Quakers and the Poor People’s Campaign

Last night Rev. William Barber spoke to Quakers gathered for this year’s meetings of the Friends General Conference at the University of Toledo. He mentioned attending Quaker meetings as a child. He spoke about two Quaker abolitionists who are heroes/sheroes to him, Lucretia Mott and Levi Coffin.


He said the Poor People’s Campaign of the 1960’s didn’t die, it was killed when Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. Fifty years later the Poor People’s Campaign begins again.

Beginning in April, 2013, Rev Barber began the Moral Mondays movement in North Carolina. This movement is based upon building coalitions of many groups to work together on social justice issues. This is referred to as a “fusion” movement, where people and organizations put aside their differences, and work together on the issues they agree about. Secondly, the Moral Mondays movement is based upon peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience as the necessary means of being a moral, public voice, since laws are often used to silence dissent.

The Moral Mondays movement gradually spread to other states. Erin Polley (AFSC) in Indianapolis was one of the key leaders in Indiana. A number of North Meadow Friends, the Kheprw Institute (KI) community, our Keystone Pledge of Resistance group in Indianapolis were among those who organized and built Indiana Moral Mondays. Rev. Barber joined us for the launch of Indiana Moral Mondays in June, 2015. Slowly a network of similar groups working together on social justice issues was being built around the country.

The next steps were to provide MPOLIS (Moral Political Organizing Leadership Institute Summit) events around the country. These events occurred in about 20 cities in the United States, as part of a new organization named Repairers of the Breach.  Building on the work of Moral Mondays, this is the beginning of a movement to return moral values to our broken political and economic systems.  Rev. Barber explained this eloquently to the nation with  his wonderful speech at the Democratic National Convention. I was able to attend the Institute in Indianapolis in August, 2016.

The purpose of these MPOLIS sessions was to provide local faith leaders with the tools to examine social conditions from a faith perspective and for movement building.   One of the tools explored was the use of theomusicology.  A friend, Yin Min Kyi posted a short video of one song we sang:   We won’t be silent anymore

“Today we stand as truth-tellers witnessing to the pain and suffering caused by the injustices within our community and across this country.  We gather to declare that we need a moral revival, a radical revolution of values.”   https://kairoscenter.org/revival-time-moral-revolution-values/

Higher Ground Moral Declaration

We declare that the deepest public concerns of our nation and faith traditions are how our society treats the poor, those on the margins, the least of these, women, children, workers, immigrants and the sick; equality and representation under the law; and the desire for peace, love and harmony within and among nations.

Together, we lift up and defend the most sacred moral principles of our faith and constitutional values, which are: the economic liberation of all people; ensuring every child receives access to quality education; healthcare access for all; criminal justice reform; and ensuring historically marginalized communities have equal protection under the law.

Our moral traditions have a firm foundation upon which to stand against the divide-and-conquer strategies of extremists. We believe in a moral agenda that stands against systemic racism, classism, poverty, xenophobia, and any attempt to promote hate towards any members of the human family.

We claim a higher ground in partisan debate by returning public discourse to our deepest moral and constitutional values.

The Revival

The idea of revivals is far removed from my Quaker experience, but I attended one October 3, 2016.  I rode my bicycle about 6 miles to a large church on the north side of Indianapolis that eventually completely filled with people–a rough estimate would be 700 or so.  This is related to the Moral Political Organizing Leadership Institute Summit I attended in August, where Rev William Barber taught us about the national campaign for the Revival: A Time for a Revolution in Moral Values.   These events are live streamed and also recorded.  You can see last night’s event here. The initial call to action is to get out the vote for the November elections.

The litany from the revival:

Martin Luther King said, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.  The truth must be told.”
Today we stand as truth-tellers witnessing to the pain and suffering caused by the injustices within our community and across the country.  We gather to declare that we need a moral revival, a radical revolution of values.  And we call on the prophets of old from the sacred texts of the world’s religions who proclaimed:
Congregation:  “This is what the Lord says:   Do what is just and right.  Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed.  Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.”  Jeremiah 22:3
As with these sacred texts, we, too proclaim revival across this land as we sound the alarm and join hand in hand.
Leader:  We join voice with voice until all are heard and arm in arm until all are seen.
All:  Hallelujah, Thine the glory.
Hallelujah, Amen.
Hallelujah, Thine the glory.
Revive us again!

Rev. William Barber’s article The Third Reconstruction, was published in the Friends Journal, September 1, 2016. “Quakers, it’s time to get back into the public square. If you believe that there’s life above the snake line, it’s time to get back in the public square.”

