Poor People’s Campaign National Organizing Calls
Breaking Our Isolation, Analyzing Our Opposition, and Uniting the Poor and Dispossessed Across All Lines of Division
Throughout history, people in power have employed racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression as part of divide-and-conquer strategies to keep the poor and dispossessed deeply divided. On top of this, many of our immediate struggles today are put in situations where we’re constantly competing for funds and attention, which makes it difficult to devote time and energy to confronting our common opposition. This opposition, on the other hand, is fierce, sophisticated, and well-resourced.
A campaign on the scale needed to overcome centuries of misinformation and division and to unsettle the powerful systems we are up against cannot be launched by, or belong to, a few leaders or organizations. What is needed is a movement that reflects the needs, concerns, experiences and demands of the many diverse struggles taking place in communities, states and regions across the country.
We think the first step has to be getting to know and learn from each other’s struggles. The Poor People’s Campaign Monthly National Organizing Calls were launched in October 2014 to serve this need. Everywhere there are unsung saints in the trenches fighting back every way we can. In big cities, small towns, and rural areas, in churches and other religious communities, in schools, labor organizations, and community groups all over the country and the world, the poor and dispossessed are already taking action to put the absolute sacredness of human life at the center of our society.
Too often, however, we just don’t know about each other—the victories of all kinds that we’re celebrating, the losses that we’re facing, and maybe most importantly, the reality of just how much we have in common. If we’re able to overcome our isolation, we can strengthen and begin to unite our different struggles.
Sun Tzu once said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” The PPC National Organizing Calls have served as an important resource for developing better knowledge of ourselves and of what we’re up against. Learning about critical struggles taking place across the country and world is necessary to assess the current political moment and determine what is possible – how can we begin to move from our bases of struggle to unite a broad movement of the poor in a New Poor People’s Campaign for today!
The Poor People’s Campaign is already emerging. People are fighting on all fronts – from struggles against water privatization and pollution in Detroit, Appalachia, the Gulf Coast and India to a fight for healthcare in Vermont, Maine, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina; to demands for adequate housing in the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, New York City, and South Africa; to communities uniting against police brutality in Ferguson, Columbus, and Los Angeles. What is needed now is to increase consciousness of these struggles, to unite growing dispossessed, and to develop a national and global platform that draws on the analysis and demands of the organizations and communities that make up the Poor People’s Campaign. We must go beyond loose coalitions and vague notions of solidarity to develop a shared strategy that can win!
If you or your organization is interested in being a part of these National Organizing Calls, you can email [email protected] for more information!