Special to the Democrat by: Miriam Wright
Demonstrators from the Poor People’s on steps of the Alabama State Capitol at
Monday’s rally. Photo courtesy of Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser.
A cold morning brought rays of sunshine this past Monday, February 6, 2018, to Alabama – along with more than 30 states plus Washington D.C. – helping roll out the National Poor People’s Campaign. Initiated by Rev. William Barber of North Carolina, leader of the ‘Moral Monday Movement’, this grassroots movement already has feet beginning to march across the nation in an effort to uplift human dignity.
On the steps in front of the state capitol in Montgomery, a non-denominational, non-partisan group of some 50 people gathered.
A podium was erected and a PA system sprung to life with the introduction of speakers including: Rev.Tonny Algood, United Methodist Inner City Mission, Mobile, Rev.Carolyn Foster, Greater Birmingham Ministries, Birmingham., Rev.James Rutledge, AME Zion Church, Birmingham., Imam Abdur Rahim Sabree, Muslim Center of Montgomery, Natividad Gonzalez, Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ) Organizer, Birmingham – War Economy, Wanda, Bryant, Community Activist, Birmingham.- Poverty, Jelanie Coleman, Night of 1, Selma. Common threads were the reality of the level of poverty existing in our country today and the ills that have been perpetuated and increased as the result of being ignored for decades. The talks were to the point, addressing the issues of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation, all hot topics for the Campaign.
Like all other Poor Peoples Campaigns around the nation in their own capitols, Alabama’s delegation delivered letters to both branches of the Legislature, House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston.
Campaign organizers Tonny Algood and Cara McClure delivered the letters to the legislators.
The letter read in part, “We demand a change in course… Our faith traditions and federal constitution all testify to the immorality of an economy that leaves out the poor, yet our political discourses consistently ignore the 140 million poor and low-income people in America.”
The letters also made clear that unless direct actions are taken immediately to address these chronic problems, there would be visible consequences in the way of a massive wave of Nonviolent Civil Disobedience, that the Poor People’s Campaign will initiate on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2018 and continuing for forty days.
This Poor People’s Campaign and National Call for Moral Revival will sweep the nation this spring, including Alabama if the conditions of poor people are not radically changed. In the words of Carolyn Foster, chair of the state PPC committee, “We have come to say clearly that a politics that ignores the poor has gone on far too long, and we will not be silent anymore.”
For more information and how to get involved go to:
Locally: www.facebook.com/AlabamaPPC/Nationally: www.poorpeoplescampaign;
and of course you will find each chapter on Facebook as well as Twitter.