Yesterday, more than a thousand people of faith and conscience were arrested nation-wide in acts of civil disobedience in front of state capital buildings. The Poor People’s Campaign has returned and will continue for forty days. It’s not too late to join up and throw in with this movement that comes with specific demands for lawmakers: federal and state minimum wage laws “commensurate for the 21st century economy”, relief from student-loan debt, a repeal of the 2017 GOP tax cuts legislation, restoration of the Voting Rights Act, an end to mass incarceration, a fracking ban, protection of public lands, a cessation of US military involvement and universal healthcare.
This is from co-director Liz Theoharis on Democracy Now yesterday:
…in almost 40 states across this country, there are people, impacted folks, poor people, who are taking action together. And we were in Marks, Mississippi. We were in Lowndes County, Alabama. We were in El Paso, Texas. We have traveled around this country, because this campaign is a deep organizing drive amongst people who need to have their voices heard, need their stories to be told, so that we hear that there are 140 million poor people in this country, that in this country there are 38 million poor children. Almost half of this country’s children are poor. And this is unacceptable. And so, people are taking action together, and not just today, but they are deep-dive organizing in their communities. They’ll return, week after week, for this 40 days and into the future, as we build a deep moral movement to turn this country around.
Sign up now for the Poor People’s Campaign, a forty-day moral revival starting the day after Mother’s Day. Forty states are organizing. Throw in with the movement today!
From the Poor People’s Campaign website–a look at the movement in historical context.
Why a Poor People’s Campaign?
Just a year before his assassination, at a Southern Christian Leadership Conference staff retreat in May 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
I think it is necessary for us to realize that we have moved from the era of civil rights to the era of human rights…[W]hen we see that there must be a radical redistribution of economic and political power, then we see that for the last twelve years we have been in a reform movement…That after Selma and the Voting Rights Bill, we moved into a new era, which must be an era of revolution…In short, we have moved into an era where we are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society.
The Poor People’s Campaign is growing, organizing for action in 2018. Sign up to join the coalition of 25,000+ here. A summary from Rev. William Barber:
A truly moral agenda must be anti-racist, anti-poverty, pro-justice, pro-labor, transformative and deeply rooted and built within a fusion coalition. It would ask of all policy, is the policy Constitutionally consistent, morally defensible and economically sane. We call this moral analysis and moral articulation which leads to moral activism.
An excerpt from an conversation curated by Tim Shenk, a co-organizer of The Poor People’s Campaign (a ten-day tour of the Midwest from May 17-26) who interviewed John Wessel-McCoy, a Poor People’s Campaign Program Organizer for the Kairos Center, and Willie Baptist, Poverty Initiative Scholar-in-Residence and Co-Coordinator of Poverty Scholarship and Leadership Development for the Kairos Center, about the strategic importance of the Midwest in building a movement to end poverty. Continue reading