Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Explicit Ills is now available on DVD!ShareThis
It is my pleasure to announce that Explicit Ills is now available on DVD! It can be purchased or rented anywhere in the US from Netflix to Amazon.com to your local video store. So please take a moment to check it out! Thank you all for your help and continued support!
Sol Tryon and the E.I. Team
Monday, July 27, 2009
Hip-Hop Congress 8th National ConferenceShareThis
Labels: Hip Hop Congress
Minneapolis woman, facing eviction-foreclosure, gets last-minute reprieveShareThis
Allie Shah, Star Tribune
Rosemary Williams, third woman from right (partly obscured by man), learned hours after getting an eviction notice that she doesn’t have to leave. Supporters had been prepared to fight through civil disobedience.
A Minneapolis nonprofit developer has agreed to buy the home of Rosemary Williams and strike a deal so she can stay there.
By ALLIE SHAH, Star Tribune
Last update: July 25, 2009 - 8:18 AM
Rosemary Williams, whose fight to stay in her foreclosed home in Minneapolis has attracted national attention, has won a last-minute reprieve -- and possibly more.
Hours after getting an eviction notice Friday, Williams, standing barefoot on the wooden porch outside the house where she's lived for 23 years, said she learned that she can stay for now and, perhaps, for good.
The Greater Metropolitan Housing Corp., a local nonprofit developer, said it has agreed to buy the home from GMAC Mortgage and allow Williams to live there through a rental or other arrangement.
"It's all taken care of. We expect to close within a week," the organization's president, Carolyn Olson, said Friday evening. Olson said that she had signed the paperwork to buy the home for $90,000 and sent it to GMAC. GMAC officials could not immediately be reached.
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office had served the eviction notice on Williams, 60, early Friday, which would have required her to leave within the next few days.
She and her supporters had planned to block authorities from removing her by using non-violent civil disobedience and scheduled a news conference Friday to detail their plans.
Instead, Minneapolis City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden announced the negotiations between a potential buyer and GMAC that would allow Williams to stay.
"We know that the Sheriff's Office is holding off," Glidden told the crowd, who cheered loudly.
Lisa Kiava, a spokeswoman for the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, said Williams had been served paperwork, adding, "we're not taking any action on the writ of execution until we have more information."
Williams is a divorced mother of three who took out an adjustable-rate mortgage to get $12,000 to pay some bills. Her payment jumped from $1,200 to $2,200 a month. At the same time, she lost her job and stopped making payments. The house went into foreclosure and was sold at an auction last fall.
She was ordered to leave the house by March 30, but she refused. The new owner, GMAC Mortgage, went to court to have her evicted.
Williams' family has lived on Clinton Avenue for more than 50 years, and she and her mother built the house where she now lives.
There are seven foreclosed homes on her block, including a boarded-up one across the street that was tagged recently with this sardonic message: "What housing crisis?"
Williams' case has attracted the interest of filmmaker Michael Moore, she said, as well as several local organizations. They include the Minnesota Coalition for a People's Bailout and the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign.
"She has become a symbol of what so many people are going through," Glidden said.
Sitting on her porch Friday after the crowd left, Williams said: "I had a sign in my bathroom that said, 'I believe in miracles.' This morning I looked at that sign and said, 'Yes.'"
Allie Shah • 612-673-4488
Friday, July 24, 2009
Victory for Rosemary Williams!ShareThis
Today, July 24, at 9:15 a.m., the Hennepin County Sheriff's office knocked on the door of Rosemary Williams, 3138 Clinton Ave S, Minneapolis. They handed her an eviction notice, stating that she and her family (including two grandbabies) had to be out of the house by Monday. Ms. Williams, along with the MN Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign and the MN Coalition for People's Bailout were already prepared with a press conference to announce plans to resist the eviction.
Twenty minutes before the press conference, Rosemary Williams got a phone call from Minneapolis Councilmember Elizabeth Glidden. Word came through that a buyer had been found for the house, and that Ms. Williams could get a chance to lease her home with an option to buy it outright. In any case, the sheriffs were called off. And Rosemary stays in her home.
