June 22, 2020
The digital social justice assembly sponsored by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call to Moral Revival attracted over 2.5 million Facebook viewers this weekend and resulted in nearly 300,000 letters sent to governors and members of Congress to support a newly released, multi-issue justice platform.
These viewer numbers of the digital Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington on Saturday and Sunday don’t include MSNBC’s broadcast on YouTube; listeners who tuned in on radio; media outlets that broadcast the program from their online platforms or C-SPAN.
The assembly aired twice on Saturday and once on Sunday.
In addition, 300,000 letters were sent to governors and members of Congress, demanding that they support the Poor People’s Moral Justice Jubilee Policy Platform, released Saturday.
That platform is a sweeping, transformational response to the needs and demands of poor and low-income people in this country. The platform articulates the campaign’s policy and legislative priorities around voting rights, police violence, indigenous rights, immigrant rights, education, welfare, jobs, education, housing, water, war, wealth inequality and more.
“We have been investing in punishing the poor; we must now invest in the welfare of all,” the letter reads. “When we lift from the bottom, everybody rises.”
The assembly — which was held online rather than in person because of COVID-19– was a cementing of a powerful social justice movement for this country, bringing together people of all races, faiths and sexual orientation to change the government’s death-dealing policies to policies of life and to exercise voting power around an agenda based on our deepest moral values.
It focused on the 140 million poor and low-income people in the U.S., or 43% of the country. Some 700 people die each day from poverty, or 250,000 people a year. And those numbers were the reality in the U.S. before the COVID-19 pandemic.
These are people whose votes can change the political calculus of this nation if they cast their ballots. For that to happen, they must hear from politicians who break from the typical narrative where Republicans racialize poverty and Democrats run from the subject.
“Each of you must know that this might be the reason that you were born,” Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, said during the assembly. “Now might be the moment when you are called into being. You have waited long for this moment. The ancestors have waited long for this moment. In this fateful hour, your time has finally come.”
The Poor People’s Campaign centers its demands around the five interlocking injustices of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism and a distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.
“We are gathered today to call for a radical redistribution of political and economic power, a revolution of moral values to demonstrate the power of poor and impacted people banding together, demanding that this country change for the better,” Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, a campaign co-chair, said during the program.
The campaign is sponsored by Repairers of the Breach, based in Goldsboro, North Carolina, whose president is Rev. Barber, and the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice in New York City, whose director is Rev. Theoharis.
Contact: Martha Waggoner | [email protected] | 919-295-0802
The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, held a generationally transformative digital gathering called the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington, on June 20, 2020.