“We aim to shift the distorted moral narrative often promoted by religious extremists in the nation from issues like prayer in school, abortion and gun rights to one that is concerned with how our society treats the poor, those on the margins, the least of these, LGBTQIA folks, workers, immigrants, the disabled and the sick; equality and representation under the law; and the desire for peace, love and harmony within and among nations. We are committed to lifting up and deepening the leadership of those most affected by systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and ecological devastation and to building unity across lines of division.”
-from Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, Fundamental Principles
Two weeks from now thousands of people will be gathering in Washington, DC on the National Mall as part of the final day of an impressively coordinated, national, 40 days of action which began on Mother’s Day. Over that time, on three Mondays and the Tuesday after Memorial Day, upwards of 25,000 or so people have demonstrated on work days in 35 state capitols, and over 2,000 have been arrested taking part in nonviolent moral fusion direct action. There have been 12 million or more hits on social media. A google search for “Poor People’s Campaign” lists over 40 million results.
This is a mass movement whose time has come. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be very pleased.
As someone who has prioritized the climate crisis as my major issue to work on for the last 15 years, I have appreciated that this movement, led by Rev. William Barber, other people of color and others who in general have not seen that as a main focus, has made “ecological devastation” one of their four major issues.
By their inclusiveness when it comes to issues, as well as the range of social movements involved, the Poor People’s Campaign is modeling a central, essential element of our path forward to revolutionary change.
The demonstration in DC on June 23rd will be the culmination of the 40 days of action this spring, but it will also be a launching pad for continued, united organizing and activism in the coming months. Everyone is clear that we are in a decisive political period which cries out for effective agitation, organizing and popular mobilization.
That work is being done in a way independent of political parties. As stated in the “Fundamental Principles” document, “We will do our work in a non-partisan way—no elected officials or candidates get the stage or serve on the State Organizing Committees of the Campaign. This is not about left and right, Democrat or Republican, but about right and wrong.”
For those not yet connected to the Poor People’s Campaign and the 40 days campaign, there is still time to do so. There will be two more days of action at state capitols, on June 11 and June 18, followed by people gathering in DC throughout the week leading up to the big event on the 23rd.
Long live the Poor People’s Campaign!
Ted Glick works with Beyond Extreme Energy, which is actively supporting the Poor Peoples Campaign and June 23rd in DC, as well as actions in DC at FERC and a World Gas Conference June 25 and 26. More information can be found at https://beyondextremeenergy.org. Ted’s personal website is https://tedglick.com.