Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Georgette Norman on Poverty and Gardening: MontgomeryShareThis
March to Fulfill the Dream PSAShareThis
Monday, April 26, 2010
Insights from Georgette NormanShareThis
Recruiting the Homeless in BirminghamShareThis
Thursday, April 22, 2010
FL PPEHRC: UPCOMING EVENTS REMINDERShareThis
the Refuge Thrift Store. It is located at 510 49th St. South, St. Petersburg. We are looking for donations, especially furniture, electronics, and books. All gifts are tax deductible. In some cases, we both deliver and pick up. Needy families can come to us for assistance. Please call us for donations, pick up of furniture, help for needy families, and directions at 727 278 1547.
APRIL 22nd starting at 700pm CIVIL DISOBEDIANCE ACTION AT CITY HALL WITH THE POOR PEOPLE'S ECONOMIC HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN, THE REFUGE, ST. PETE FOR PEACE, MEMBERS OF THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY, OTHERS AT CITY HALL IN ST. PETE, DINNER WILL BE SERVED, AS PART OF THE POOR PEOPLE'S MARCH. CALL 727 278 1547 FOR INFO. PRESS CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD< THIS ACTION WILL BE A PROTEST IN FRONT OF CITY HALL IN ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA. IT WILL INCLUDE A DINNER FOR THE HOMELESS, HOLDING OF PROTEST SIGNS, PROTESTING THE TREATMENT OF THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY BY THE CITY OF ST. PETE, AND THE POLICE DEPARTMENT. FOR TOO LONG, THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY HAS FACED HARASSMENT BY THE CITY OF ST. PETE AND THE POLICE DEPARTMENT!!! IT MUST END!! NO LONGER SHOULD THE HOMELESS BE HARASSMENT BECAUSE THE HAVE NO HOME AND NO PLACE TO USE THE BATHROOM!! THE PROTEST AND DINNER WILL BE FOLLOWED BY A SLEEP OUT WITH THE HOMELESS BY THOSE WHO HAVE HOMES. THIS EVENT IS SPONSORED BY THE POOR PEOPLE'S ECONOMIC HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN, THE REFUGE, ST PETE FOR PEACE, CONCERNED INDIVIDUALS, ECHO, AND THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY FOR MORE INFO. CALL 727 278 1547
APRIL 22- 24th AT the MISSIO DEI COMMUNITY: " A SUSTAINABLE FAITH: JUSTICE IN THE REAL WORLD" with SPEAKERS: CHERI HONKALA with the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign and Best Selling Author Shane Claiborne. GO TO www.asustainablefaith.com for details
APRIL 25th, SUNDAY at LAKEWOOD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH in St. Petersburg, FLORIDA will be a POOR PEOPLE's RALLY at 7pm with CHERI HONKALA with the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (www.economichumanrights.org) in Philadelphia, PA, and special local guests: Rev. Charles Mckenzie and GW ROLLE with Musical GUESTS, DAVE SHEPARD BLUES BAND. EVENT TAKES PLACE AT 5995 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St or 9th st. South in St. Petersburg, Florida
IN MAY, LOOK FOR EVENTS SURROUNDING NATIONAL HOUSING TAKEOVER MONTH, the POOR PEOPLE'S MARCH, A FILM SHOWING OF "EXPLICIT ILL'S," ( FILM PRODUCED BY MARK WEBBER, SON of CHERI HONKALA), a film with the backdrop of the POOR PEOPLE'S
ECONOMIC HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN, starring Rosario Dawson and Paul Dano, and another Poor People's Rally
QUESTIONS CALL BRUCE @ 727 278 1547 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PS. If you can help with Financial Support for the Refuge. We have some emergency needs for several Families. 2 single moms need financial help to the tune of $1200, $800 for one and $400 the other. One of the Women is 5 months pregnant and is the one that needs $800, she has one child already. This money is to keep her in her place and from being homeless. The other single mom needs help with utilities. Then we have 2 married couples needing help that are currently homeless. If you can help or want details call me at 727 278 1547 or to send gift go to www.refugestpete.org or send c/o the Refuge 1818 29th Ave. north, St. Petersburg, Florida 33713. All gifts are tax deductible. Please designate gift to help families.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Montgomery, AL – Courage to ChangeShareThis
From left: Michael, Jeff, Pastor Elizabeth O'Neill, Gwendolyn, Jason, Bill, Shamako, Abel
We had the privilege to interview Robert and Genie Graetz at the church. The Graetzes were part of the original Poor People’s March in 1968. Before that they were key members of the civil rights community in Montgomery and helped organize the famous Bus Boycott of 1955. They were the only white people who had a church in the black community at that time. They lived across the street from Rosa Parks and were close friends with her and Dr. King. Miss Parks even helped them clean up the glass after their home was bombed by the Ku Klux Klan. Their house was bombed a total of three times. Them and their children survived every attempt to murder them, and the violence didn’t kill their spirits either.
