BE PART OF HISTORY: Reclaim Dr. King’s dream during this special year
Ignite a fight for people’s rights!
[BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com] [410-500-2168] or [410-218-4835]
[2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218]
Initiated by the Baltimore Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly
On the anniversary of the Poor Peoples Campaign ignite a fight for people’s rights.. RECLAIM DR. KING JR’S DREAM DURING THIS HISTORIC YEAR – 2013 MARKS THE 50TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1963 JOBS & FREEDOM MARCH and the 45th anniversary of the 1968 Poor Peoples Campaign!
Beginning on the anniversary weekend of the Poor Peoples Campaign, we will hold a civil rights walk and March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. and arrive in Washington on Sunday, May 12, 2013.
We invite people from around the country to join us in Baltimore on May 11th.
We are Marching because...
POLICE BRUTALITY & MASS INCARCERATION ARE GROWING -
Baltimore has become the capital of police killings! Since January, 2012, 16 people have been killed by the Baltimore City Police Department and not a single officer has been indicted. The epidemic of police terror and abuse are not confined to our city. The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement has documented that every 36 hours a Black person is killed by police agencies in this country. Police repression and racism go hand in hand with the mass incarceration of young people, mostly of color, who are locked away in prisons across this country.
We march to bring national attention to these issues and to demand community control of police and an end to mass incarceration. On May 11, 2013 we will link arms with the families of the victims of police killings to demand that the Justice Department charge killer police.
POVERTY IS DEEPENING AND THE PEOPLE NEED JOBS, NOT JAIL -
One out of every four persons in Baltimore City lives below the poverty level. Growing poverty due to continuing depression level joblessness in every major city in this country and in many towns underscores the need to revive Dr. King’s fight to end poverty. Justice minded people everywhere must begin to prepare a united resistance to stop any and all austerity measures, whether it comes in the form of cuts to social security, Medicare, unemployment or food stamps.
We must renew Dr. King’s call for “Jobs or income now” and demand that the federal government: 1) bailout the people, not the banks; 2) provide a massive Works Projects Administration program to put the people back to work and 3) through Executive Order place a moratorium on home foreclosures.
WORKERS RIGHTS ARE UNDER ATTACK -
If the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were alive he would be on the front line of stemming the tide of right wing attacks on workers and unions couched in the misleading language of “right to work.” Dr. King would have been leading sit-ins to win justice for low wage workers from Wal-Mart to McDonalds. His last days were spent fighting for sanitation workers rights – this battle is yet to be finished.
On May 11th we will be marching to defend workers’ rights from Detroit to Atlanta.
JUSTICE FOR ALL IS NEEDED -
We will march to continue the ongoing struggle to stop racism, end attacks on immigrants, women and LGBTQ people.
We can no longer be divided from or consider a person as "illegal” simply because he or she has crossed a border; the fight for justice is far from over when someone can be profiled and murdered because they are Black, Latino/a, Native or Asian; it continues when women are still denied equal rights and LGBTQ people continue to suffer from violence and bigotry.
FUND EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE & HUMAN NEEDS, NOT WAR & OCCUPATION -
Dr. King proclaimed very accurately that “every bomb that falls on Vietnam, is a bomb dropped on our inner cities.” The names of the targeted countries and occupations have changed. What hasn’t is the growing trillions spent on the Pentagon that drain the wealth of this country and that could instead fund healthcare for every uninsured person, provide education for youth, stop school closings and provide jobs for all. Not only does war still threaten the people of this world, but the refusal to deal with ever growing evidence of climate change, and the insatiable desire to put profits before people, threatens the entire planet. The only way to build Dr. King’s beloved community is to end war and put people’s needs before profits.It is urgent that we reclaim Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy and begin a new revolution to ignite a people’s movement for not only civil rights but human rights.
The Occupy movement inspired many, but the 1968 Poor Peoples Campaign in Washington D.C. was, outside of other heroic examples in labor history, one of the first “occupations.” Let’s bring the movement together. Join the 2013 Poor Peoples Campaign March!
The campaign to reclaim Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy in this historic year to fight back against police terror, austerity measures, attacks on workers and student rights was voted and consented on at the December 15, 2012, National Peoples Power Assembly.
We in Baltimore invite everyone to join us – from Oakland to Atlanta, from Detroit to New York. Our problems are the same as your problems – let’s stand together. If you are interested in organizing your community, school, or union to be part of this effort call us at 410-500-2168 or 410-218-4835 or email BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com. To sign on as an endorser of this effort please contact us by phone or email.
POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN and MARCH SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEKEND
FRIDAY, MAY 10 — 5:00 P.M. Pre-Poor People’s March Kick-off in the Community at Biddle Street and North Montford Avenue, 21213 – Join us from 5 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. Remember Anthony Anderson Sr. with family members. Hot dogs and refreshments! We will be putting together signs and listening to spoken word artists and singers. We’ll open up the People’s Power Assembly with a community speak-out, and showing videos as it gets dark. We will also canvas the neighborhood.
SATURDAY, MAY 11 — 10 A.M. The Poor People’s Campaign March rally begins. The March will start at 11 A.M. sharp. We will gather in the lot where Anthony Anderson Sr. was killed by Baltimore Police. This is one of the poorest communities in Baltimore. At a brief rally, we will recognize all who have come.
Representatives of the families of Alan Blueford and other victims of police killings will be coming from as far away as Oakland and California’s Bay area. Students are coming from local campuses and from other cities. A bus of poor people and union workers from Boston will join us.
