Monday, June 18, 2018

Nothing Changes Until Some Rich Fat Heads Go Up On Poles...,


truthdig |  The most egregious crackdown on the Poor People’s Campaign’s actions, however, occurred last week in Washington, D.C., where nine people of faith, including a co-chair of the campaign, the Rev. Liz Theoharis, were arrested while praying on the steps of the Supreme Court.
The group was protesting to draw attention to the court’s Husted v. Randolph Institute decision, which upholds what some call voter suppression, one of the main targets of the Poor People’s Campaign.

The nine were held in shackles for 27 hours, their religious garments were taken away and they were ordered to surrender their passports and stay away from the Supreme Court building. In addition, they will be required to check in weekly under a pretrial service program. It is not yet known if they will be tried by a jury.

Saturday, June 23, thousands of people from across the country are expected to flood Washington, D.C. “But [that’s] not the end of the Poor People’s Campaign,” the Rev. William Barber, a co-chair, told me in North Carolina during an action last month. “June 23 is the launch of the movement.”

The “fight phase” has just begun. But how will the campaign survive against powerful forces trying to crush it? That depends on whether the public finds enough value in the campaign’s message to create change.

After Anthony Bourdain taped one of the episodes of his “Parts Unknown” television program in Gaza, he won an award from the Muslim Public Affairs Council. In his acceptance speech, Bourdain said, “The world has visited many terrible things on the Palestinian people, none more shameful than robbing them of their basic humanity. People are not statistics.”

This rings true for what the Poor People’s Campaign is attempting. It has the statistics and facts—hundreds of them—on its website (i.e., 13.8 million U.S. households cannot afford water; over 48 million Americans have no or inadequate health care; more than 250,000 people in the U.S. die due to poverty-related issues each year).

But the Poor People’s Campaign is much more than statistics and facts. In a way, it is implementing what Bourdain was so masterful at: stripping away the theoretical by revealing the stories behind the statistics, the faces behind the facts, and, by turns, connecting us all.

America’s system of intentional inequality is, in essence, assisted suicide. But how many will jump into the maelstrom to help those who are not famous?