By Danica Lauren Barnett
Tucked away in the back of a quiet Panera Bread in Central Phoenix, two organizations with very different political opinions met on Sunday morning for an interfaith prayer breakfast with one common goal: to have a civil discourse and sign a treaty as community members of Arizona to denounce white supremacy and any violence against anybody based on their race, religion, sexuality, gender, or country of birth.
Walking into the bakery a little early, I felt a general unease about the situation after hearing about several of the violent threats about President Trump’s upcoming political rally made by community members from both the right- and left-wing sides. Still, I found myself sitting between the two groups as they met to discuss their viewpoints, their definitions of common buzzwords, and how Phoenix can set an example for other communities. While both sides gathered around an L-shaped cluster of different-sized tables, it was clear that there was a slight unconscious divide—on my left, the John Brown Gun Club (also known as Redneck Revolt) is an anti-racist gun club; on my right, the United Liberty Coalition is a constitutional patriotic group who believe that the 1st amendment is paramount to American freedom. Sitting between both groups, Johnny Martin, a member of the URI North America Leadership Council, would serve as a mediator.