Jeannie and Bob Graetz talk about their involvement in the Civil Rights Movement
“All of us knew that some of us were going to die and we just had to accept that reality and move on. Dr. King used to say in our board meetings, 'Now some of us are going to die. If you can't deal with that you shouldn't be here. It's time for you to leave the meeting and go on your way.' And nobody ever left," Bob told us.
The amazing courage and commitment of the Graetzes and others in that movement empowers us to face the tremendous challenges ahead in the movement to end poverty and build a just world. The Graetzes reaffirmed to us Dr. King’s commitment to economic justice in the last years of his life. Most of the church and civil rights groups who had supported him in the civil rights movement turned against him when he moved his focus to ending poverty and war. Every major news media outlet in the nation attacked him viciously. He continued to follow his conscience and address what he felt were the “giant triplets” causing so much suffering on the planet – racism, imperialism, and capitalism.
“Don’t be afraid to stand by yourself,” Genie Graetz offered us as advice. “A lot of people don't want to do something unless someone else is doing it.”
We also had the pleasure to interview Georgette Norman, Director of the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University and a long time community activist and scholar. She reminded us about all the behind the scenes work that went into making the Civil Rights Movement happen. She gave us a historical context beginning in the late 19th century of activities and organizing brewing which would eventually lead to the Civil Rights Movement.
Interviewing Georgette Norman
“In our culture we like to talk about moments, not movements. But it’s movements that create those powerful moments,” Georgette told us. “They talk about these things in a disempowering way so that no one thinks they can be a King or a Rosa Parks.”
Georgette reminded us that Parks did not just decide to sit down on a bus one day. She was a long-time organizer and was trained in nonviolent civil disobedience. She had been the director of the youth branch of the NAACP. She was part of a network of people who were attending meetings, educating themselves, and strategically planning how to take action in order to win goals that would move them forward. Her act of resistance on that bus was more than a grand moment in history, it was part of a calculated and powerful movement for social justice.
Today, most of the racial and economic inequities that existed then are still around. In some cases they are much worse. The prison population has skyrocketed, and it disproportionately affects poor people and people of color. Wealth inequality is far worse than it was then. The U.S. military, hand in hand with Wall Street thugs, is murdering civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Palestine. So where is the mass movement in opposition?
The U.S. Social Forum will be a space for all of our disconnected movements around the U.S. and the globe to unite, strategize, and plan to take concrete actions to target the systems that affect us all, and fundamentally change our society for the better. Our situation today is also very different than it was in the fifties and sixties. New communication technologies serve to distract, but also empower us in unprecedented ways. Mass media is more consolidated and controlled than ever before. All these factors magnify the need for affected communities and people of conscience to unite in order to build a movement that can truly liberate us from the power structures and heartless institutions that oppress us. We need to unite to build institutions that have compassion, cooperation, and liberation as their driving force. Housing, healthcare, and jobs are not privileges - they are human rights! The U.S. Social Forum will be a major step towards building grassroots movements of courage and conviction that are powerful enough to build the beloved community our ancestors and elders fought for.
Will you join us in Detroit? Register now at ussf2010.org!
Labels: USSF 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Selma, AL – Learning from Slavery and the Civil Rights Movement… The Struggle ContinuesShareThis
Edmund Pettus Bridge into Selma. Site of the infamous Bloody Sunday.