"This victory shows that when you fight back, you can win," said Linden Gawboy, of the MN Coalition for a People's Bailout. "Rosemary has lit the path for millions of others in this country. Stay, stay, stay. Never give up. Our communities depend on us staying."
Cheri Honkala, of the MN Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign stated, "Rosemary's victory proves the strength of people's power. Through a unified struggle made up of directly affected people and allies, mega-corporations like GMAC have run scared. Rosemary has won."
Rosemary Williams has lived on the same block in South Minneapolis for 55 years. Since she began her fight against foreclosures, she has been speaking not just for herself, but for all others in the same situation. She has testified at the legislature, before the city council and attempted a ground-breaking court case to save her home. She is a heroic example to everyone that taking a stand can have results.
"This is what happens when organizations and community come together and work collectively," said Rosemary Williams. "I just want to encourage everyone to not just leave in the night like they want you to. Fight for what is yours."
MN Coalition for a People's Bailout, mn-peoples-bailout.org, 612-822-8020, 612-296-5649
MN Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, 612-940-1040, 267-439-8419
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Cheri Honkala in Denver: NASNA conference and Flobots FundraiserShareThis
The reception starts at 6PM and the talk starts at 7PM.
This is a fundraiser for Flobots.org bringing art and activism together.
Honkala will also be attending the 2009 NASNA Conference -- Navigating the Recession.
Cheri Honkala of PPEHRC and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper will also keynote the North American Street Newspaper Associations Awards Dinner at Marlowes Resturant in Downtown Denver at 7m July 31st.
Photos and video clipping of the National Conference to End Poverty.ShareThis
URGENT! Rosemary Williams Foreclosure non violent sit in to begin soon in MPLS.ShareThis
Today, Thursday July 23, at about 11:00 a.m., Judge Zimmerman issued a "Writ of Recovery" on behalf of GMAC. This means GMAC can seize Rosemary Williams's home as soon as Friday (TOMORROW). The sheriff could post the eviction notice as soon as TODAY. Then the sheriff wants the house vacated in 24 hours.
Here is the plan:
--Right after the sheriff posts the notice of eviction, we will put out a call to have EVERYONE stand guard at Rosemary's house - 3138 Clinton Ave, Mpls. Make plans now as to what your role will be as we stop this eviction. Again, it is likely that we will have to be there tomorrow.
Friday, July 24, 1:00 p.m.
Rosemary's house: 3138 Clinton Ave S, Minneapolis
SOME CALLS TO MAKE:
Call GMAC: Call GMAC in the Twin Cities and the national headquarters.
Twin Cities: 952-806-9705
GMAC Headquarters: 215-734-8899
Tell them to retract the writ of recovery and let Rosemary try to save her home. She has been desperately trying to get financing to save her home, a process that takes time.
Call Fraegre and Benson: GMAC is represented by the law firm of Fraegre and Benson. Rosemary asks that you call them at 612-766-7000 and tell them to "undo the Writ of Recovery" on Rosemary's home.
Call these elected officials
Mayor RT Rybak: 612-673-2100
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison: 202-225-4755
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar: 202-224-3244
U.S. Sen. Al Franken: 202-224-5641
Demand that they call GMAC and order GMAC to retract the writ of recovery. Banks got billions of dollars in bailout money. Now is their chance to help the people who the banks screwed over.
Rosemary Williams is a 55-year resident of the Central Neighborhood in south Minneapolis. Rosemary has been a fighter against the foreclosure crisis for nearly a year, giving inspiration to others to fight back. Now is the time for all the community to show support. Clear your calendars and take a stand!
We will put our more info later.
