Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Daryl Mikell Brooks, President
Message from Brooks
My friends, America is a troubled place and we have all seen too many dreams fade away in the face of hopelessness. We have millions who are impoverished, millions in prisons, and millions more without access to decent healthcare. We live in a nation where not one, but both of the leading parties - yes Democrats and Republicans - have abandoned those who need them the most in order to guarantee the privilege of those who line their pockets. But there is one thing they have forgotten; there is one thing that they have underestimated. They have forgotten that it is precisely those who struggle who built this country and it is the poor, the oppressed and the neglected who will fight the good fight to make it great.
As the President of the Poor Peoples Campaign, I have joined people of faith all across this country in taking up the banner of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to say that we must not let dreams of a better world remain dreams. We must fight to make those dreams a reality. We must always pray with our hearts, but we must also pray with our hands for a tomorrow where equality, opportunity, peace and justice are not just nice words at campaign time but the lived experience of every generation.
And what kind of prayer will that be? It will be a prayer to reform a criminal justice system that continues to measure color of skin towards verdict. It will be a prayer where all people are treated with the dignity they deserve with access to health care. It will be prayer that seeks to squash poverty, where we fight for better schools and education and where we protect affirmative action. It is a prayer to preserve this creation that God has so blessed us with and to restore cities, suburbs and country. It a prayer where we end senseless wars abroad and at home.
My dear citizens it will always be dangerous to raise our voice as the citizens of old once did. We will always be at risk for attempting to right wrongs, but I must ask: if not now, then when? If not us, then who? The time has come for a new voice, one that places peace and justice at the very heart of its ideology. The time has come to admit that the party we have supported for so long has taken us for granted. It is time now for the Poor People’s Campaign.
= To Resurrect the People to go out and improve their communities
To Resurrect the People to go out and improve their community focusing on
Direct Action, Justice System Reforms, Immigration, Community Economics, Random Violence, Gang-related Violence, Non-Violent Methods, and Housing.
Adequate jobs for the unemployed and the underemployed.
A massive program of building and renovation to provide decent housing for the poor and those Americans who live on minimum, fixed income.
Better schools that will provide students with a world class education.
Adequate medical and dental care for all Americans.
The elimination from the law enforcement and judicial systems of whatever forms of discrimination against minority groups and poor people.
We are hoping that through these efforts; our citizens will be able to understand and navigate situations of changing safety in their communities, changes proposed by health care reforms that affect the elderly and the poor, and changes that need to occur in public education to help the break the cycles of poverty and violence.
Poor People's Campaign/Resurrection City the Movement History:
The first phase of Poor People's Campaign began in May 1968. Nine Caravans of poor people arrived in Washington D.C. Convoy's started from different sections of America on May 2 and picked up demonstrators along the way. In Washington, D.C., demonstrators erected a camp called “Resurrection City” on sixteen-acre site near Lincoln Monument. Reverend Ralph Abernathy, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's (SCLC) successor to the slain Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., began the Poor People's Campaign with the proclamation that "the poor are no longer divided. We are not going to let the White man put us down anymore. It is not white power, and I will give you some news, it's not Black power, either. Its poor power and we are going to use it.
The Poor People's Campaign (PPC) was a convergence of racial and economic concerns that brought the poor, including those who were black, white, Indian, and Hispanic to live in shantytowns and demonstrate daily in Washington, D.C. from May 14 until June 24, 1968. The PPC was conceived by Dr. Martin Luther King, but unfortunately, was not led by him.
Our intent in 2008 is to move beyond just making poverty visible (since there are already myriads of programs doing that) toward empowering people to change their environments by training, teaching, and encouraging them to use the skills they have and to gain the skills they lack.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on change