More from the article:  “That’s what Quakers were doing when they stood against slavery. They said slavery was below the snake line. Hate is below the snake line. Racism is below the snake line. Homophobia and xenophobia are below the snake line. Greed is below the snake line. Injustice is below the snake line. It’s time for us to raise the moral standard above the snake line.”

For this moral revolution to succeed it will take masses of people going to the streets to let the world know that our society needs to move above the snake line. I’ve since written a series of articles about how we get back into the public square.

All this organizing and training has led to the launch of the new Poor People’s Campaign fifty years after the one in the late 1960’s.

“This coming Mother’s Day, the Poor People’s Campaign will launch 40 days of coordinated protests, including civil disobedience, in 30 states. On June 23, they will organize a mobilization in the nation’s capital, just as the 1968 campaign did only a couple months after the assassination of Dr. King.”

And the list of demands can be found here:   https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/demands/

The efforts now will focus on massive voter registration and turnout.

How do you respond when Rev Barber says, “Quakers, it’s time to get back into the public square”?


Posted in Arts, Black Lives, civil disobedience, climate change, Indiana Moral Mondays, Keystone Pledge of Resistance, Kheprw Institute, Poor Peoples Campaign, Quaker Meetings, race, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fourth of July

Concerning Fourth of July celebrations, James West Davidson writes,

“But the best orators who have marked the day have understood that our nation’s laurels are not meant to be rested on. Fourth of July speeches tend to divide into two sorts. The predominant variety is commemorative, celebratory, and prescriptive—solemnized, as John Adams predicted in 1776, “with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.”
But in his exuberance, Adams failed to anticipate that the Fourth, as it brought Americans together, would continually threaten to tear them apart. Over the years, celebrations of the Fourth have become a periodic tug of war between commemorations designed to affirm and even enforce the common identity of Americans—out of many, one—and subversive pushback from those obstreperous enough to insist that we are not all free, emphatically not all equal, and certainly not one.”

July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, Frederick Douglass delivered “What to the slave is the 4th of July?”

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Having spent time these past several years with Native Americans as we worked to protect water, I am also wondering what they think about the 4th of July. The day my father and I attended the Meskwaki Powwow was the day military veterans were honored. Veterans were also honored at the Prairie Awakening ceremony. Not having spoken with a Native American about this, I have been reading different views about the 4th of July.

“The Secretary of the Interior issued this Code of Regulations (Code of Indian Offenses) in 1884, 1894, and 1904 through Indian Affairs Commissioner’s circulars and Indian agent directives. Indian superintendents and agents implemented the code until the mid-1930s. During this 50-year period, Indian spiritual ceremonies such as the Sun Dance and Ghost Dance were held in secret or ceased to exist. Some have since been revived or reintroduced by Indian tribes.
In response to this policy of cultural and religious suppression, some tribes saw in the 4th of July and the commemoration of American independence a chance to continue their own important ceremonies. Superintendents and agents justified allowing reservations to conduct ceremonies on the 4th of July as a way for Indians to learn patriotism to the United States and to celebrate its ideals. That history is why a disproportionate number of American Indian tribal gatherings take place on or near the 4th of July and are often the social highlights of the year. Over time these cultural ceremonies became tribal homecomings. American Indian veterans in particular were welcomed home as modern-day warriors. The Navajo Tribe of Arizona and Pawnee of Oklahoma are two examples of tribes that use the 4th of July as an occasion to honor their tribal veterans.”   http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/what-to-the-slave-is-the-fourth-of-july/

Many Native Americans evidently have feelings similar to other people of color, feeling the celebration ironic considering the continued oppression of Native Americans today.

“Now, your question might be wondering if July 4th is a time for sadness or bitterness toward the US for its long history of bullying, White supremacy, theft, tyranny, oppression, and cultural annihilation. Kiowas ain’t got time for that; it’s more important to remember that past so as to prevent a recurrence in the future. By the early 20th century, most Kiowas were fine being “Americans” too. We’re dual citizens, basically. And the men in particular relished the chance to gain war glory fighting for the red-white-and-blue. At the big annual Gourd Dance, every day starts and end with a flag song, where the US flag is raised high at the start, and lowered ceremoniously at the end. Other gourd dances often specifically honor veterans and brave warriors who’ve served in the US armed forces.”  What do Native Americans do on the Fourth of July? Andrew McKenzie, Kiowa Indian

The newly launched Poor People’s Campaign is attempting to be a “fusion” movement, pulling all who suffer injustice together in common cause. To work together to form “a more perfect union”, a phrase found in the Preamble to the U.S Constitution, and also the title of the speech Barack Obama delivered at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Noting his proximity to Independence Hall, Obama highlighted the tension between the ideals of equal citizenship and freedom expressed in the Constitution and America’s history of slavery, and connected the American Civil War and civil rights movement with the goals of his own campaign, “to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America.”