MN Coalition for a People's Bailout, www.mn-peoples-bailout.org, 612-822-8020, 612-296-5649
MN Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, 612-940-1040
Suburbs feel pain of job lossesShareThis
Study finds faster rise in poverty outside cities
By Jere Downs
As a newly laid-off worker from Ford Motor Co., Jeanette Church counts herself as a casualty of the recession.
As a suburbanite, she's also part of a national trend: Unemployment is rising faster outside of major cities than within them, according to a Brookings Institution report prepared for release Thursday.
Church, a 44-year-old Shepherdsville resident, lost her job at Ford's Louisville Assembly Plant July 6, and her husband will lose his job at National Tobacco in western Louisville when chewing tobacco production ends there in December.
"We are going from being a two-income family to a zero-income family," Church said last week.
As the recession drags through a second year, the Brookings report found that poverty is weighing on suburban areas, particularly newer, far-flung settlements. Of the largest 100 U.S. metro areas, Louisville is among 75 where the burden is growing faster outside of cities, according to the nonprofit think-tank based in Washington, D.C., which analyzed the growth of the jobless rate, new unemployment claims and applications for federal food stamp assistance in cities versus suburbs over a one-year span.
Researchers considered Jefferson County the region's primary urban area. They compared its economic status with the surrounding Bullitt, Henry, Meade, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby and Trimble counties in Kentucky and Indiana's Clark, Floyd, Harrison and Washington counties.
In those suburban counties, the number of jobless rose 88 percent, from 14,492 people in May last year to 27,241 two months ago, said Elizabeth Kneebone, a co-author of the report entitled "The Crabgrass Recession. Suburbs Feeling More Pain than Past Downturn."
In contrast, Jefferson County's jobless rose 72 percent, to 37,193 from 21,580, in the same time period, she said.
The collapse of construction trade, real estate and service-economy jobs in this recession are the most likely contributors to jobless woes outside the cities, Kneebone said. Suburban areas tend to have higher concentrations of those jobs, she added.
The study findings underscore that employment trends affect entire regions, not just inner cities, she said. Policymakers, she added, can help by distributing services for the poor and jobless evenly throughout a region, rather than the traditional approach of concentrating social services in downtown areas.
"Poverty has changed," Kneebone said. "Poverty is no longer just an inner-city phenomenon or an ultra-rural phenomenon."
A conference last weekend at Spalding University bore witness to poverty's growing reach within the middle class, said Cheri Honkala, a key organizer of "Building The Unsettling Force: A National Conference To End Poverty."
"We saw more participants from the middle class," Honkala said during a University of Louisville reception that kicked off the conference last Thursday. A welfare activist for two decades, Honkala said she observed marked economic diversity among the 300 attendees at this year's conference. "I am seeing people (ask for help) from all walks of life."
From May 2008 to May 2009, Jefferson County's jobless rate rose 4.3 percentage points, to 10.3 percent from 6 percent, of those available to work, the report found. In surrounding counties, the rate of unemployed rose 4.7 percentage points, to 10 percent from 5.3 percent.
Applications for federal food stamp assistance, however, climbed at a higher rate in Jefferson County than in surrounding areas from January 2008 to January 2009, Kneebone said. Within Jefferson County, those receiving food stamps rose 10.6 percent, to 101,510 recipients from 91,755. In the surrounding counties, those on food stamp aid rose only 7.7 percent, to 49,109 from 45,591.
That may be because unemployed people outside the city have more resources, Kneebone said — they've not applied for food stamps because their income does not make them eligible. Then again, she added, suburban residents may not be aware of food stamp benefits, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
This year, a family of four must earn no more than $22,050 to become eligible for food stamps, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
"The concern for policymakers is whether people know about the safety net services," Kneebone said.
Social workers concentrate their efforts in cities or ultra-poor rural areas, said Cate Fosl, director of the University of Louisville's Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice and Research.
In the suburbs, "There is a gap, in terms of the people who are served," Fosl said Wednesday. "People in this state that are working on social justice issues are more commonly working in urban settings and extreme rural settings, especially Appalachian settings."