Selma, Alabama was the fourth stop on our 29-city tour from New Orleans to the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit, and it was an unforgettable experience. Ancestors were whispering to me all along the three-hour drive from Mobile to Selma. History has much to say. From slavery to the Civil Rights Movement, Selma has an extraordinary history of African American resistance to white supremacy and economic injustice. Slavery in the United States was the most despicable and barbaric manifestation of capitalist greed and economic exploitation probably in all of human history. Selma was one of its major hubs. That cruel and unjust system was overthrown after hundreds of years of unrelenting struggle. A century later African Americans in Selma played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement which dismantled Jim Crow racial segregation and won the 1965 Voting Rights Act. With such a rich legacy of social struggle to advance the cause of freedom it was shocking to arrive in town and learn almost immediately that Dr. Cecil Williamson, member of a white supremacist hate group, the League of the South, had just become president of City Council in Selma. It was also surprising to see all of the boarded up and abandoned buildings, which bear such a physical resemblance to the Lower 9thWard in New Orleans. It’s an economic storm, not a natural one that boarded up these buildings.
Former headquarters of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Selma. Now another boarded up building.
James Bevel being interviewed on camera.
“The real issue here is what you all are fighting. It’s the poverty,” James Bevel told us, son of the famous Reverand James Bevel, who was perhaps the greatest strategic mastermind of the Civil Rights Movement, a close partner of Martin Luther King Jr. “The only way things will get better is if we address the root causes of poverty instead of applying superficial band aid solutions.”
Bevel is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and currently works as a police officer in Selma. He took us on a tour of the ghettos to show us the economic reality that so many are living. “Poor people stealing from other poor people is a huge problem here. We get calls about people breaking into homes to steal the copper wire out of the walls so they can sell it to feed their addictions or feed their families. Imagine that! That just goes to show you how bad the situation of poverty is here.” Bevel, a strong and independent thinker who was immeasurably influenced by his father, kept returning to the need to address the root causes of the problems facing our communities, our nation, and our planet. He is convinced that capitalism is the root cause of poverty.
The visible signs of economic hardship were clear as soon as we entered town, as they have been in every city of our caravan so far. Here the abandoned buildings and failed businesses bore the scars of deep economic wounds. We wondered how locals would relate this recession to the history of the Civil Rights Movement. From the moment we arrived in town our wonderful hosts expressed how grateful they were for the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign to be there. They were hungering for change.
“It’s still 1965 here,” said Mother Imani, a wise and powerful spirit who called James Bevel Sr. a close teacher and comrade for over 30 years. She has a long history of raising consciousness and community building, especially in Chicago, where she lived before moving to Selma a few years ago. “This is a very important time for Selma. It’s divine intervention that you showed up right now.” The pivotal time comes because poverty and racism can no longer be ignored.
PPEHRC hosted a roundtable discussion on poverty with a number of local community members, radio personalities, and a former city councilman, Johnny Leashore. Leashore’s fearless mother was once beaten with a baton after punching the infamous segregationist sheriff Jim Clark in the face.
From left: Shamako Noble, Sister Mahidera Selassie, Beta Mariam, Jeff Rousset, James Bevel, Cheri Honkala, Lady Freedom, Mother Imani, Johnny Leashore
Race has been used as a weapon to divide people in Selma for hundreds of years while the economic and political elite prospered. Imani and others pointed out to us how Dr. Williamson’s appointment to President of City Council a couple days before our arrival is a testament to how deep the roots of fear and division run within the political establishment and collective consciousness of the people. Everyone kept telling us that inadequate education was central to maintaining the popular stereotypes that keep folks divided along racial and class lines. Poverty, racism, and ignorance need each other to survive. Education, therefore, is crucial to liberation.
Four of our wonderful hosts (and dear new friends), Faya Toure, Sister Mahidera, Beta, and Lady Freedom host radio shows at the Selma based WBFZ 105.3, which reaches up to half of Alabama with hip hop and conscious dialogue about the issues affecting the city and beyond. WBFZ uses media as an educational tool to challenge dominant narratives, raise consciousness, and support social struggles. We had the pleasure to be on the station 6 times to discuss our caravan to the USSF and how it relates to the issues of poverty and racism in Selma.
Faya Toure founded the station years ago and hosts the morning show Faya’s Fire. She is a prominent civil rights attorney and was the first African American woman judge in the state of Alabama. She graciously hosted us in a beautiful loft just blocks from the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Besides getting on the radio we continued creating our own media by filming, photographing, interviewing people and collecting stories to share. One of the fascinating stories was about the slave trade. It’s a story that remains largely hidden. Long underground slave tunnels run beneath Selma. This is not the underground railroad, which was actually above ground. These tunnels were used to transport slaves and goods throughout the city for distribution to the wealthy white people who could afford them. Locals believe city officials may be planning to destroy these historic landmarks when developing new real estate in order to erase the history of slavery in Selma.
