London marks Launch of US Poor People’s Campaign

A new movement has been growing in the United States and is being launched nationally today in Washington DC. The new Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) is a ‘multi-year’ undertaking. It plans to engage in highly publicized civil disobedience and direct action over a 6-week period in at least 25 states during the Spring of 2018.

The PPC ‘draws on the unfinished work’ of 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.

‘A broad and deep national moral movement – led by the poor, marginalized, clergy and moral agents and reflecting the great moral teachings – to unite our country from the bottom up. Together, we are taking a stand against systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation.’

‘And while the poor, women, and people of color are hardest hit, these problems afflict our entire nation. Most poor and low-income Americans are white, and our middle class is rapidly shrinking as more and more of our country’s abundant wealth flows to the top 1%. It is in all of our interest to recapture what Dr. King called the “revolutionary spirit” needed to solve these systemic problems.’

The Global Women’s Strike (GWS) has endorsed the PPC and our groups in the US are taking part in the launch. What happens in the US has a huge impact everywhere; the whole world needs a Poor People’s Campaign. In London we will be showing speeches by Rev William Barber and Rev Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of PPC.

The PPC ‘draws on the unfinished work’ of 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 PPC grew from more than a decade of work by grassroots community and religious leaders, organisations and movements.

‘… our faith traditions are how our society treats the poor, women, LGBTQ people, children, workers, immigrants, communities of color, and the sick. Our deepest moral traditions point to equal protection under the law, the desire for peace within and among nations, the dignity of all people, and the responsibility to care for our common home.’

‘There was a time when our nation was fighting a war against poverty; now it seems we are waging a war on the poor. Our social fabric is stretched thin by widening income inequality while politicians criminalize the poor, fan the flames of racism and xenophobia to divide the poor, and steal from the poor to give tax breaks to our richest neighbors and budget increases to a bloated military.’

‘The twin forces of white supremacy and unchecked corporate greed continue to gain more power and influence, both in statehouses across this nation and at the highest levels of our federal government. Today, one in every two Americans are poor or low-income while millions of children and adults continue to live without access to healthcare, housing, clean water, or good jobs.’

For more information about PPC contact: newpoorpeoplescampaign@gmail.com

For more information about Global Women’s Strike contact: gws@globalwomenstrike.net


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