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Quakers and Peace Today

Much has been written about the role of some Quakers in the Underground Railroad, that network of safe places where those escaping enslavement found help on their journey northward. It seems not as many Friends were involved as we might have thought. It was recognized that it would not be possible to speak against enslavement when one had their own enslaved people. Over many years, those Quakers who had enslaved people working for them released them.

Looking back to those times, it is difficult to believe that any Quaker could participate in the enslavement of others. There are many other conflicts Friends find while living in the United States today, including white privilege, fossil fuel consumption, excessive consumption, racism, intrusion of religion into politics, stigmatizing and oppressing “others”, militarism and the endless war on terror.

What are we doing today that future generations will look back on and find it hard to believe we lived as we are now?

The Peace Testimony has been a fundamental part of Quakerism. For centuries many Friends have worked against, and refused to participate in war. But the nature of war has changed. Our country has found ways to be involved in international conflicts without formal declarations of war. It was a shrewd move to build volunteer armed forces, making it possible for most citizens to pretend the country is not at war. Protests against war largely went away when the children of the upper and middle classes were no longer directly threatened.

Here is a link to a collection of stories Iowa Quaker Don Laughlin gathered that he titled “Young Quaker Men Face War and Conscription.”  https://1drv.ms/b/s!Avb9bFhezZpPiaMFA58DbzX6vnhaYw

Many people still think of peace as the absence of war. Or today, think of peace as the condition where war can be adroitly hidden from view. But the fighting, death and destruction continue.

A common message heard during rallies and demonstrations is “No Justice, No Peace.”  We are not at peace as long as any among us are oppressed. When one of us is in pain, we all experience pain. We feel the shared pain of children torn away from their families on our southern border, for example.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was led to speak out against the Vietnam War, a decision many in the civil rights movement disagreed with. Many feared that would dilute the campaigns for social justice, but Dr. King recognized how this was all related.

Speaking out against militarism and gun violence are among the many themes of the new Poor People’s Campaign. Working with this campaign to address injustices is one way to work for peace today.

Here is a link to a SWAY presentation about “Peacebuilding” I created several years ago: https://sway.com/GHWWMUcypHaJ1K4S

I recently came across the following Theory of Active Peace by John Wilmerding.

The Theory of Active Peace

August 8, 2015 at 3:15 PM

The Theory of Active Peace– by John Wilmerding (January 4, 2009)

Presented here, for comment and discussion, are the five developmental stages toward Active Peace.

[0. ‘Surface’ — conformity without question. Unconsciousness, unawareness, denial, or opposition to issues of social conscience involving violence, oppression, subjugation.]

1. ‘Acquiescence’ — You know there is something wrong, but take no action, or it doesn’t affect how you live your life. Your response is to remain ‘quiet’ to others and within yourself. “Things have always been this way … there is nothing that I or anyone else can do to change them.”

2. ‘Pacifism’ — You are no longer quiet within yourself. Your discomfiture with violence, oppression, etc. begins to affect how you live your life. You might turn the other cheek in a fight, for example. You are likely to witness to others (and to yourself) that organized violence and oppression is wrong.

3. ‘Passive Nonviolent Resistance’ — Many or all of your private decisions become influenced or governed by conscience. ‘Conscientious objection’. You make changes in your own behavior by reasons of conscience but are not necessarily social about it, or don’t publicly, systematically cite your actions or your reasons for them. It’s also akin to the concept of ‘standing aside’ or of ‘abstaining’ on a vote.

4. ‘Active Nonviolent Resistance’ — You take social leadership in attempting to thwart the forces of violence, oppression, and subjugation, or join with others who do, publicly, and attempting to spread the word about the initiative and get others to take part. ‘Standing In The Way’.

5. The triad of ‘Active Peace’:

5A. ‘Peacemaking’ — the transformation of conflicts away from violence, oppression, and subjugation by social and political means. Mediation, conferencing, circles peacemaking, and kindred ‘encounter’ forms. ‘Workshop’ methods such as AVP can also be effective. There are hybrid forms (encounter/workshop) such as HROC, a spinoff of AVP in Rwanda.

