|14 MAY 2018 – POOR PEOPLE’S
CAMPAIGN LAUNCH SIX WEEKS OF NONVIOLENT
DIRECT ACTION ACROSS THE UNITED STATES
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.
|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.