POOR PEOPLE’S ECONOMIC HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
is on the front lines organizing the poor to get what we need to survive amidst this pandemic. We are currently providing free food and supply delivery to families who need it.
The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) had its origins with the Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) in Philadelphia. In June 1998, KWRU organized its first national bus tour to highlight the issues of poverty and economic human rights.
The bus made stops in communities across the country as it traveled from the east coast to the west coast and back. At each of the stops they met with individuals and groups, and documented stories and involved residents to work to end poverty through ensuring economic human rights for all (the rights to food, clothing, housing, health care, education and living wage jobs).
At the end of the tour, members of KWRU rallied at the United Nations to present their stories and to demand the enforcement of economic human rights in the United States. That bus tour was memorialized in the movie Outriders (1999).
In October of that same year, organizations from across the United States who participated in the bus tour and others who were dedicated to economic human rights gathered in Philadelphia for the Poor People’s Summit on Human Rights. Out of that summit, the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign was formed. Since that summit, the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign has gradually grown from its Philadelphia roots and its KWRU base into a national network in scope, membership, and activities.
In supporting local efforts, PPEHRC has contributed in a number of ways: strategic planning, organizing support, technical assistance, and mobilization of members to support actions. The organizing activities are not done in isolation: lessons learned in one part of the country are used to assist in other parts of the country.
Since its founding in 1998, the Campaign has employed time-tested human rights and civil rights methods – ranging from educating and documenting, to organizing and agitating – to shine a harsh light on poverty in America, and to build the capacity of poor women and men to lead the fight to reclaim their economic human rights and their civil rights.
POOR PEOPLE’S ARMY
Not a corporate campaign
We have launched a POOR PEOPLE’S ARMY in an effort to save our lives. More people in the U.S. have died due to the opioid crisis than from the Vietnam War. Our children continue to go to bed hungry, are forced to attend inadequate schools, and are the victims of violence.
Our families are not surviving, and in order for us to fight for a future for our children and the planet, we are getting organized.
On opening day of the Democratic National Convention, August 17, 2020, we want to amass the largest Poor People’s Army in the belly of the beast – to fight for humanity. We are waging a war against poverty for those of us here at home and those abroad. The children of Africa, of Venezuela, of Puerto Rico and Palestine (and the list goes on) are counting on us! Can we count on you to enlist today?
We are not funded by corporations and we don’t give our money or resources to corporate parties like the Democrats. We are an independent Poor People’s Army and a force to be reckoned with.
We hosted our first BOOTCAMP in Trainer, PA mid-March 2019, and are setting up other Bootcamps in other parts of the country. Sign up here to learn about how to HOST A BOOTCAMP IN YOUR AREA!
What does it take to become a soldier in the Poor People’s Army?
Have you read our Principles of Unity? If you agree with these Principles, that’s your first step. If you have questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earn your SOLDIER BADGE & SHIRT when you do any combination of the following:
1. Go to a BOOTCAMP when possible. Bootcamp provides 20-25 hours of training in strategies and tactics of organizing, development of spirit and body and morale, and real-life practice on today’s Underground Railroad (projects of survival for poor people). plus:
2. Attend monthly, local organizing meetings of Poor People’s Army and/or national conference calls of the Poor People’s Army if there are no regional meetings.
16 PRINCIPLES OF UNITY
The following Principles of Unity have been worked out democratically by poor people organizing themselves, and are principles by which the Poor People’s Army functions:
1. We support and lift up poor people’s leadership.
If problems arise, we agree to sit down and find resolution in order to move forward for the best interest of the movement.
2. We identify and address the root causes of our poverty.
3. We support the international poor people’s movement as we work locally.
4. We are building a movement that enacts the future we want to see – one based on a cooperative economy and society.
16 PRINCIPLES OF UNITY
5. We organize for power. This means embracing tactics and strategies that help move the movement towards political independence. We are interested in enacting an alternative paradigm framed on the needs of the movement rather than those of corporate-controlled political parties.
6. We are committed to peace even as we daily suffer violence – the violence of unemployment, hunger, and homelessness. We have a right to feed, clothe and house our families – this is not up for negotiation. We also have a right to speak for ourselves about these inhuman conditions in which we live and have a responsibility to shed light on those that benefit both directly and indirectly from our collective misery.
7. We have a right and a duty to protect our families and each other.
8. We are collectively creating our vision for a different kind of world. We commit ourselves to daily political education, and do not take our leadership roles lightly. We will not allow ourselves to be bought or co-opted.
16 PRINCIPLES OF UNITY
9. We are committed to making and controlling our own media.
10. We recognize the need for a radical break with the status quo of progressive politics. We can no longer afford to hold onto old models of organizing that do not challenge capitalism. We must actively seek a significant paradigm shift, looking to other peasant models in the rest of the world and organize across borders.
11. We recognize the intersectionality of our oppression. Racism, classism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, abilism, and transphobia intersect in the ways we experience daily violence. However, we will not allow the police, social workers, doctors, scholars, clergy, nonprofits, or political parties to divide us along these lines.
12. We know the entire global capitalist economy is disrupted and undermined as new laborless electronic technology is applied to production, permanently replacing hundreds of millions of workers. These workers are cast out of, or to the margins of the economy, with little or no ability to buy the necessities of life. These workers are a new class created by robot/AI production. Our job is to build unity among this new class based on common poverty.
16 PRINCIPLES OF UNITY
13. We acknowledge that this country was built on white supremacy, imperialism, colonialism, and militarism, and we resist the ongoing perpetuation of these systems of violence.
14. Our work breaks with the military, prison, nonprofit, and faith industrial complexes.
15. We honor our ancestors, lifting up their histories and work so we may learn from them and share their knowledge with the generations to come.
16. We are building poor and working class political leadership and representation. We can no longer afford to have our movements used as the ‘base’ of the Democratic and Republican parties – especially at a time when the political elite of both parties are directly or indirectly participating in the diminishment of workers’ rights.
WHAT WE DO
Our Latest News
We have launched a POOR PEOPLE’S ARMY
This is not a new kind of organization, rather it is a nonviolent army of the poor, similar to peasant armies in other parts of the world.
Because we know you know the seriousness of all this, we are asking for your assistance. We intend to go to Milwaukee, WI, July 13, 2020, and demand that both political parties begin to prioritize #LivesOverLuxury.
POOR PEOPLE’S ARMY PRESS
Plan to join us in Philadelphia, August 17, 2020!
We’ve launched the POOR PEOPLE’S ARMY with allies! We’re looking to expand our work and create Bootcamps around the country to train soldiers for the Poor People’s Army.
The ruling class has their own army and police, disciplined and united. Our side needs just as much training, education, experience, and discipline to fight for justice for poor and working people (though with different, emancipatory tactics).
BOOTCAMP FOR THE POOR PEOPLE’S ARMY
Support the movement that rose out of the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968 and has been working nationally and internationally for over 20 years – the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.
Or donate by a check made payable to: PPEHRC/AfGJ and send it to:
Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign
1505 W. Allegheny Ave.
Philadelphia, PA USA 19132
Thank you for your support!