (one without expanding funding for a proposed Mexican border wall and without ending the diversity visa lottery or family reunification programs) and publicly denounce President Trump’s immigration policies. They were arrested when they refused to leave the office at closing time.
To watch the press conference held by the “Westfield 6” in June, click here.
"As part of The Westfield Six, I was honored to stand up for justice and engage in moral obedience (civil disobedience) in support of DACA," Dantowitz said in an email to TAPinto. "Following the court proceedings today (8/28), I blew a long blast for justice, tekia gedola. It is traditional for Jews to hear the shofar’s blast every morning in this month of Elul leading up to Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year (when we will hear the shofar’s blast again). The loud sound is to awaken us out of complacency to the challenging work of teshuva — repentance and returning to the best version of ourselves. Pursuing justice for all in need is part of the teshuva needed in our country."