5B. ‘Peacekeeping’ — Nonviolent Accompaniment. Need not be organized or public in its motivations, but is more effective when it is done publicly, and the reasons are publicized. [Not what the UN does with guns and uniforms, though they call it that.] Most well-known exemplars are Nonviolent Peaceforce, the proposed Canadian Civilian Peace Service, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Muslim Peacemaker Teams. “Why are the missiles called peacekeepers when they’re aimed to kill?” — Tracy Chapman

5C. ‘Peacebuilding’ — Sustainable Development — providing for human needs so that the associated conflicts involving sustaining life (land, water, food, health care, etc.) are ameliorated or eliminated. Fair Trade as opposed to ‘”free trade”. Local economic initiatives. Local alternative currencies. Barter economies. ‘Organic’ agriculture. Methods of redistribution of wealth, including economic stimuli, may be useful on the way to more synergistic outcomes where the weal is more naturally held and distributed in common.

One interesting aspect of the five-stages theory seems to be that the next one only becomes visible or understandable to you once you have attained the one before. In this way, each stage represents a ‘perspective’, both individual and social, and social ‘organisms’ can be said to progress through the stages as well as individual ones.

Another dynamic is that, for various psychological reasons I won’t go into here, people or social groups can vary in how they move through the stages, and sometimes regress. However, my understanding is that one one has a firm purchase on a stage, retrogression becomes much more unlikely. Human beings and social organizations are very complex, however, so there is still much more to learn about how to bring everyone into higher stages. Education about these things is both inevitable and necessary.

Of the five stages, only Active Peace — stage V — can accurately be interpreted as ‘the ocean of light flowing over the ocean of darkness.’

by John Wilmerding




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Race, Culture and Ideology

In a review of the book The Great Alignment: Race, Party Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump,” Paul Rosen writes:

Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz argues that Trump is the product of an ongoing multigenerational process that has reshaped American politics. In this view, Trump is a striking result of that process, but not a departure from what’s been happening for some time — and will likely continue along similar lines after he’s gone.

Most fundamentally, Abramowitz argues that the New Deal coalition “based on three major pillars: the white South, the heavily unionized northern white working class, and northern white ethnics” was eroded by post-World War II changes that have transformed American society. Those resenting the changes have become increasingly Republican, those welcoming them, increasingly Democratic:

This transformation has included the civil rights revolution, the expansion of the regulatory and welfare state that was first created during the New Deal era, large-scale immigration from Latin America and Asia, the changing role of women, the changing structure of the American family, the women’s rights and gay rights movements, and changing religious beliefs and practices.

Three cleavages were most prominent in this process — race, culture and ideology — but they each had their own trajectories as well as interactions with the nation’s political geography.

You explain partisan polarization in terms of three main divides: racial, cultural and ideological, with the racial divide being the most important. What’s most important about the trajectory of change they’ve gone through, and what’s the most striking evidence to illuminate it?

I’d say what is most striking about the trajectory of change is that, at least with regard to the first two trends, they are driven by forces that seem likely to continue for some time. In the case of the racial divide, we know that the population, and therefore the electorate, will become increasingly diverse for decades. This is driven by the effects of differential fertility rates as well as immigration. As diversity increases, it is also almost inevitable that so will the negative reaction among a large segment of the white electorate.

With regard to the cultural divide, I see it likely to grow for some time due to the deep generational divide within the electorate. Young people in the U.S. are much less likely to be white and Christian than older people. So generational replacement will inevitably increase the proportion of the population who are non-Christian or secular in outlook, and this will almost certainly produce a negative reaction and pushback from those with more traditional beliefs

What can we do to bridge these divides? Shouldn’t our role as peacemakers be to work to break down racial, cultural and ideological divisions?

Nonviolence teaches us the way to address conflict is to deeply listen to everyone involved, and to understand that we ourselves must change if we expect others to change. How many of us have been willing to engage with those who are different from us racially, culturally or ideologically?

Personally, I have written and spoken a lot about how much I learned and was changed by my connections with the Kheprw Institute (KI), the Black youth mentoring and empowerment community in Indianapolis. And by opportunities to engage with Native Americans at the Prairie Awakening/Prairie Awoke celebration, as well as work with Native Americans in Indianapolis as water protectors and our efforts to stop the Dakota Access pipeline. More recently I have had opportunities to work with the Poor People’s Campaign.