OUR Walmart workers, who are fighting for workers’ rights will join us in Baltimore and later in Hyattsville. We will be marching past one of the super Walmart’s.
We will take a break for bag lunches as we exit Baltimore City and begin our March down Route 1. Route 1 is the historical route used by prior Civil Rights leaders in the campaign to desegregate restaurants and other facilities. It’s important that we raise the demand to defend voting rights, which are under attack.
The Baltimore and Washington D.C. Metropolitan AFL-CIO Councils have both endorsed, along with the national United Food and Commercial Workers Union Minority Coalition and other union locals.
Several key things to be aware of: There will be support vehicles, vans, and cars, so there will be options. Some people may choose to ride the entire route. Most will take breaks and alternate between walking and riding. Some participants will also have to drive. For those activists who view the 41-mile march itself as very important, we are making it possible for them to walk the entire route. From our own experience and that of others who have done this, the key is unity, a lot of spirit, group decision–making and lots of water.
The “Rude Mechanical Band” from the Occupy movement will take part in this walk. Some Boston school bus drivers from United Steelworkers Local 8751 will have a special sound car, which will blare great music.
We will break near Elkridge/Columbia which is about 1/3 of the way. There, we will be greeted by local activists for a break and dinner at the side of the highway. We will also schedule bathroom breaks on the route.
Students and activists will greet us at the University of Maryland College Park, where we will continue our People’s Power Assembly and hear and record testimony, thoughts and proposals from participants.
Depending on physical needs, there will be floor space for bedrolls and sleeping. For those who need beds, we will arrange for motel rooms nearby. For some Baltimore and regional participants who have brought cars, they may go home to sleep and return the next day for the final leg of the march.
SUNDAY, MAY 12 — 10 A.M. Our final leg of the March will begin. This is Mother’s Day. It was the actual day that Coretta Scott King led the kickoff of the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. We will gather in front of the corner near Hyattsville Bus Boys & Poets at 5331 Baltimore Ave., Hyattsville, MD 20781
Women participants will lead this part of the March, including the women of OUR Walmart, who are marching in honor of Alan Forest; the mothers and sisters of the victims of police killings; youth from the Dreamers; women workers impacted by the sequestration cuts, and others. Bring your mothers, sisters, daughters and friends on this special day. Honor Mother’s Day in the best way possible. We urge our brothers to bring roses for all the women marchers.
This is the shortest leg of our March.
We expect to arrive at Freedom Plaza at 3 P.M. where we will be greeted by Dr. Bernard Lafayette and Dr. C.T. Vivian, who helped lead the original Poor People’s Campaign. We will also hear greetings from local community and labor representatives and Occupy D.C. from the Peace House.
We will then get snacks and food and proceed to a 5 P.M. People’s Power Assembly where we will hear people’s testimony on the many issues and important proposals about where we should go from there.
8 P.M. to 9 P.M. We will show videos and have teach-ins. During this period, we will hold a meeting of those who will remain in D.C. to decide what we do on Monday and in the future.
2013-05-09 "On the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign / ‘We will march to ignite the revolution King called for’"
by the Rev. C. D. Witherspoon, president of the Baltimore chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference:
Next Saturday morning, many of us will mark the 45th anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign that Martin Luther King inspired, but did not live long enough to lead, by marching from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.
On May 11, the families of young Black and Brown people who have been killed by police will link arms with poor people, immigrant workers fighting for their rights, students, Walmart workers, union members, unemployed people and Occupy Wall Street activists, and walk 40 miles south down the highway to Washington, D.C.
We will occupy Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue, a few blocks away from the White House and down the road from the Capitol. There we will erect a big tent and convene a People’s Power Assembly.
We are doing this to bear witness to the truth, and to help spark the social revolution that Dr. King prescribed in the months before his death.
Dr. King often said that truth crushed to earth will rise again. The brutal truth is that the powers that be are waging a war against virtually everything that Dr. King fought and died for.
Fifty years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Monument, King shared his dream with the world. Today more and more of us are living in a nightmare.
Anyone who thought that having an African-American family or a Democrat in the White House would negate the urgent necessity for a social revolution has long awoken from that dream.
Our young people are more likely to be in prison than in a job.
Poverty, unemployment and desperation are more widespread today than they were when King was alive. The pauperization of the population is the biggest crisis today.
The banks got bailed out after the 2008 global financial crash, and the stock market has soared through the roof. But for the rest of us -- the people that Occupy Wall Street calls the 99% -- there’s nothing but economic terrorism in the form of unemployment, evictions, foreclosures, low wages and cutbacks.
The 1% have never been richer, greedier and more determined to eliminate, privatize or otherwise destroy every program that is helpful to the poor.
Wall Street has ordered the politicians and the corporate media to justify the war against the poor.
We’ve been told that the cutting of Social Security, health care and unemployment benefits and the closing of hospitals, schools and post offices are being forced upon us by harsh economic realities.
We’ve been told that there’s no point in proposing a real jobs program because we can’t afford one.
These things are presented to us as though they were inarguable facts. They are not.
They are absurd and cruel lies put forward by the 1% in defense of a social and economic order that puts profits and greed before people’s needs. These lies are meant to demoralize us and persuade us that it’s useless to fight for a world based on equality, justice, solidarity and love.
These lies, and the 1% whose interest they serve, must be defeated.
When King proposed the Poor People’s Campaign in 1967, he said that a revolution of values was needed, one that would transform a profit-centered economy into a people-centered one.
We will be marching on Saturday to ignite that revolution.
For details on the March see [www.PeoplesPowerAssemblies.org]