Reporter Jere Downs can be reached at (502) 582-4669.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Photo Gallery from Courier Journal: March CoverageShareThis
Courier Journal: Hundreds march for social justiceShareThis
By Emily Udell
July 17, 2009
Several hundred people blocked traffic on Broadway and Fourth Street Friday afternoon as they marched through downtown to draw attention to economic and social justice issues.
The march was part of a conference on poverty that has attracted some 300 social workers, academics, working people and labor activists to Spalding University this weekend.
"The goal of this demonstration today is to lift the voices of poor people across the country," said Khalilah Collins, executive director of Women in Transition, a Louisville group that helped organize the event. "All we have is our voices; we don't have lobbyists."
Collins said participants were trying to showcase issues faced by low-income people, including a need for affordable housing, living wages and access to education. She said these are problems that members of her organization have faced since long before the onset of the global economic crisis.
"This crisis is not new to us," she said. "We've always been homeless; we've always faced having our gas and lights turned off."
The march began at about 3:30 p.m. at Memorial Park at Fourth and Kentucky streets and wove through the downtown. Participants blocked rush-hour traffic as they paraded down Broadway and marched up Fourth Street, carrying signs with anti-poverty messages.
"The people took back the streets," said Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman, who came to show his support. "It was a moment of empowerment."
The demonstration concluded in Jefferson Square, at Sixth and Jefferson streets, where participants listened to speakers and joined in chants for "Unity!" until about 5 p.m.
Many of the demonstration's participants were attending a weekend conference at Spalding titled "Building the Unsettling Force: A National Conference to End Poverty," which was sponsored by the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign and the Social Welfare Alliance. The conference included research presentations, workshops and tours showcasing local activists' efforts to combat economic problems in Louisville.
Whit Forrester, 25, said he was energized by the grassroots nature of the march and conference, and likened the work of participating groups to that of Ella Baker, a civil rights activist who began a long career of activism in the 1930s.
"The work that happens like this—a movement for the people, by the people and of the people—has a greater capacity to succeed," Forrester said.
Readers can reach reporter Emily Udell at (502) 582-4199.
Hundreds march to end povertyShareThis
By Paige Quiggins
Original Article: http://www.wave3.com/Global/story.asp?S=10746803
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign hosted its 11th annual march to end poverty on July 17.
Hundreds of people took part in the march that started in Memorial Park at 3:30 Friday afternoon. Their goal: to put an end to human suffering. The march began with participants shouting "What do we want? Healthcare! When do we want it? Now!" as they proceeded from Memorial Park down 4th Street toward downtown Louisville.
The crowd shouted in excitement, fists clenched in the air, as children chanted "Save my mommy's home!" and "Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Poverty has got to go!"
According to PPEHRC member Arun Prabhakaran, the march was put together by hundreds of organizations around the country through local chapters, such as Louisville's Women In Transition.
PPEHRC national organizer Cheri Honkala said the event expected over 500 individuals to step up and voice their concerns. Honkala, a mother of two who was once homeless, said she believed the economic crisis affecting poverty was worse in the South than the North, but the hit has affected everyone.
"Everybody in this country are all a paycheck or healthcare crisis away from homelessness," said Honkala. "Any day could be your turn."
According to Honkala, the organization is also trying to help those going through foreclosures, people without healthcare and others suffering from the recession.
Executive director of Women in Transition, Khalilah Collins, said her local organization was happy to participate in the march because they are attempting to help the women and children affected by the economy.
"In Louisville, we've found women are losing their children, due to poverty reasons," Collins said. "That's being called neglect. Living in your car is neglect. Having no LG&E is neglect. It's an economic human rights violation."
For more information, visit www.economichumanrights.org
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Courier-Journal Coverage: Poverty conference at SpaldingShareThis
Cheri Honkala began her activist career as a single mother on welfare, leading raucous squatting campaigns in North Philadelphia through the 1990s to raise awareness about housing shortages and economic injustice. This weekend the 47-year-old activist leads a national conference at Spalding University.