Quakers are familiar with the following story about Margaret Fell. “You will say, ‘Christ saith this, and the apostles say this;’ but what canst thou say? Art thou a child of the Light, and hast thou walked in the Light, and what thou speakest, is it inwardly from God?”  This opened me so, that it cut me to the heart; and then I saw clearly we were all wrong. So I sat down in my pew again, and cried bitterly: and I cried in my spirit to the Lord, “We are all thieves; we are all thieves; we have taken the scriptures in words, and know nothing of them in ourselves.”

We have to look at our own lives and find what we ourselves can do to bridge the racial, cultural and ideological divisions in our communities. I believe this starts by looking for opportunities to be with and work with those who are different from ourselves.

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Family Separation

Following is a Minute approved by Bear Creek Friends Meeting of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative), 6/24/2018.

Family Separation

In the face of almost universal condemnation at home and abroad, we are glad the President has reversed his decision to forcibly remove children from their families at our southern border. Unfortunately, much damage has already been done, to the children and their families, and to our social fabric. The least we can do is work for the immediate reunion of these children with their families. That should include providing transportation back to this country for those who were deported while their children were held in camps here. Mental health services should be provided to those traumatized children.

Congress should pass legislation to ensure this never happens again.

The administration should stop restricting the ability of people to apply for asylum. The change in policy that does not recognize fear of domestic abuse or rape as credible fear should be rescinded. Morally, crossing the border without papers is not criminal, but survival.

Efforts by both our government and non-governmental organizations to improve conditions in those countries refugees are fleeing from is a crucial part of addressing immigration.

Underlying all this must be reclaiming the moral narrative for our public policies. Too much of what the current administration has done, and continues to do, is related to stigmatizing those who are seen as “others”.  We should instead embrace diversity.

Bear Creek Friends Meeting, Earlham, Iowa

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National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service

According to Quaker House of Fayetteville, North Carolina, one of the few listening sessions of the new congressional National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service will be held:

Vinton, Iowa at 
Wesley Methodist Church
516 2nd Avenue
June 26, 2018,
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

The Mandate:  This commission is tasked with gathering information in order to make proposals for updating the regulations and laws in the following areas:

Selective Service—Is it still needed or should it be discontinued, does anything need to be changed?
Draft—The Selective Service is the draft.  Currently, all 18-year-old men (and the Commission is considering women) are required to register with the Selective Service, and your local draft board is currently staffed.  If, at any point, Congress and the President authorize a draft, everything is already in place for it to be implemented instantaneously.
Military, National, Public Service—Should a service requirement be mandatory for young adults in the United States?  If not mandatory, how can public service be encouraged?

From Quaker House:

Advocating Peace:  The initial listening session of this Commission was in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on February 23, 2018, and Quaker House was there to comment.  Only Quaker House (Kindra Bradley), the Center on Conscience & War (Bill Galvin and Maria Santelli), and a Mennonite long-time peace advocate and counselor for the GI Rights Network (Titus Peachey) spoke on behalf of conscientious objectors.  Our collective comments covered eliminating the Selective Service System, restoring the full rights of people who have not registered with the Selective Service, officially allowing registrants to self-designate as conscientious objectors during Selective Service registration if it is maintained, and ensuring that any alternative service program is run by a civil agency and with the same benefits as military service.  I was somewhat encouraged that two veterans who commented after we made our statements publicly agreed that the US should allow people to be conscientious objectors without punishment or other negative characterization.

You can submit comments before September 30, 2018 either online at http://www.inspire2serve.gov/content/share-your-thoughts

Or by mail at:

National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service
Attn: RFI COMMENT—Docket 05-2018-01
2530 Crystal Drive, Suite 1000, Box No. 63
Arlington, VA 22202

Some of my blog posts about the Selective Service System and the draft can be found here:    https://kislingjeff.wordpress.com/?s=selective+service+draft

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Poor People’s Campaign Returns to Washington, DC

In 1968 the Poor People’s Campaign came to Washington, DC.

Fifty years later, June 24, 2018, the new Poor People’s Campaign returns to Washington.

Iowa Poor People’s Campaign

Minnesota Poor People’s Campaign

(more photos from my friend Rezadad Mohammadi in Minneapolis/St. Paul)

PPC June 23rd flyer

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Intentional Incompetence

I cannot come to any other conclusion than that the current administration intentionally scattered the children stolen from their families in a manner that would make reunification difficult or impossible. Which is the very situation we are in now.

