Morning Star: ‘Juneteenth’ is our Freedom Day


Today we will celebrate the anniversary of our emancipation from slavery by joining the Poor People’s Campaign Digital Gathering, write SARA CALLAWAY and CRISSIE AMIS

Coinciding with the anniversary of emanciptaion in the US, a remarkable wave of protests for racial equality has swept the globe

JUNE 19 commemorates the date — Freedom Day — in 1865 when black people in Texas finally heard the Emancipation Proclamation issued two years earlier, which officially ended slavery in the US. 155 years later, the struggle for racial justice continues.

An unprecedented wave of protests has swept the US and the globe since the modern-day police lynching of George Floyd on May 25 went viral.

Many others have been killed since: Breonna Taylor, shot in her own home; Rayshard Brooks, shot in the back; Tony McDade, a trans black man killed in Florida and Oluwatoyin Salau who spoke for the trans justice movement, to name some of the latest. All were some mother’s precious daughter or son.

Inspired by the US Black Lives Matter movement, injustices are being called out everywhere: Africans in France, Maoris in New Zealand, indigenous in Brazil, aborigines in Australia, and many other countries, with massive support from white anti-racists.

In Haiti, peasant organisations said: “Police here act with the same brutality… especially when we demand our rights. We follow our ancestors as we stand in solidarity with the people of the US, particularly the black community.”

In the Middle East, demonstrators carried photos of Iyad Hallaq, the autistic Palestinian man shot by Israeli police, and George Floyd with the words #PalestinianLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter.

Thousands of US law enforcement officers have trained with Israeli police and military; the knee-to-throat restraint that killed George Floyd is commonly used against Palestinians.

Calls to de-fund and de-militarise the police are now widespread. Los Angeles cut $150m from police budgets to invest in marginalised communities. Minneapolis plans to disband the current force.

In Britain, statues of slavers have been toppled and the government is being called out for its role in slavery, selling tear gas and rubber bullets to US police forces, and complicity with Israel.

Here racism and police violence are also a pandemic. 1,741 deaths in police custody since 1990, at least 500 people of colour.

Calvin Bungisa’s tragic death led to family members being stopped, harassed and treated by police as suspects instead of as a grieving family. Dexter Bristol, a Windrush citizen, collapsed and died after being hounded by immigration officials. A police officer dragged Sarah Reed by her hair, restrained her by the neck while she cried out “I can’t breathe.” In court he was found to have lied about her physically attacking him.

Police also turn up with social workers to take children from their mothers — mostly low-income families, many children of colour, their lives ruined by being snatched from the one who cares for and protects them.

Our immune systems are under attack by everyday violence, bad housing, low wages and the hostile environment. It’s no mystery why Bame people, often key workers, are four times more likely to die of Covid-19.

Women, especially black and immigrant women, put our lives on the line delivering vital care to the public having been told we are “low-skilled,” undeserving of living wages, protective equipment or decent work conditions.

Women do much of the justice and survival work, mostly unrecognised and unwaged: defending families and friends, while resisting institutional violence. Racism doubles our workload.

Like thousands of others, women and men in our network have joined local protests. All of us are angry after years of austerity and a Covid-19 debacle that caused the unnecessary death of tens of thousands. We are all expendable — young, elderly, disabled, especially if we are people of colour. Authorities are more concerned about stock markets than our lives.

It took footballer Marcus Rashford, raised by a single mum, to shame the government into continuing free school meal vouchers for children.

We refuse to beg for scraps. Our labour in the colonies has helped create wealth here for over 500 years. A global Care Income for all carers, starting with mothers, working in the home and on the land, to save people and planet would begin to recognise that debt.

We’ll celebrate Juneteenth by joining the Poor People’s Campaign June 20 Digital Gathering. Not long before his murder, Dr Martin Luther King led the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign against the triple evils of militarism, racism and economic injustice.

Just over 50 years later, the new Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) has picked up this unfinished work, demanding an end to systemic racism, poverty and inequality, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism.

The PPC aims to unite the 140 million people in the US who are poor and low-come (almost half the US population). 15 million people do not have running water in their homes; and 70 per cent of the poor are women and children.

In Britain even before the pandemic, 1¼ million people were destitute, and 86 per cent of austerity cuts have targeted women, especially single mothers, and people with disabilities. Yet there is always money for expensive and destructive weapons, which kill and maim all living creatures and destroy environments all over the world.

A strong anti-racist, anti-poverty, anti-militarist, climate justice movement in the US is a power for grassroots people everywhere.

More information on events can be found at

Event: Sat 20 June join Poor People’s Campaign virtual march

The Global Women’s Strike & Payday networks are joining the Poor People’s Campaign virtual march on Washington this Saturday 20 June 2020. Wherever you are, join us!

An unprecedented wave of protests for racial justice has swept the United States and the globe since the modern-day police lynching of George Floyd on 25 May.

In 1968, not long before he was assassinated, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the Poor People’s Campaign against the triple evils of militarism, racism, and economic injustice. Just over 50 years later, the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC): A National Call for Moral Revival has picked up this unfinished work. The new PPC demands an end to: systemic racism, poverty and inequality, ecological devastation, and the war economy and militarism.