An estimated 300 social workers, academics, working people, and labor activists are expected to attend "Building the Unsettling Force: A National Conference To End Poverty."
"It is so urgent right now," Honkala, 47, said in an interview about the conference's goal to organize poor people to combat housing, education, and economic issues.
"It is like seeing children and families on a railroad track. It is not really a choice whether you push them off to safety."
Now, Honkala is the national organizer of the Poor People's Human Rights Campaign, a national nonprofit group organizing in Philadelphia, Minnesota, and the Missisippi delta areas, among others areas. For sponsors, Honkala's organization teamed up with the local chapter of Women In Transition, a nonprofit advocacy group for poor famliies, and the Social Welfare Action Alliance, a nonprofit group with chapters in Denver, Chicago and elsewhere.
"There are probably a dozen conferences around poverty each year," said Jennifer R. Jewell, a social work professor at Spalding University and co-founder of Women In Transition in Louisville. "What is important about this conference is it is directly led by people who are on the front line. It is such hard work to do what we do. This really rejuvenates us each year."
Presentations of research on poverty and workshops on activism make up a long agenda held at the Egan Leadership Center at 4th and Breckinridge Streets Friday and Saturday. Speakers from Nashville, Tenn., New Orleans, La., and Tampa, Florida are among those who will share expertise. Participants can also take "poverty tours," in the region, narrated by local activists who will talk about Louisville-area issues will also take place Friday and Saturday, departing from Spalding.
Reporter Jere Downs can be reached at (502) 582-4669.
If you go
What: Building the Unsettling Force: A National Conference To End Poverty
Where: Egan Leadership Center, Spalding University, 4th & Breckinridge Streets
When: Thursday-Sunday.Cost: Many events are free. Some conference registration fees may apply.
For more information: contact Khalilah V. Collins at (502) 432-2029.
IAI Message to PPEHRC and SWAAShareThis
The International Alliance of Inhabitants congratulates you on your conference, Building the Unsettling Force: A National Conference to Abolish Poverty (Kentucky, July 16-19, 2009), which is a very important step in the creation of an independent body striving for structural change in the United States.
Indeed, although the Obama administration represents a certain break with the past, we must still take up the challenge of the struggles of the poor, workers, women, youth and seniors of all colour to open up spaces, win rights and obtain support policies.
Because your struggles and triumphs are significant not only in the United States but also on a global level, we would like to develop with you an experience exchange and the establishment of international solidarity.
In this regard, we would like to inform you that, thanks to our united action, we have succeeded in arranging two international missions whose aim will be to examine how the right to housing is respected in your country. The first mission, organized by the UN-Habitat’s Advisory Group on Forced Evictions will take place in New Orleans from July 26-31, 2009, and the second one, which will be at the national level, will be in November 2009 under the aegis of the UN Special Rapporteur for Housing Rights.
For all these reasons, we invite you to participate in the process of creating the World Assembly of Inhabitants (WSF Dakar, January 2011), an initiative that aims to create a shared space that is global and supportive and that is based not only on recognizing cultural diversity, but also on complementarity and equilibrium in respecting our right to organize ourselves independently as an international urban movement by establishing the Urban Way (Vía Urbana).
The goal of this space will be to promote initiatives of shared and supportive action to defend our legitimate right to housing and to the city in the face of neoliberal globalization, to be build together another possible world and other possible cities.
To do this, we can already count on the support of more than 200 organizations in more than 40 countries, as well as, following the WSF in Belem, on all the international networks working in the field of the right to housing and to the city.
The next stage is the establishment of united WAI promoter committees at the national and international level, and, given your commitment and strong involvement in this area, we would like to count on your participation in this initiative.
Therefore, we invite you to fully participate in the development of this process, starting with the creation of initiatives that will take on the struggle in the context of the World Zero Evictions Days (October 2009), and by taking into account that preparatory meetings of the WAI are on the agenda during the World Days for the Right to Housing (Bobigny, France, November 15-22, 2009) and the World Urban Forum (Rio de Janeiro, March 22-26, 2010).
