Update #2 for our Soulforce friends coming to Long Beach and the Presbyterian General Assembly

June 18, 2000

Dear Soulforce Friends:

This will be our final update to you before we see you in Long Beach. We’ve included the Saturday and Sunday general schedules, plus some important information about the arrest logistics and what to bring with you.


LOCATION: The Westin Hotel, 333 East Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA

Note that we have two different conference rooms for our trainings. The first two trainings will be in Salon C. The 7-10 PM training will be in the Barcelona/Casablanca meeting room. Please attend the training of your choice; they will all be identical.

8:30 AM: registration begins, Salon C conference room, Westin Hotel
9:00-12:00: First nonviolence training
12:00-12:30: Lunch on your own
12:30-1:00: Briefing on Presbyterian issues
2:00-5:00: Second nonviolence training
5:00-7:00: Conference room closes. Dinner on your own.
6:30 PM: Barcelona/Casablanca room opens for evening registration.
7:00-10:00 PM: Third nonviolence training

LOCATION: Outside the Long Beach Convention Center, 300 East Ocean Blvd. The outside of the Convention Center is painted with a mural. Our gathering spot will be in the circle beneath the mother and baby whale painted on the mural. If you can’t attend any of the Saturday trainings, come to the outside of the Convention Center early Sunday morning and look for the Soulforce people wearing white shirts.

7:00 AM: Gather outside the Convention Center.
7:30-8:30: Mini nonviolence training.
8:30-9:30: Silent vigil outside the Convention Center.
9:30: Soulforce revival and renewal service begins.
10:30: Soulforce squads line up for arrest Action.

As long as the arrest Action goes smoothly and peacefully, we and the Long Beach police expect that all arrestees will be handcuffed, bussed to a mass arrest location away from the Convention Center, charged with a minimal misdemeanor to be determined by the Long Beach court system, and "cited out". This means that you will receive a citation for the amount of your fine, which you must pay via mail. You won’t need to return to Long Beach at a later date for a court hearing. The Long Beach police department estimates the total fines and fees as about $200.

If for any reason the arrest Action does not proceed peacefully, Soulforce arrestees could face a night in jail and much more serious misdemeanor charges. It’s therefore very important that all arrestees follow the nonviolence vows which you’ll sign before you join a squad.

Remember that you always have the choice to opt out of an arrest action, even at the last moment. You can train with Soulforce, join the Sunday morning events, and choose to not get arrested even right before the arrests begin.

We will cover the Action and arrest logistics in more detail during our Saturday trainings, and your Soulforce Long Beach registration materials will contain a legal information handout.

If you intend to participate in a Soulforce arrest Action you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have no outstanding arrest warrants
  • Agree to follow the directions given to you by your squad leader.
  • Sign, wear, and uphold the Soulforce "pledge to nonviolence" used by Dr. Martin Luther King and his marchers in 1963.
  • Be able to keep your cool and remain silent even when people openly project hatred at you.

No children under 18 or infants may accompany anyone on an arrest action. If you have a child in your care at the time of your arrest, the police are required to take your child away to the local social services office, and you may then have legal difficulties regaining custody.


  • A photo ID such as a driver’s license.
  • A credit card or $200 in cash, in case the court system requires payment on Sunday.
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat with a visor, and a water bottle.

Soulforce is not coordinating housing or meals for the Long Beach Action. If you have not yet found a hotel or other accommodations, you should make those arrangements right away. Most of the hotels close to the Long Beach Convention Center are sold out for the weekend of June 24-25, but there are still rooms available at hotels a few miles away from the convention center.

We invite all of you to join the soulforce@onelist.com email discussion list to discuss room-sharing and similar arrangements. To subscribe to this email list, send any email message to Soulforce-subscribe@onelist.com.

We hope to see you all in Long Beach on Saturday and Sunday!

Jean Holsten, co-chair, jaholsten@yahoo.com
Bruce Hahne, co-chair, hahne@netcom.com
Mel White, co-founder, revmel@aol.com