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William Barber and the Poor People's Campaign

by John K. Stoner —  January 23, 2018

“The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is uniting tens of thousands of people across the country to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality.  We need you to step up and join our efforts.”  Click on this page, scroll down a little and watch the 3 minute video and read the “principles” of this campaign.  

This is the voice of the Rev. William Barber II and associates.  His is a voice crying in the wilderness which we must hear.  His call to “step up and join our efforts” goes out to all who ask “But what can I do?”  I would say that all who fail to respond here should, for the sake of honesty, admit their defeat by the empire and prepare for disaster—if they know how to do that.  

Rev. Barber made his mark by leading the “Moral Mondays” movement in North Carolina. 

His Poor People’s Campaign takes up, 50 years later!, Martin Luther King’s campaign, which many people believe cost him his life at the hands of the Empire.  Like King, Barber is naming “the war economy/militarism” as one of the great evils.  Think about it, in your search for a viable political party, which one is naming war as a central part of the problem? 

The Poor People’s Campaign quotes ML King:  (click here)
There can be no gainsaying of the fact that a great revolution is taking place in the world today. In a sense it is a triple revolution; that is a technological revolution, with the impact of automation and cybernation; then there is a revolution of weaponry, with the emergence of atomic and nuclear weapon of warfare. Then there is a human rights revolution, with the freedom explosion that is taking place all over the world. Yes, we do live in a period where changes are taking place and there is still the voice crying the vista of time saying, “Behold, I make all things new, former things are passed away”… Now whenever anything new comes into history it brings with it new challenges … and new opportunities … We are coming to Washington in a poor people’s campaign. Yes, we are going to bring the tired, the poor, the huddled masses … We are coming to demand that the government address itself to the problem of poverty. We read one day: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But if a man doesn’t have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness. He merely exists … We are coming to ask America to be true to the huge promissory note that is signed years ago. And we are coming to engage in dramatic non-violent action, to call attention to the gulf between promise and fulfillment; to make the invisible visible.

Rev. Barber comments:
The triple revolution that Rev. Dr. King highlighted in this sermon emphasized: 1. a technological revolution, 2. a revolution of weaponry, and 3. a human rights revolution, with the freedom explosion taking place all over the world. He argued that social transformation was not inevitable, arising solely out of the historic conditions, but rather needed the commitment, consciousness, capacity and connectedness of the “new and unsettling force” to build a credible and powerful campaign.

The first gathering of over fifty multiracial organizations that came together with SCLC to join the Poor People’s Campaign, took place in Atlanta, Georgia in March 1968. Key leaders and organizations at this session included: Tom Hayden of the Newark Community Union, Reis Tijerina of the Federal Alliance of New Mexico, John Lewis of the Southern Regional Council, Myles Horton of the Highlander Center, Appalachian volunteers from Kentucky, welfare rights activists, California farm workers, and organized tenants. Rev. Dr. King addressed the session saying that it was the first meeting of that kind he had ever participated in. Indeed, meetings where leaders of different sections of the poor and dispossessed come together on the basis of their common needs and demands remain rare and politically taboo.

Today we introduce the honest voice of Rev. William Barber and The Poor People’s Campaign.”

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