Black pastors protest racism, gather to support Arbery family


In the town of Brunswick, Georgia, Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryant, are on trial for the racist murder of unarmed 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020. Arbery was chased and gunned down as he jogged past their Satilla Shores homes.

Pastors, activists demonstrate in Brunswick, Georgia, Nov. 18.

Defense attorney Kevin Gough represents Bryant, who was not carrying a gun, unlike the McMichaels, but who videotaped their pursuit and murder of Arbery. Although Bryant’s role is not as central to the multiple charges all three men face, his attorney has been the most aggressive and calculating in escalating racial animus. 

Gough has repeatedly argued for a mistrial, alleging that the presence of well-known civil rights pastors, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, appear “intimidating” to the majority-white jury. The ministers are sitting quietly next to Arbery’s parents in the courtroom to give them support.

Gough peevishly asked, “How many pastors does the Arbery family have?” His own response, “We don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here,” brought a flood of religious leaders from multiple faiths to Brunswick on Nov. 18. An estimated 750 people — a mix of ministers, imams, rabbis, community members and out-of-town supporters — formed a “Wall of Prayer for justice for Ahmaud” around the courthouse. 

Throughout the trial, a crowd of justice-loving people has consistently been outside the courthouse on the tree-shaded lawn, often breaking out in prayer or song. 

After the prosecution gave closing remarks Nov. 22, the jury, composed of 11 white members and one Black juror, began their deliberations.

Dianne Mathiowetz

Published by
Dianne Mathiowetz

Recent Posts

From racist attacks to abortion bans: fight racist terror − a WW commentary

Social developments — political and economic — are interconnected. They reflect the same rotten, inhumane…

May 24, 2022

Sundiata Acoli: Granted parole after 50 years of imprisonment

The New Jersey Supreme Court did what the parole board refused to do since Sundiata…

May 24, 2022

‘The spark that led me to more radical politics” − Commentary

The recent leak from a whistleblower that the Supreme Court could reverse Roe v. Wade…

May 24, 2022

The working class and the global capitalist crisis

The following excerpts are from remarks by Larry Holmes, Workers World Party First Secretary, at…

May 24, 2022

Syracuse Black community speaks out against Buffalo massacre

Syracuse, New York Dozens of people gathered at the Tops grocery store on Pond Street…

May 24, 2022

¡Basta ya!

¡Saquen los pañuelos! Los jueces ultraderechistas no elegidos y nombrados para toda la vida del…

May 24, 2022