|January 4, 2016 • VOL. 54, NO. 1 • Oakland, CA|
| Rev. Walter Hoye: The stakes have never been higher
At noon on Jan. 22, Rev. Walter Hoye will stand on the steps at Frank Ogawa Plaza for the eighth time, proclaiming the pro-life message.
The stakes, he said, have never been higher.
With him will be speaker Alveda King, niece of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and herself an activist in the Priests for Life movement.
Alveda King was a speaker at Rev. Hoye's first Issues 4 Life rally in 2008; this will be her second visit.
"She wants to come back because she wants to strengthen the work we do, reaching the community of color," Rev. Hoye said.
Getting the pro-life message to black pastors has been a challenge, Hoye said. "I've been seeing some movement in the number of black pastors that have contacted me personally," he said, adding "that's different than going public."
Earlier in January, Rev. Hoye will be attending a meeting in Virginia of the National Black Pro-life Coalition. He is one of the group's five core members.
"I'm all for reversing Roe," he said. "I'm all for electing a pro-life president, repealing Obamacare.
"But as long as the abortion industry has customers, they're going to stay in business. We've got to find a way to impact the communities of color."
"This can't just be a political campaign," he said, noting that while registering to vote and voting are important, "We've got to find ways to really reach" the women in need .
A question for pastors to answer, he said, will be: "How can we help that woman? How can you help in outreach programs?"
Also speaking at the Oakland rally will be Rev. Clenard Childress, founder of www.blackgenocide.org, a passionate speaker from New Jersey whose voice could not be drowned out by protestor's who cut across last year's rally.
"We've overcome some of the obstacles that happened last year," Rev. Hoye said.
The rally was interrupted by a noisy group of abortion-rights activists, who walked through the police lines — Rev. Hoye alleged in a complaint to the Oakland Police Department that the marchers were accommodated by police officers.
That protest also led to the cancellation of the planned short walk through the streets of Oakland that follows the rally. "There was no way I was going to risk women and children," Rev. Hoye said.
Rev. Hoye said he has secured both the permit for the noon rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza, in front of Oakland City Hall, as well as a permit to use amplified sound. "I believe they are not going to let what happened last year happen again," he said of the Oakland police.
Rev. Hoye's rally will also include Obianuju Ekeocha, who represents CultureOfLifeAfrica.com. "She is a cradle Catholic, raised in Nigeria, and with a biomedical sciences degree who travels the world," Rev. Hoye said.
Ekeocha will be a speaker the following day at the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco. "She contacted me and asked if she can be part of my program," Rev. Hoye said. He expressed his gratitude to organizers of the San Francisco event, and to the national organization Priests for Life, for assistance with speakers.
The rally and walk are followed in the evening by the Conversations 4Life dinner, which will take place at a new venue this year. Having outgrown its home at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Oakland, the dinner moves to St. Stephen Parish in Walnut Creek.
Speakers will be Alveda King; her mother, Naomi Barber King, and Eddie Clifford Beal II, who is King's son.
Across the Bay on Saturday, Ekeocha and Childress will be among the speakers at the Walk for Lifer West Coast. Joining them will be Spanish musician Emmanuel, and David Daleiden, whose videos of Planned Parenthood doctors discussing the sale of fetal body parts sparked a national debate and a Congressional investigation.
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone will present the Gianna Molla Award to Mother Agnes of the Sisters of Life.
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