Finally, in wishing you a successful conference, we invite you to send us its results, which we will make available globally on www.habitants.org.
We look forward to your comments and suggestions.
Ciao in solidarity,
PDF of this message:
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The Slavery in the 20th Century Radio Talk Show & Poverty in the United StatesShareThis
Cheri Honkala will be participating tonight at 7PM on this radio program.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
This Friday: People’s Party At Rosemary’s Home!ShareThis
Support our friend and neighbor, Rosemary Williams, as we continue to defend our community.
Rosemary Williams' Home
3138 Clinton Ave S, Minneapolis
Friday July 10, 6pm-Midnight
We're putting the fun in fundraiser!
The cups are being given out in exchange for a suggested donation of $5 (and we'll even accept more). The beer and wine will be flowing freely. We'll be grilling dollar dogs (both meaty and vegan). Slices of watermelon are also on the menu. Of course, rockin' tunes will also be heard (dancing is encouraged).
We won't let the tyrants in their ivory bank towers destroy the spirit of our community, so come on by and give that spirit some exercise!
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009
“Social Movements for Economic Human Rights: Perspectives from the Street"ShareThis
Featuring: HARVEY FINKLE
"Social Movements for Economic Human Rights: Perspectives from the
Thursday July 16, 2009
University of Louisville, Ekstrom Library room 258
Join us to celebrate the creation of Louisville's first Civil Rights
Driving Tour brochure, view powerful photographs by Harvey Finkle, and
enjoy good eats and the company of good people.
Harvey Finkle is a documentary still photographer who has produced a
substantial body of work concerned with social, economic, political and
cultural issues. His work has been extensively exhibited and published
including a book entitled "Readers" and five catalogues of major
exhibits, "Urban Nomads", a documentation of KWRU and the Poor
Peoples' Economic Human Rights Campaign, "STILL HOME: The Jews of
South Philadelphia", "PHILADELPHIA MOSAIC: New Immigrants in
America", "The JOBS Project/ Inside Out: A Prison Reentry
Program", and "The Many Faces of WOMEN'S WAY".
This event will launch: Building the Unsettling Force, A national
conference to end poverty organized by Women in Transition (WIT), Poor
People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEFRC), and Social Welfare
Action Alliance (SWAA).
Call Jardana Peacock with questions: 502-852-6142
WIT Press Conference: A Call to End Poverty -- Building the Unsettling Force: A National Conference to Abolish PovertyShareThis
Women In Transition (WIT)
The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC)
and the Social Welfare Action Alliance (SWAA) Announce:
Building the Unsettling Force:
A National Conference to Abolish Poverty
Join residents of homeless encampments, social workers, families fighting foreclosure, Katrina victims, low-wage workers, immigrants, people without health care, members of the religious community, the unemployed, artists, representatives of the labor movement, and friends from the International Community as we come together to confront the economic crisis and to build a massive movement for Economic Human Rights for all.
Thursday, July 17, 2009 -- Sunday, July 19, 2009
Spalding University -- Louisville, Kentucky
Thursday, July 2, 2009
MN PPEHRC UpdatesShareThis
Rosemary did not receive an eviction notice this week. GMAC has temporarily backed off from the eviction and offered to significantly lower the price
to $90,000. for which they will sell Rosemary her home (GMAC bought her home at a sheriff's sale). However they will not finance the mortgage. They have given her until July 10 to produce documentation showing she has secured financing. If she is not able to do so by the 10th, they have said they will give her additional time to vacate her home. We're glad that Rosemary has more time in her home and a chance to keep it - but plans for non-violent civil disobedience and protest of her still-possible eviction have not changed.