The GWS and Payday men’s network in the US is part of this movement and our UK network will be supporting Saturday’s event. In the US, the richest country in the world, 140 million people (almost half the population) are poor or low income; 15 million people do not have running water in their homes; and 70% of the poor are women and children. In the UK, even before the pandemic, 1 ¼ million people were destitute, and 86% of austerity cuts have targeted women, especially single mothers, and people with disabilities. Yet there is always money for the most expensive and destructive weapons, which kill and maim all living creatures and destroy environments all over the world.

A strong antiracist, antipoverty, antimilitarist, climate justice movement in the US to stop this devastation of people and planet is a power for grassroots people everywhere. Join us and others on the international virtual march on Washington by registering immediately at

Event: June 20: Poor People’s Campaign Digital Mass Gathering!

The Global Women’s Strike and Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike are national partner organizations with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.  We urge you to join us for the Poor People’s Campaign June 20th Digital Gathering.  In the context of uprisings across the country against police killings of Black people and the devastation of COVID-19, people are coming together across movements to say, ‘Somebody’s hurting our people, and we won’t be silent anymore!’ On Saturday, June 20th, 10am Eastern Time, help make this the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people and people of conscience in US history – RSVP at

US Poor People’s Campaign launch 6 weeks of action


A new multiracial mass movement has been growing in the United States. The Poor People’s Campaign: a National Call for Moral Revival (PPC) is launching its first nation-wide event on May 14, the day after the US Mothers’ Day.

Through highly publicized, non-violent moral fusion, protests and direct action over a 6-week period in at least 30 states and the District of Columbia, the PPC aims to force a serious national examination of the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation and the war economy during a key election year and beyond. The first national event is on May 14.

The new PPC is co-chaired by Rev William Barber and Rev Liz Theoharis. See recent interview with Rev Barber: Here’s how the Poor People’s Campaign aims to finish what MLK started.

For more information about PPC:
For more information about Global Women’s Strike:

Rev Liz Theoharis and Rev William Barber

WEEK ONE (May 13-19) – SOMEBODY’S HURTING OUR PEOPLE: Children, Women, and People with Disabilities in Poverty

WEEK TWO (May 20-26) – LINKING SYSTEMIC RACISM AND POVERTY: Voting Rights, Immigration, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and the Mistreatment of Indigenous Communities

WEEK THREE (May 27-June 2) – THE WAR ECONOMY: Militarism and the Proliferation of Gun Violence

WEEK FOUR (June 3-9) – THE RIGHT TO HEALTH AND A HEALTHY PLANET: Ecological Devastation and Health Care

WEEK FIVE (June 10-16) – EVERYBODY’S GOT THE RIGHT TO LIVE: Education, Living Wage Jobs, Income, Housing

WEEK SIX (June 17-22) – A NEW AND UNSETTLING FORCE: Confronting the Distorted Moral Narrative

June 23 – Global Day of Solidarity and Sending Forth Call to Action Mass Rally in Washington DC

The PPC ‘draws on the unfinished work’ of Dr Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign 50 years ago. King, along with other leaders of the poor such as Johnnie Tillmon of National Welfare Rights Organization, called for a radical redistribution of political and economic power. King was killed shortly after.

The Global Women’s Strike (GWS) is among hundreds of organizations which have endorsed the PPC and will be taking part in the six weeks of action. What happens in the US has a huge impact everywhere; the whole world needs a Poor People’s Campaign.

What some of the endorsers are saying (follow links for full statements):

Margaret Prescod, Women of Color Global Women’s Strike:

“Since the 60s, we have been campaigning for remuneration for unwaged work. We have struggled to bring all sectors of women together on this basis, despite racism, the threat of deportation, mass incarceration, police violence and discrimination on every other ground from disability to sexual orientation. The PPC has called forth a mass movement to change the power of all the grassroots to reclaim what is ours and found society anew. We are delighted to be part of this new hope.”

Phoebe Jones, GWS:

“We welcome that Mother’s Day was chosen to launch the PPC season of protest. Mother’s Day is historically a time to recognize and value the work and all the contributions of mothers, most of whom are impoverished despite an individual contribution estimated at $143,000 a year.”

Pat Albright, former welfare recipient, Every Mother is a Working Mother Network:

  Now is the time to come together across divides, including the divide between mothers on welfare and other families that weaken all of us in our struggle to end poverty.”

Eric Gjertsen, Payday men’s network and family caregiver:

“The PPC gets it that war and military budgets are the enemy, depriving us of every possibility for our lives and our families’ lives. We want the time and resources to be carers. We refuse to be killers or to be criminalized for resisting poverty and militarism.”

Dean Kendall, queer subsistence farmer and Payday member:

“We want to live in a world that values everyone’s contributions, including the critters – plants and animals – and the lands and waters, on which all our lives and happiness depend. This new multiracial movement is bringing together folks in rural communities with urban and suburban folks who are also campaigning for universal healthcare and against the poisoning of our food and water and the air we breathe.”

In London we will host a public meeting on Tuesday 3 July with Margaret Prescod (Women of Color GWS) who is part of California’s PPC’s organizing group. It will be an opportunity to hear directly from a participant in the six-week events and watch some of the coverage together.