“We have to tell people about what happened here,” said Mahidera. “They don’t want people to think of slavery when they think of Selma. We can’t let them cover it up.”
In order to get a closer look, Abel, Lady Freedom, and I actually crawled into one of these dark tunnels, not a historically preserved landmark, but a small opening overgrown with weeds and hidden from sight off the banks of the Alabama River. Locals believe it’s here that slaves were taken off the boats from Africa and moved underground through the tunnel system. They were held in underground dungeons before being sold on Water Avenue. We saw one of the original iron doors from a holding cellar at Major Grumbles, a former slave auction house which is now a restaurant.
The city’s plan to hide the truth about slavery is a way to manipulate history. It’s a common practice used by economic and political elites to disempower people by making invisible the structural and institutional realities that have for centuries caused the miserable conditions they endure. Without this historical context of economic terrorism, exploitation, and government support for the wealthy at the expense of the many, it is easy for people to blame themselves for being poor. Today there are concerted efforts to hide history and hide reality: the poor, the homeless, the masses who are marginalized by our economic system. A major function of the March to Fulfill the Dream is to shine a light on those who have been disappeared.
Lady Freedom and Jeff inside an underground slave tunnel.
Major Grumbles Restaurant, formerly the site of slave sales.
PPEHRC has several powerful ways to get the truth out on this caravan. One we debuted in Selma is the stage and sound system on the 24 ft long Bands for Lands truck traveling with us to Detroit! The stage pulls out the side and two huge sliding doors open for impromptu performances. We put on two open mic shows in Selma, featuring local artists and our own Shamako Noble. One show was at a local park and another at the only public high school in the city. The high school students, as well as our gracious hosts, Lady Freedom and Sister Mahidera from WBFZ, busted out awesome talent with spoken word, singing, rapping, and freestyling. Conscious hip hop and old freedom songs gave us inspiration and unity. Arts and culture have always strengthened social justice movements.
3127 Boys singing "City of Selma" at Selma High.
Nonviolence may be the greatest lesson that Selma has to offer us. Nonviolence was a core principle of the leading civil rights organizations in Selma, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC is celebrating its 50 year anniversary this weekend) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Our hosts welcomed us with a spirit that reminds us that nonviolence is more than just a strategic way to campaign - it’s a living code of conduct for all relationships and situations. Imani referred often to the science of nonviolence that James Bevel spent his life developing. She spoke about the importance of nonviolence to animals and the Earth and to ourselves, especially with regards to the food we eat. She says, “Nonviolence to the Earth will gain us a beautiful future.” Nonviolence provides important core principles for building a mass movement to end poverty in Selma and beyond.
Bloody Sunday Memorial across from National Voting Rights Museum at the entrance of Edmund Pettus Bridge.
On March 7th, 1965 over 500 demonstrators with the Civil Rights Movement embarked on a nonviolent march from Selma to Montgomery in their struggle for voting rights. While crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge out of Selma they were brutally attacked with batons, tear gas, and police on horseback. Dozens were hospitalized and some nearly killed. That day has come to be known as Bloody Sunday. The images of peaceful people being viciously attacked by police helped gain national support for the Voting Rights Act and it was passed shortly thereafter. The courageous action of the nonviolent warriors of the Civil Rights Movement, especially those who were beaten, arrested, and murdered for taking a stand, gives us inspiration and strength as we move forward with our nonviolent movement to end poverty.
The best part of our visit to Selma was the incredible people we met. We were embraced with open arms before even arriving. The authentic human connection we found there is rare, but reminds us of our connection to each other and the Earth. We know that we’ve built long-term relationships that will carry into the future to help Selma and the rest of the world create the beloved community which Dr. King dreamed of.
On our way out we were told that two 15-passenger vans will probably be required to bring folks, especially youth, from Selma to Detroit for the U.S. Social Forum! We are looking forward to reconnecting with our new family in Detroit or sooner along the caravan route.
Much love and thanks to Mother Imani, Faya Toure, Johnny Leashore, James Bevel, Lady Freedom, Beta, Justice, Hari, all the children, WBFZ 105.3, and especially Sister Mahidera, who spent tremendous time and energy organizing logistics during our visit. We love you all!
Sister Mahidera singing in the park.
