Poor People’s campaign leaders meet in Detroit today, address water shutoffs

Trip to Detroit Part of Two-Month National Tour by Campaign Co-Chairs to Reignite 1968 Economic Justice Push
 Leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will visit Detroit Friday to meet with local residents and organizers from around Michigan who are facing widespread water shutoffs and contamination, as part of a two-month national tour to shine a light on both the harshest poverty in the nation and the organizing taking place to fight it.
Leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and local organizers will travel through the city by bus to visit a city water station, the homes of Detroit residents dealing with water shutoffs, and a sanctuary church.  After the tour, campaign leaders will host a community meal with activists from across the state highlighting their efforts to combat water insecurity and poverty in Michigan. The meeting will also feature leaders from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Fight for $15 and United Auto Workers (UAW) who will discuss the crucial role unions play in combatting poverty.
The campaign’s tour will stretch from Appalachia to the Rust Belt to the Central Valley of California, reaching more than a half-dozen cities nationwide. Last week’s stop in Mississippi brought together antipoverty activists in Marks, Miss., the city that inspired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others to launch the first Poor People’s Campaign.
WHO:                  Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival;
Rev. Erica Williams, national social justice leader of Repairers of the Breach;
Steering committee members of the Michigan Poor People’s Campaign;
Local Detroit and Flint community organizers and residents;
Leaders of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization;
Low-wage workers in the Fight for $15;
Union leaders from SEIU and UAW
WHAT/WHEN/WHERE: Friday, February 23, 2018
9:30 AM:              Doors open to the public and press for organizing meeting at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Hall, 1358 Abbott Street (near Porter), Detroit, MI 48226
10:00 AM:            Bus tour launches from the IBEW union hall (press is invited to caravan behind the bus for the tour)
11:30 AM:            Poor People’s Campaign leaders return to IBEW union hall for lunch (open to the public and press)
Noon:                    Official program begins featuring testimonials from campaign leaders and local speakers (open to the public and press)
The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is co-organized by Repairers of the Breach, a social justice organization founded by the Rev. Dr. Barber II; the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary; and scores of local and national grassroots groups across the country.
The campaign is uniting the poor, disenfranchised, and marginalized across the country in an effort to transform the political, economic, and moral structures of society and to save America’s soul. It will intensify starting Mother’s Day, leading up to a mass mobilization at the U.S. Capitol June 21, and combine direct action with grassroots organizing, voter registration, power building and nonviolent civil disobedience.
On February 5, thousands of poor people, clergy and activists announced they are joining the campaign, flooding state capitol buildings in 30 states and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. They served notice on state and federal legislative leaders that their failure to address the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and America’s distorted national morality will be met this spring with six weeks of direct action – including one of the largest waves of nonviolent civil disobedience in U.S. history.

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