Part of my career related to designing and using complex databases for research data. A database to keep track of which child belonged to which parent would be extremely easy to create and use. The only technical part would be a method to identify each child and parent. A simple identification bracelet such as those used in hospitals would work. Indeed, from a video the government shared of these holding facilities, you can see such a bracelet being scanned as each child is given his food tray.

It could not be more self evident that such a system would be needed if you were to separate children from their parents. Since this was not done, it had to be a deliberate decision not to do so.

This entire debacle is sinister. Since when do we allow the government to prevent reporters and congressional representatives from seeing where these children are kept? Since when has the government brought children into cities without notifying the local authorities? Since when has the government lied to airlines about who is being transported? Since when have children been ripped from their parents in the first place, causing all these problems?

This is obviously unacceptable. Those responsible need to be held accountable.  Those responsible need to be removed from their positions so they cannot do further damage. We need to speak out. There are too many parallels to taking Jewish people or Japanese Americans to concentration camps while others remained silent. Too many parallels to young African American men either killed or imprisoned here.



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Reclaiming the Moral Narrative

Last Monday’s rally at the Des Moines capitol building was week 6 of the Poor People’s Campaign, with the theme “Reclaiming the Moral Narrative”.

From the Poor People’s Campaign handout:

As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., prophetically described 50 years ago, “There are millions of poor people in the country who have very little, or even nothing to lose. If they can be helped to take action together, they will do so with a freedom and a power that will be a new unsettling force in our complacent national life.”

“If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.”  Isaiah 58

We are a new and unsettling force. And we are powerful!

So many things that have occurred over the past year show the moral narrative eclipsed by selfishness, greed and intolerance. The Muslim travel ban, Charlottesville, Puerto Rico, dismantling of environmental protections, attacks on health care, a tax bill for the wealthy, inflated military spending, and the reprehensible taking of children from their families.

From Move On:

Thanks to powerful public pressure, the Trump administration has been forced to shift its outrageous treatment of immigrant children. We have momentum—but we’re far from done.

The executive order that Donald Trump signed today is not the solution. It allows the indefinite incarceration of immigrant families in federal prisons, and there is still no plan to reunify the thousands of families that have been forcibly separated. Which is why we must continue to stand together at hundreds of events nationwide on Saturday, June 30, to say that families belong together—and freeClick here to join the June 30 event near you to Keep Families Together and free and reject Trump’s brutal policies.

This Saturday’s event in Des Moines:

When:  Saturday, June 30 at 6 p.m. (local time)
Where: la placita
Des Moines, IA 50316

Many organizations will be joining the Poor People’s Campaign national rally this Saturday on the mall in Washington, DC. (flyer below).

Here is Rodger Routh’s video, “Reclaiming the Moral Narrative”, of our Poor People’s Campaign gatherings here in Iowa. This campaign is just getting started. Hopefully more and more will join.


PPC June 23rd flyer

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Babies alone in concentration camps

Rachel Maddow breaks down trying to report on “tender age” shelters.

Concentration Camp: a guarded compound for the detention or imprisonment of aliens, members of ethnic minorities, political opponents, etc., especially any of the camps established by the Nazis prior to and during World War II for the confinement and persecution of prisoners.

“Tender age”  concentration camps.  I can not even envision such a place. Which is why the administration is hiding this from us. There needs to be a continued groundswell of protest against these barbaric policies.

Lucy Duncan writes “This reminds me of Letter from Birmingham City Jail… and I think of liberal religious folks who we need in the fight of our lives… against white supremacy…not on the sidelines…and I reflect on this myself, I speak out a lot now, but the urgency could be greater…. and it took too long for me to show up with a sense that living in white supremacy was suffocating me while it was killing people of color.

Black people and other people of color alone cannot abolish discrimination and hate. It is a problem created by white America and maintained by the silence of the majority. Every form of inequality would disappear by next Friday if every white person in America used his or her privilege to eliminate it.” She is referring to this article in The Root, White People are Cowards.

The CREDO blog has a good list of things we can do. Four ways you can fight Trump’s policy of ripping children away from their parents at the border  by Nicole Regalado

CREDO and our allies at MoveOn and dozens of other organizations are planning a massive “Families Belong Together” rally in Washington and in cities and towns across the country on June 30.  To learn more and find a rally near you, please click here.

Some of us have been participating in local Poor People’s Campaign events. There will be a national rally in Washington, DC, this Saturday, June 23rd.

PPC June 23rd flyer

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