Ficker Joins Fight To Support Bethesda Cemetery Site Memorial
Attorney joins to ‘lead the Republican effort’ to protect site
The Macedonia Baptist Church campaign for a memorial at a Bethesda cemetery has signed on a new supporter: 2018 Republican candidate for county executive Robin Ficker.
Ficker will “lead the Republican effort” in convincing county agencies, primarily the Housing Opportunities Commission, to memorialize the Moses Cemetery in the Westbard neighborhood, the church announced.
“These people built that part of the county, they’re responsible for the history of Montgomery County,” Ficker said. “I support them wholeheartedly and without any reserves, and I can’t believe that the so-called ‘progressives’ in Montgomery County aren’t coming around and being in the forefront on this.”
Somerset Mayor and Maryland Democratic Party officer Jeffrey Slavin joined the charge in early February, and the group already includes Montgomery County Green Party Co-Chair Tim Willard and member Mary Rooker.
The church has been battling for the past two years to have the cemetery grounds designated as a memorial, restricting any development.
Supporters have been on hand at recent HOC meetings with requests for action by the commission, and seven have been removed and charged by police with disorderly conduct the past two months.
Ficker attended the February meeting.
“I can’t afford to get arrested because I’m an attorney,” Ficker said. “But I was very sympathetic. The HOC is just acting kind of high-handed about the whole thing, and just disregarding it.”
Trials for the four cited after the January meeting are on Monday, including that of Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, who leads the church’s Social Justice Ministry.
“I feel like I’m in a time-warp,” Coleman-Adebayo said in a statement. “I live in a place called Montgomery, but it isn’t clear whether it’s Montgomery County, Maryland, or Montgomery, Alabama.”
Ficker said he participated in the March on Washington in 1963 and marched with civil rights activist the Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy.
“I believe in fairness and respect for everyone,” Ficker said. “And if you’re not going to respect the dead, you’re not going to respect the living.”