Labels: USSF 2010
NY Times - When Foreclosure Threatens Elder-Care HomesShareThis
Thursday, April 15, 2010ShareThis
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Mobile, AL - Witness the Invisible - March to Fulfill the DreamShareThis
Today is day 10 of our caravan to the U.S. Social Forum. It’s our last day in Mobile, Alabama. The most striking part of our visit here was the homelessness. A couple of the homeless men we met in the town square, Derrick and Chris, showed us through a homeless encampment in the woods just minutes from the city center. Hundreds of homeless people live in these woods. A hidden network of paths winds deep through the trees and marshlands with tents, furniture, and people animating the landscape. Chris brought us to his family’s tent, where his wife, Stacy, and a friend of theirs were pulling copper out of trash that they had found to sell the scrap metal to companies. Stacy is pregnant with twins. Chris worked on supply boats until he was laid off months ago and could no longer afford to pay the rent. After spending some time on the streets he and Stacy decided to head into the woods with their family.
“There aren’t enough shelters in the city and the police always harass us. This is the only place where nobody bothers us,” said Stacy.
This makeshift homeless city in the woods, surrounded by snakes and alligator-filled swamps, is a harsh example of the desperate conditions forced upon the poor in the United States. It’s also a sobering reminder of how many people are hanging on by just a thread, and how an economic recession destroys people’s lives when there is no sufficient social safety net in place to protect them when our economic system fails to meet their needs.
After touring the homeless encampment a wonderful woman named Dora took us on a driving tour of the African American Heritage Trail, where the history of African American resistance to racism and colonialism in Mobile has been preserved for hundreds of years. Mobile is a city on the Gulf of Mexico that was historically a hub for the slave trade, with ships coming in from Africa to deliver slaves for the Southern market. Today, the slave trade is long gone, but people of all races still suffer the plight of poverty.
Less than 10 minutes away from the hidden city in the woods, wealthy bankers in suits stroll past dozens of homeless people in the park, a visual expression of the drastic wealth inequality which characterizes our economy. In the park Derrick tells us about the contracting company that recruits homeless people to work for $4 or $5 an hour, well below minimum wage, doing dangerous roofing work and handling asbestos.
“He told me if I ever fell off the roof I would be fired before I hit the ground!” Derrick told us of his unlicensed superior.
The contracting company works to fix up houses owned by one of the local bankers. Shamako Noble of our team helped organize a meeting with Derrick and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to talk about the dangerous and illegal labor practices employed by these contractors.
We’re grateful to the United Methodist Inner City Mission for letting us park our giant truck on their property and letting us use their facilities. UMICM became a homeless women’s shelter after Hurricane Katrina to meet the overwhelming need for such a facility. Today it remains the only homeless women’s shelter in all of Mobile and is stretched beyond capacity.
Finally, everywhere we went in Mobile we shared our vision of a better world, one without homelessness, unemployment, and poverty. We talked about our March to Fulfill the Dream, the legacy of Dr. King, the movement to end poverty, and the U.S. Social Forum. We hope that some of our new friends will meet us in Detroit for the USSF!
We’ll have more pictures and videos from New Orleans, Waveland, and Mobile online soon. Another car has joined us from Gulfport, Mississippi on our caravan. Now off to Selma, Alabama!
Labels: USSF 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
March to Fulfill the Dream, New Orleans - Voices of the HomelessShareThis
Labels: USSF 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
March to Fulfill the Dream - Cheri Honkala and Khalilah Collins on the Tavis Smiley Show talk about the March and the U.S. Social Forum!ShareThis
The March to Fulfill the Dream visits the Lower 9th Ward VillageShareThis
We interviewed Mack about the village and the positive steps people are making to restore the foundations of their community.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Waveland, MS-The struggle for homesShareThis
Today our delegation arrived here in Waveland, Mississippi. We immediately connected with our hostess Cheryl and experienced some southern hospitality. After being taken to the home of the Krings, we checked out the beach and the site of Katrina destruction that is far from recovered. We were served delicious beans, rice and cornbread. Then, after Sgt. Kring arrived we were treated to a powerful interview with the Krings and their attorney, Andrew Canter (Mississippi Center for Justice). We're working on editing the footage now. Look for updates with footage, photos and much more.
