This past Sunday, hundreds of people bundled up in warm clothes, left their heated homes, and gathered around the arch in Washington Square Park to sing together. Some brought guitars, some brought signs, some brought children. Others just brought their voices. The collective intention was straightforward—sing for freedom, sing for peace, sing for justice.
For nearly two hours we sang our hearts out. Many of the songs we sang were classic American protest songs such as “We Shall Overcome,” “This Land is Your Land,” “Oh Freedom,” and “The Hammer Song.” Others were gospel standards lyrically adapted to the religiously diverse ethos of the crowd – “We Shall Not be Moved,” “Amazing Grace,” and “When the Saint Go Marching In.”