The Moral Movement and the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival, before a packed audience in Albuquerque, NM.
In the last thirty days the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival mass meetings and organizing conferences have hit full stride. Since mid-August Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II have issued the call to engage in a radical revolution of values in America. They traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 15 for a march and rally. The rally focused on standing in solidarity with those in Charlottesville and calling on New Mexico legislators to stand against white supremacy in all of its forms--including those enacted through policies such as voter suppression laws, anti-immigrant policies, and the denial of healthcare for all.
Hundreds of people marched people through Albuquerque and processed to the church for the Mass Meeting. At the meeting, the crowd was standing room only, with people sitting in the window sills, on the floor, and in the aisles of the sanctuary. The crowd also filled the narthex and even spilled outside the front door onto the steps and entry area.
On August 24 and August 28 the Poor People’s Campaign went to Louisville, Kentucky, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis issued a call for civil disobedience by citing Dr. Martin Luther King’s analogy of the ambulance and the stop light.
“There is nothing wrong with a traffic law which says you have to stop for a red light. But when a fire is raging, the fire truck goes right through that red light, and normal traffic had better get out of its way. Or, when a man is bleeding to death, the ambulance goes through those red lights at top speed... Disinherited people all over the world are bleeding to death from deep social and economic wounds. They need brigades of ambulance drivers who will have to ignore the red lights of the present system until the emergency is solved. Massive civil disobedience is a strategy for social change which is at least as forceful as an ambulance with its siren on full.”
Dr. King’s words remind us that when people are hurting, it is our moral obligation to become ambulance drivers and run the red lights of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and environmental degradation.
On September 5, the Moral Revival Mass Meeting was held in Detroit, Michigan. Many of the testifiers spoke about environmental racism and injustice in Detroit and Flint, specifically in relation to water contamination. In the video below, you will hear Gina Luster testifying about the health impact of drinking water contaminated by lead on her and her young daughter.
Other testifiers spoke about the Detroit authorities cutting off people’s water in an attempt to evict them from their homes. With no access to water, the authorities can proceed to break up families, separating parents from their children on the grounds that the existing housing does not provide a safe or sanitary living environment.
Forward together, Not One Step Back!
The Moral Revival Mass Meeting is a part of a 15-state public event tour, which includes stops in Los Angeles, California (Sept. 19), Chicago, Illinois (Oct. 12), Binghamton, New York (Oct. 17), Boston, Massachusetts (Oct. 19), El Paso, Texas (Oct. 22), Seattle, Washington (Nov. 6), Jackson, Mississippi (Nov. 13), and the District of Columbia (Dec. 4).
Join the Poor People's Campaign
The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival aims to build a broad and deep national moral fusion movement – rooted in the leadership of the poor, marginalized and moral agents and reflecting the great moral teachings – to unite our country from the bottom up.
The call for a Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has emerged from more than a decade of work by grassroots community and religious leaders, organizations and movements fighting to end systemic racism, poverty, militarism, environmental destruction & related injustices and to build a just, sustainable and participatory society. We draw on the history, vision and unfinished work of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.
We need a new Poor People’s Campaign for a Moral Revival in America. It is time to become a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life.