NEWS

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.

All roads lead to Montpelier.  From May 14 thru June 23 we are organizing direct actions every Monday in Montpelier. They will happen simultaneously with actions in over 30 other states. Each day includes a preparation meeting at 11:00, a rally at 2:00 and a nonviolent direct action at 3:00.

 

We need you to join our efforts!

Training

Great news! The 2nd Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action training is on Saturday, April 28th, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in Barre, VT. Register at https://goo.gl/kS1EpQ and more details will be sent to you.

Singing

In the spirit of the original Poor People’s Campaign we are learning songs of the movement. Here is a song called Unsettling Force https://goo.gl/dprwFc Join us 1st and 3rd Sundays at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier from 12:30 to 2 pm to sing and learn new songs of resistance & resilience!

National Webinar

April 24th from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm "Fifty Years of Standing Up for Justice: Members of the LGBTQIA Community Discuss Their Work on the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival" To register go to https://goo.gl/va4twq

The demands of the Campaign can be read at https://goo.gl/JmbrqT

Making Art

The Make - you are invited to join artists and activists May 4-6 for a weekend of production sessions, workshops, and skill-shares. https://goo.gl/tpbd4f

If You Are Interested In Becoming A Local Trainer, Or Cannot Attend a Training, But Want To Participate In Training, please get in touch with us vermont@poorpeoplescampaign.org

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Hundreds of Vermonters Join The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

VT Poor, Clergy, Activists Serve Notice of Massive Wave of Nonviolent Civil Disobedience, Direct Action This Spring
  
On Feb 5, at the VT State House in Montpelier, moral leaders, along with poor & disenfranchised people, and activists from across Vermont, announced they are joining the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, in an event echoed nationally in 32 state capitals. 


Mark Hughes, Executive Director of local organization Justice for All, delivered the opening statement: "In today's political climate, young DACA recipients are being treated as political pawns and black and brown people are being kept from the polls by racialized voter suppression laws. All across the country, in state capitals like Montpelier and in Washington DC, policies that promote systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and environmental destruction are threatening our democracy and decaying our national morality.”

In addition to local faith leaders Rev. Earl Kooperkamp, Rev. Joan Javier-Duval, and Rabbi Shana Margolin, speakers at today's event included Amanda Sheppard, a resident of Addison County who testified to the struggles of poverty in her region; David Przepioski, a homeless veteran and member of the VT Workers Center who spoke to the high personal and national costs of militarism; and Henry Harris, an activist with the VT Climate Union. 

The crowd stood behind the speakers, holding signs that read: Poverty Is Immoral. Systemic Racism Is Immoral. The War Economy is Immoral. Ecological Devastation is Immoral.

After today's press conference, the VT delegation of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival delivered a letter to Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson and Senate Pro Tempore Tim Ashe, vowing to risk arrest beginning Mother’s Day if politicians fail to adopt a moral and just agenda, as part of a national movement of six weeks of direct action - including one of the largest waves of nonviolent civil disobedience in U.S. history. “We demand a change in course,” the letter reads. “Our faith traditions and state and federal constitutions all testify to the immorality of an economy that leaves out the poor, yet our political discourse consistently ignores the 140 million poor and low-income people in America.” 

Today's gathering in Vermont, along with other concurrent mobilizations across the country, marks the first nationwide action by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival since it launched last year on Dec. 4th, 50 years to the day after Dr. Martin Luther King and others called for the original Poor People’s Campaign. Despite real political wins in 1968 and beyond, the original Poor People’s Campaign was tragically cut short, both by Dr. King’s assassination and by the subversion of the coalition that sustained it. Still, the original vision and many of its followers did not go away. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is the product of a decade of organizing by grassroots groups, religious leaders and others to end systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation. 

Watch a video of speakers at the event on our facebook page here.

And our singing, in Room 11, on our  facebook page here.

 

February 5th Letter to Speaker of the House and Pro Tempore

February 5, 2018

 Dear Representative Johnson and Senator Ashe

All over the country, in state capitals like Montpelier and Washington, D.C., policies that promote systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and ecological devastation are threatening our democracy and decaying our national morality. 

Too often, distorted religious articulations confine morality to only personal issues and not public policies.  Racist voter suppression laws undermine access to the ballot box and the power of the vote while DACA recipients are treated as political pawns. Poor people of all races are being ignored in our political conversation and dismissed in our political decisions. Programs to sustain the poor are being cut and health care access and living wages are denied at the state and federal level.

Meanwhile, the United States House and Senate passed a tax bill that is an obscene transfer of wealth to the richest among us and the president quickly signed it into law. And further cuts that benefit the wealthiest are being passed in statehouses across the country.

Here are just a few facts:

  • We’ve seen a 60% increase in people living in poverty over the last 50 years, while the share of income lining the pockets of the top one percent has nearly doubled.

  • Twenty-three states have passed racist voter suppression laws since 2010.

  • Federal spending on prisons has increased tenfold to $7.5 billion a year since 1976 and more than eightfold to $17 billion on immigration enforcement and deportations.

  • Fifty-three cents out of every discretionary dollar from our taxes goes directly to the military while the single biggest threat to global security is climate change.

We demand a change in course. Our faith traditions and state and federal constitutions all testify to the immorality of an economy that leaves out the poor, yet our political discourse consistently ignores the 140 million poor and low-income people in America.

We are here today to demand that, in committees and on the floors of this State’s legislative bodies, you uphold the oath that you have taken to represent us on a moral agenda that lifts up the common good and the general welfare. And we are prepared to take direct action and engage in nonviolent civil disobedience to insist that Republicans, Democrats and Independents develop serious proposals to address such an agenda.

We are the poor and disenfranchised, clergy and moral leaders from across Vermont We are the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. We have come to say clearly that a politics that ignores the poor has gone on far too long. And we will not be silent anymore.

Sincerely,

The Vermont Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Coordinating Committee

 

Delivering and reading our letter to House Speaker, Mitzi Johnson

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