Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Friends support arrestees at Demand the Ban action outside Senator Toomey’s office in Philadelphia


On May 16, 2018, Fran Sheldon (Providence Meeting) and Paul Sheldon (Lansdowne Meeting) participated in a Demand the Ban action in Philadelphia to demand that Senator Toomey co-sponsor Senate Bill 2095 that bans the sale of assault weapons. As part of a group of thirty-three individuals who had previously received training in Gandhian nonviolent direct action, they were prepared to remain peacefully at his office in the U.S. Customs Building in Philadelphia until he announced his support for S2095. On arrival they found the building’s entrance barricaded, and they instead sat by the entrance until taken into custody and cited with Failure to Disperse. This charge carries a $300 fine, and Fran and Paul applied to the Fund for Sufferings Granting Group for support in paying their fines. Since 1756, the Fund for Sufferings of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has offered material support to PYM Quakers who have followed a leading to witness to Quaker Testimonies and have experienced financial loss as a result.