Sr. Joan Chittister in the National Catholic Reporter:

A newly organized, independent group of leaders from many of the defining American social justice movements of the 20th century a veritable who’s who of social change in the United States over the last 60 years has risen up anew, this time in solidarity with OWS.

You know these people; if not by their names, certainly by the breadth of their hearts. You have heard their cries for justice, seen their protests for peace, followed their steady, steady demonstrations of care for the dispossessed everywhere.

The Organizing Committee of the Council of Elders includes Rev. Vincent Harding, Rev. James Lawson, Rev. Philip Lawson, Dolores Huerta, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Dr. Grace Lee Boggs, Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah, Marian Wright Edelman, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rev. Dr. George Tinker, Rev. John Fife, Rev. Nelson Johnson, Joyce Hobson Johnson and, because of their generous spirits, me, as well.

Their statement of solidarity reads: “As veterans of the Civil Rights, Women’s, Peace, Environmental, LGBTQ, Immigrant Justice, labor rights and other movements … we are convinced that Occupy Wall Street is a continuation, a deepening and expansion of the determination of the diverse peoples of our nation to transform our country into a more democratic, just and compassionate society.”

To be clear that they are about more than writing statements, this group of leaders — seasoned by all the social justice movements of their day — started a Facebook pagelaunched a websiteuploaded a video to YouTube and sent a delegation of older people to Zuccotti Park in New York City, to Justice Herman Plaza in San Francisco, and to Los Angeles, Oakland and Washington, D.C., to speak with demonstrators. They went to encourage this generation’s young people, who are bringing to consciousness a national awareness that our wealth is in our people and our resources, well developed and well used, not in our banks. They went to bring the flame of peace and economic justice from one generation to the next.

The elders are going to be among the Occupiers, they say in their public statement, to “applaud the miraculous extent to which the Occupy initiative has been non violent and democratic, especially in light of the weight of violence under which the great majority of people are forced to live, including joblessness, foreclosures, unemployment, poverty, and inadequate health care.”

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