Monday, April 5, 2010
MN PPEHRC: Update for 3/27 -4/3ShareThis
Leslie Park's bank just issued an ultimatum that she obtain financing to close on buying her home for $100,000 by May 15th. Clearly time is critical. IF YOU KNOW of any lender who would facilitate a fixed-rate mortgage agreement with her even though her good credit rating was ruined as a result of her bank's policies and actions --PLEASE contact us ASAP!
Meanwhile she will be speaking Friday, April 9, 4:30 p.m., on behalf of Michael Kidd (1321 23rd Ave. in North Minneapolis)-see below for details.
Barbara Byrd STILL has not received ANY response from EMC Mortgage. She waits for a call, watches for a letter, and listens every day for a knock on the door, wondering what's going to happen.
Linda Norenberg is PREPARING to celebrate her victory--but NOT until papers are signed on a rate that she can afford to keep her family home in Robbinsdale. Hats off to Linda, her family and supporters...and especially to her generous lawyer Kelly for keeping up the pressure for so many months on the bank, holding out for an acceptable outcome.
Ann Patterson is tired of making trial payments -several months past the "trial period"-to Wells Fargo that were not paying down principal. Rather than continue living in limbo indefinitely, she has taken initiative and informed Wells Fargo that she will not give her house back to the bank on a short sale-a sale that only would benefit the bank, yet still slam her credit rating. She hopes to move her family into rental housing as early as next month. Watch for details and date for likely yard-sale. Meantime, the bank keeps asking for her current payment! Apparently they still don't get it.
Rosemary Williams started out today from New Orleans on the PPEHRC caravan and March to Fulfill the Dream http://www.ussf2010.org/node/68 from the Delta to Detroit in time for the U.S.Social Forum (USSF) being held June 22-26. She has been making preliminary contacts with activists in the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement in cities en-route like Selma, Birmingham, and Montgomery. Many of us from Minnesota will be joining the caravan and/or attending the USSF. She plans on returning to Minneapolis briefly in mid-April, then rejoining the marchers as she continues inspiring others along the way with her message of resistance.
STAY TUNED for announcements of our April 15th housing action on Chicago Avenue and our May 9th Mother's Day memorial gathering in honor of Ona Kingbird, fallen hero.
The Coalition for a People's Bailout is calling for justice for Michael Kidd who has been fighting to keep his home for over a year. The mortgage servicer, Aurora Financial, has been stalling, changing terms, 'forgetting' about past agreements and items faxed and mailed several times and apparently refusing to negotiate in good faith. Mr. Kidd, an independent trucker, in 2004 put down $45,000 cash on a regular, fixed-rate mortgage. Because of the recession, his trucking business slowed. Last year, he tried to renegotiate the terms of his mortgage so his payments would be more affordable - with the expectation, based on the terms of the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), that the home's current value would be taken into account. In 2004, when Kidd bought the house, it was valued at $190,000. Now it is valued between $65,000 and $90,000. Aurora Financial, in direct contradiction the federal HAMP program, is not offering to refinance the home at its "net present value." For a map of the location of his home, go to (http://tinyurl.com/y9mg8s7).
Minnesota Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign
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March to Fulfill the Dream Launches in New OrleansShareThis
Marian Kramer - National Welfare Rights Union, PPEHRC, Michigan Welfare Rights Union, USSF Poverty Working Group
Stephanie Mingo - Survivor's Village
Labels: USSF 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
ME PPEHRC statewide meeting: Sat 3/27 10AM-2 PM In Portland.ShareThis
Sorry for the short notice of this meeting; we hope you will be available and can come.
Maine PPEHRC statewide meeting on Saturday, March 27, 10 AM-2 PM at the Meg Perry Center, 644 Congress St., Portland.
ANYONE IN MAINE IS URGED TO COME. WE CAN PAY FOR TRAVEL COSTS TO THIS MEETING.
A couple of things to discuss (more to be added at the meeting):
1. Bringing in more people to Maine PPEHRC
2. How to spend some of the money from grants to Maine PPEHRC
3. Reports on projects (statewide convention, etc.) and plans for more projects
If you need transportation or can give someone a ride, contact Larry, 525-7776 or email@example.com.
Labels: ME PPEHRC
What Would Jesus Do for Easter?ShareThis
What Would Jesus Do for Easter? by Pam Nath
This coming week, Christians around the world will commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Do you have plans to commemorate this Holy Week? I'd like to urge you to spend part of your Easter Sunday joining with Survivors Village for a Right to Return March and Rally. When you think of Easter, you probably don't think of a political rally. You probably think of church services, Easter parades, the Easter bunny, Easter baskets full of sweets, egg hunts and family gatherings. What does a “Right to Return March and Rally” have to do with Easter??