Friday, July 10, come to the "People's Party" at Rosemary's house at 3138 Clinton Avenue South from 6pm until midnight. Spread the word. There will be $5 bottomless cups of beer, dollar dogs (meaty and vegan), watermelon and jammin' tunes. Plain ol' donations are also encouraged. Enjoy the evening with your fellow people of conscience. Let's put the fun in fundraiser! Bring friends and family.
Windows Live™: Keep your life in sync. Check it out.
WIT Press ConferenceShareThis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 2, 2009
CONTACT: Khalilah Collins, Executive Director, (502) 432-2029
At 12 pm today, leaders of Women in Transition and the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign will hold a press conference to announce plans for a July conference and march themed: Building an Unsettling Force, Fighting to End Poverty. PPEHRC National Organizer Cheri Honkala will speak and members of WIT will be available for comment.
The march will include poor people from Louisville, Kentucky, and the Nation speaking out and demanding their economic human rights and an end to poverty. It begins 3 pm Friday the 17th of July at Memorial Park on 4th and Kentucky streets and will spread its message around Louisville.
The conference is being organized to provide a forum for people to share ideas, inspire and motivate each other. We will strive for collective actions based on sound analyses-actions that can be taken locally, regionally, and nationally when we leave this gathering. More on the conference below.
What: Press Conference
Where: Offices of Women in Transition, 219 West Ormsby Ave in the basement of the Kling Center
When. 12 pm, July 2nd
Who: Cheri Honkala, PPEHRC National Organizer
Women In Transition
A NATIONAL CONFERENCE TO END POVERTY
JULY 16TH – JULY 19TH, 2009
Hosted by Women In Transition (WIT), the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign and the Social Welfare Action Alliance will convene their national conferences in Louisville, KY. Community activists and organizers, social workers, human service workers, students, faculty and all who are concerned with meeting human need and claiming economic human rights will together to discuss how to abolish poverty in these times of increasing joblessness, homelessness, hunger and unemployment. We turn to the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, who envisioned an organized "unsettling force" across racial lines that would spark a "revolution of values" to reorganize our society.
The conference will include workshops, panel discussions, Harvey Finkle art exhibit, a demonstration for economic human rights, and a concert in Shelby Park (People's Fest).
Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
PPEHRC Statement to the Honduran People and to the US Gov'tShareThis
Sisters and brothers of Honduras:
The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign of the U.S. is with you every step of the struggle to restore democratically-elected President Zelaya and move forward with the just demands of the Honduran people's movement for a constituent assembly. We recognize your struggle and our struggle as deeply linked. Your actions of dignity, resistance and defiance in the face of a brutal military coup profoundly inspire and motivate us to move forward in the struggle for human rights. We know our government was involved in the coup, just as it has been in so many other cowardly coups against any government which dares listen to and take action on the demands of the most oppressed. We are with you every step of the way in this struggle because, as the saying goes, an injury to one is an injury to all. As the current neoliberal economic model continues to pull down the global economy and make the lives of the poor even harder, it is more important than ever to defend alternatives emerging from the dignified struggles of the oppressed. We will pressure our own government to impose sanctions on the brutal and illegitimate government of Micheletti and we will redouble our own efforts to make another world possible through struggle by and for the poor and all oppressed segments of society.
From the belly of the beast we continue to fight for our own lives. As our economy worsens, millions of us are losing our homes. Millions are dying for lack of health care. Millions are being sent to die in unjust wars around the world. You have stood with us shoulder to shoulder in these fights and now we stand shoulder to shoulder with you in yours. We are horrified at the brutal repression you are facing. We are disgusted at the cowardly actions of the elite and their military. We are outraged at our own government's participation. But we are certain that together we will continue to march towards victory to truly make another world possible.
Down with the illegitimate brutal military regime of Micheletti!
Down with U.S. imperialism and manipulation!
