MARCH TO FULFILL THE DREAM
April 4, 2010 to June 20, 2010!!!
As the nation observed the birthday of Martin Luther King, leaders of organizations of poor and homeless families, including Katrina survivors, clergy, USSF organizers and Detroit hosts…gathered in New Orleans to plan a national March and Caravan from New Orleans to the United States Social Forum in Detroit from early April to late June 2010….
Background from the initial call for the March, written in August
In 1998 the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) picked up the mantle of MLK and vowed to work until the dream was fulfilled.
“If you think we’re there, you can ignore this. But if you’re hurting, or your mother or your brother or your neighbor or friend is hurting, put on your walking shoes,” said Cheri Honkala, National Organizer of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC).
At its national conference in July, nearly 400 representatives of PPEHRC member organizations voted to organize the next phase of the campaign—a march from the Katrina-torn Gulf through the Mississippi Delta and on through the Rust Belt. The march will culminate in Detroit at the 2010 US Social Forum, which expects upwards of 20,000 participants from around the country and the globe. As was the case in the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, other marchers will follow Freedom Roads from other parts of the country to join the main branch, which will visibly unite south and north in their common cause. In 2003, PPEHRC recreated the 1968 Poor People’s March, caravanning from Marks, Mississippi to Washington, DC. Commemorating the 35th anniversary of the campaign planned by King before his assassination, organizers of that march pointed to the shameful lack of achievement of the original economic justice goals of jobs, housing, and health care. Since then things have gotten worse—much worse.
Organizations voted to organize the next phase of the campaign—a march from the Katrina-torn Gulf through the Mississippi Delta and on through the Rust Belt.
Why are we marching?
Thousands will participate in this historic march and caravan to transform our nation and highlight the urgent need for guaranteed healthcare and housing for everyone in the United States. We are demanding that our government prioritize life over death by allocating some of the tremendous resources at its disposal to provide for the vital human needs of healthcare and housing.
Many countries around the world already offer these human rights to their citizens, but the US system reflects a different set of values.
Right now, in the richest country in the world, record numbers of people are experiencing homelessness and poverty while record profits are being made on Wall Street through the help of massive government bailouts for the rich. Poverty, homelessness, and unemployment are skyrocketing while trillions of dollars are being misappropriated to fight wars abroad. Millions of poor people in the US are being incarcerated, abandoned, and attacked by an economic and political system that prioritizes wealth over health and profits over people. We can and must do better.
In the final years of his life Dr. King refocused his vision from racial equality to economic justice, realizing that people of all colors living side-by-side in poverty was far short of a true victory for all people. He launched the Poor People’s Campaign in 1967 to unite poor people of all races to build a massive nonviolent movement to end poverty. He was assassinated for his efforts.
This Easter, The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign launches the March for Our Lives as a testament of resurrection. Out from the death of natural and unnatural disasters there is rising a poor people’s movement for life. Out from beneath the ruins of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and a devastating earthquake in Haiti, come the singing voices of the poor, the people who were struggling through miserable man-made disasters of poverty and injustice long before the ground literally shook below them. Today, economic inequality is worse than ever, but out of the darkness comes light. From the swelling ranks of the poor, nonviolent troops are organizing and mobilizing for peace and justice. In Detroit, the eye of the economic storm, we will gather our forces at the US Social Forum. A movement is growing to end poverty forever – to create a new life-affirming economy and a better world for everyone. Years after the assassination of Dr. King his words resound loudly and his dream is alive!
“The dispossessed of this nation — the poor, both white and Negro live in a cruelly unjust society. They must organize a revolution against that injustice, not against the lives of persons who are their fellow citizens, but against the structures through which the society is refusing to take means which have been called for, and which are at hand, to lift the load of poverty.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967
The March to Fulfill the Dream launches on April 4, 2010. This significant date is Easter Sunday, as well as the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. We begin in New Orleans, Louisiana and finish our march in Detroit, Michigan on June 20, 2010 for the U.S. Social Forum.
We demand guaranteed healthcare and housing for everyone in the United States.
Rising from the ruins of economic storms, we unite – poor people, homeless people, social workers, activists, artists, musicians, people of faith, students, healthcare workers, lawyers, and more – we rebuild!
Join us. Build the movement to end poverty!
Download the route map!