The word commemorate comes from the Latin “commemorāre” which means “to be mindful of.” During Holy Week, Christians should be mindful of how Jesus lived his life, how that got him killed, and how his resurrection demonstrates that the ability to kill and destroy posssessed by this world's “powers that be” does not have the final word.
So how did Jesus live his life? What did he do that so alienated and enraged the religious and political leaders of his day, enough so that they decided the best option was to kill him? What does following his example in these things mean for us in 2010? In what way are we called to “live out” the final word of resurrection? These questions are ones that I believe all committed Christians need to struggle with.
When I think of Jesus' life, I think of his first public proclamation of what his life was all about: “to bring good news to the poor...to proclaim release to the captives...recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.” (Luke 4: 16-21). I think of how he “hung out” with poor folks and others who the society of the day saw as undesirables (the kind of folks that many folks might want to clear from their neighborhood or city if given the chance to create a “new” New Orleans) (cf: Mark 13: 41-44; Luke 7: 36-49; Mark 5: 24-34; Mark 1: 40-43; John 4: 1-27). I think of his saying “You cannot serve both God and wealth” (Matthew 6:24), telling the rich man to sell all that he had and give it to the poor (Matt 19: 16-24), and claiming that we would be judged by how we respond to the poor (Luke 17: 19-31). I think of him overturning the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple just a few days before he was killed (Matt 21: 12-18).
Survivors Village is a group of former St. Bernard Housing Development residents and their allies. The demolition of St Bernard and other public housing developments in New Orleans was “justified” with the promise that residents would be granted newer, safer, and more modern housing. Instead, residents are being systematically excluded from the land they lived on prior to the storm using income requirements, credit and background checks and other oppressive rules. This is on top of the fact that from the beginning, plans excluded them from 75% of the rebuilt apartments which were reserved for mixed income (non-poor) tenants.
So on Easter Sunday, April 4 at 5 pm, Survivors Village will be hosting a Right to Return March and Rally. The rally at 3800 St. Bernard Ave. will also serve as the starting point for the Poor People's Economic and Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC)'s march from New Orleans to Detroit Michigan for the US Social Forum. Come live out your commitment as a follower of Jesus on this day when we commemorate ressurection by joining with Survivors Village and PPEHRC and sending a message to today's “powers that be” that their plans to destroy the former St. Bernard neighborhood will not have the final word.
A Sustainable Faith ConferenceShareThis
St. Petersburg, FL--On April 23-24, 2010, the Missio Dei Community in St. Petersburg, Florida, hosts a conversation for those who value caring for the poor, human rights issues, and sustainable living.
Kicking off this two-day event with a talk and an interactive workshop is best-selling author and well-known social activist Shane Claiborne, who travels extensively speaking about peacemaking and social justice.
Shane is joined by writers Danielle Shroyer, Spencer Burke, Nick Fiedler, and John Franke. Workshop leaders include local practitioners Christopher Dixon, Charity Dixon, Cheri Honkala, Bruce Wright, and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers among many others.
Together, participants will explore the question: Can we be committed to social justice as a sustainable way of life?
There is an opportunity on April 22 to journey to Immokalee, Florida, to meet with migrant farm workers to learn about their progress fighting for fair wages and working conditions.
Through April 18 preregistration is $65 for the weekend and $49 for students, pastors, and social workers. Beginning April 19, the full registration price is $85 per person.
The Missio Dei Community (Located within Albright United Methodist Church)
2750 5th Ave N
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
CONTACT: Joe Esposito
TEL: (941) 704-3105
Calling all artists to the PPEHRC tent at the US Social Forum in Detroit!ShareThis
AND you are also encouraged to stop by the tent and drop off your testimony about how, as an artist, you are struggling to survive in the richest country on earth. This testimony will be put up on the PPEHRC web site where it will be seen by countless people around the world.
AND you should know that PPERHC is leading a march from New Orleans to the US Social Forum in Detroit (April 4-June 21). You can see the route of the march at economichumanrights.org. If you can get to any of the stops along the way and would like to perform or display your art, contact Mic Crenshaw at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also drop off your testimony anywhere during the march.
More information is available at www.economichumanrights.org.
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