With infinite respect, solidarity and admiration,
Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign
and another statement directed to our own government:
President Barack Obama,
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
We are outraged at the lack of a strong response to the illegal military coup that took place this past Sunday in Honduras. We are poor people of all races from across the U.S.. We are people losing our homes to foreclosure, victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita still waiting for housing, public and subsidized housing residents watching the destruction of our communities, homeless people barely surviving from day to day, mental health patients fighting to save our services, immigrants seeing our families torn apart by raids and deportations, youth of color facing constant harassment from police, families unable to find decent medical care, social workers seeing our offices more and more over-flowing, laid off workers unable to find work, homeless mothers going from shelter to shelter, and homeless families forced to squat in abandoned houses just to put a roof over our heads.
Why then, you ask, do we care about a military coup thousands of miles away in Honduras? Why does it matter to us what the U.S. State Department said in its meeting with top Honduran military officials shortly before the coup? Why does it matter to us that our embassy in Honduras packed up and left a week before the coup? Why do we care that the people of Honduras standing up for democracy are being beaten, tortured, jailed and murdered as we speak? Why does it matter to us that a democratically-elected President who dared to stand up to the business and political elite and back the demands of the Honduran social movement for a new constituent assembly has been brutally kidnapped and exiled? Why does it matter to us that the leader of this military coup was trained in Georgia at the School of Americas? Why, when we are struggling day-to-day for our own survival, will we be taking to the streets and calling and writing to you and working day-and-night to end the military coup in Honduras, thousands of miles away?
Because the people in the streets resisting the coup in Honduras are us. They are our sisters and brothers. They are part of our global movement to end poverty by giving power to the poor. They have dared to imagine a world free from human rights abuses, free from poverty, free from the destruction that market speculation and greed bring upon our communities every day. The non-binding referendum that is at the center of this entire debate is not the initiative of a power-hungry president, as the U.S. media would have us believe. It is the initiative of a popular social movement with deep roots in indigenous communities, rural villages, unions, women's movements, environmentalists, Garifuna and other Afro-Hondurans, farmers and the urban poor. It is not an initiative that comes from Venezuela or Bolivia but rather from the people in Honduras who have dared to imagine a different future for a country that has long been dominated by transnational corporations and a handful of local elites. The people have the right to draft a new constitution. They have a right to imagine a different future. They have a right to go to the ballot box to vote on a popular referendum. The Honduran military, business and political elite know this, and so feared the results of this non-binding referendum that they cowardly kidnapped and exiled the President and are now harshly repressing the population that has taken to the streets in his defense.
In case your information is coming from our government's traditional allies in the Honduran military, business and political elite, or, equally bad, from the major media outlets, let us share some information with you coming directly from our friends in Honduras about the nature of the new, illegitimate regime. They are cracking down brutally on people who have non-violently opposed the coup. Mayors allied with President Zelaya in Olancho have been detained. Six buses on their way to the capital from Olancho had their tires slashed and have been detained by the military. In Colon women's organizations are denouncing the foreful recruitment of kids as young as 10 years old to replace the thousands of soldiers who have deserted. In Yoro eight people were illegally detained for a peaceful protests and a local radio station was destroyed by the military, who brutally repressed the neighbors that tried to defend it peacefully. In Santa Barbara the military has ordered the capture of six mayors and a congressional candidate. People mobilizing to Tegucigalpa from every department of the country are being stopped and detained by the military. Social movement leaders from all of the major human rights organizations in the country are being pursued by the military. The houses of several of these leaders are completely surrounded by the military. Tanks and soldiers are terrorizing innocent civilians in all the major cities of the country. Despite this, our sisters and brothers are taking to the streets every day bravely facing down this military coup. These are just a few snapshots of what is actually happening.
President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, while you have denounced the coup, you have yet to call openly for Manuel Zelaya's reinstatement or to apply sanctions until the democratic process is restored and the democratically-elected President is restored to power. We demand you take these actions immediately and open an investigation into U.S. state department involvement in the coup. You campaigned on a promise of change. Now is the time to make that promise real by breaking with the practice of past Presidents who time and again have supported brutal and illegitimate military regimes either openly or through complacence and inaction in the face of their terror.
The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign
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