The People’s Congress of Resistance has endorsed the new Poor People’s Campaign and its 40 Days of Action, which culminate with the March to Fight Poverty at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on June 23.
Activists involved with the People’s Congress of Resistance have joined protests and other events in California, New York, New Mexico, Arkansas, Washington, the District of Columbia and elsewhere and we call on people to continue to join the weekly actions at state assemblies nationwide to highlight the struggles of the poor. Find an action in your area here.
Each week of the 40 Days of Action is dedicated to a particular aspect of the oppression and exploitation of poor people. Last week was organized around the massive war economy, which funds death and destruction abroad and drains the budget for needed services and infrastructure domestically. The June 10-16 week was organized around the concept of “Everybody’s Got a Right to Live” and will be addressing the issues of Systemic Poverty, Jobs, Income & Housing
The original Poor People’s Campaign was Dr. King’s last major project, and it aimed to unite the poor and dispossessed of all racial backgrounds in a mass movement to finally win for all decent jobs, quality housing, health care, education, and retirement. This was not a turn away from the struggle against racism, but a deepening of that struggle — into social and economic rights. The original Poor People’s Campaign saw the triple evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism as interlinked.
The new Poor People’s Campaign has picked up on this framework and understanding — adding to it an additional focus on ecological destruction — and has held impressive convenings nationwide that have united many diverse groups of people. This was ultimately what made Dr. King such a threat to the system in the period before he was killed. He was broadening his conception of the people’s struggle across national borders and was using his tremendous moral authority to unite the Black freedom movement with the anti-war movement and other social struggles around an ambitious socio-economic program.
The Poor People’s Campaign does not see poor people as a “special interest group” but, once organized, as a “new and unsettling force” with the potential “to transform the whole of society.” Beyond the 40 days, it aims to build an enduring mass movement that brings into motion the one-third of society that is deprived of its basic needs, but has largely not been organized to fight for them.
That is the same vision that drove last year the formation of the People’s Congress of Resistance.
The People’s Congress of Resistance manifesto “Society for the Many” reads: “About 20 percent of U.S. society — the capitalist class and those in the more affluent upper middle classes (about 60 million people) — have the comfort of knowing the basic needs of their families will be met from the moment they are born to the moment they die. They do not have to worry about whether they can go to the doctor, have a roof over their heads, have access to nutritious food, find work, have enough money to survive, attend college, or live in a safe environment. This fundamental guarantee can and must be extended to everyone.”
Is such a world possible? Yes! To get there we need a movement that connects the struggle against austerity, unemployment, racism, sexism and so many other problems with a wider vision for political, social and economic revolution. “A society organized for the equality and emancipation of the many is one where production is democratically directed for the benefit of the many and not for the private profit of the few. Rather than banks and corporations determining people’s lives and futures, the people determine their destiny themselves.”
Build the Poor People’s Campaign and a mass movement for revolutionary change! Find an action in your area here.
May Day: Immigrant Rights Through People Power!
May 1st, 2018 - 1:30 p.m.
Olympic & Broadway, Los Angeles
In 2006, history was made when millions took the streets of Los Angeles to fight back against the racist Sensenbrenner bill, which would have criminalized undocumented immigrants and made it a felony for anyone to hire them. The bill was not passed because the people went out and fought against it! This significant protest woke the sleeping giant of the immigrant community and the entire system came to a halt with strikes and protests in cities across the U.S.
Now, 12 years later, racism against immigrants continues as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, violently terrorizes our communities, separating and detaining families. Just this month, ICE raided a meatpacking plant, arresting nearly 100 immigrants. The next day, 500 children missed school for fear they would come home to find their parents had been detained.
It is clear that we cannot rely on Congress for change. For decades Congress, under both the Democrats and Republicans, has refused to pass legislation that permanently protects our immigrant community. Democrats attempted to co-opt the 2006 movement, while continuing to foster an atmosphere of hatred and repression against immigrant families. Last year, over $3 billion of taxpayer money was spent on ICE arresting, detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants. Today, nearly six months after Trump announced the cancellation of DACA, Congress has yet to make a decision, affecting 800,000 undocumented youth immigrants.
If we want to stop ICE, stop the terror in our communities, save DACA and TPS, then we must get out into the streets channeling the same power from 2006 to demand full rights for ALL immigrants! Congress could and should immediately take action to provide legal rights for the 12 million undocumented people in the United States!
Come out to Broadway & Olympic on May 1st!
We are posting this urgent action alert on behalf of immigrant rights and reproductive justice organizer Alejandra Pablos, who was detained today by ICE. Alejandra was a delegate at the initial People's Congress of Resistance in Washington, D.C. and now needs all of our collective support.
Please take action right now and demand that ICE #ReleaseAle by signing and sharing the petition set up by the website Mijente. Nearly 2,000 people have signed it in the first few hours. Share here:
Alejandra's story is below.
Continuing a pattern of retaliation against immigrant rights organizers, the Tucson office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has taken Alejandra Pablos into custody and have refused to release her stating that she is subject to mandatory detention without access to a bond.
Pablos was a legal permanent resident who was placed in deportation proceedings after a drug-related arrest and spent two years detained at the Eloy Detention Center in southern Arizona. She is in the process of requesting asylum based on dangers she would face as a political organizer in Mexico.
In early January, as Pablos was leading chants at a peaceful protest in Virginia outside of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), she was abruptly detained by local agents. It appears that after the protest in Virginia, one of the ICE agents called her deportation officer in Tucson, Arizona, and sought to get her detained in retaliation for her protest.
This morning, Pablos showed up to her check-in with ICE in Tucson, she was taken into custody. She will not have a chance to be released or to pay a bond until she sees an immigration judge at an indeterminate time.
Pablos is a nationally recognized immigrant rights and reproductive rights, activist. She is base in Washington D.C. and is a long-time member of Mijente. Friends and family are asking for supporters to sign this petition.
On Dec. 3, the People's Congress of Resistance held its first national organizing webinar!
There were four main topics of conversation on the webinar and a skill share at the end about how to organize a local collective
2. Spreading the People’s Congress of Resistance manifesto “Society for the Many: A Vision for Revolution”. This was one of the most popular workshops at the inaugural event, and in the months since many cities have organized study groups and meetings around the manifesto. On the webinar Nathalie Hrizi, San Francisco area educator, shared these experiences to provide local activists and organizers with further tools to spread the message of the manifesto in their area!
Download a PDF the manifesto here or order printed copies with the button below!Read more
Protesters gathered outside Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house to demand justice for Laquan McDonald and an end to the ethnic cleansing of Chicago vis-à-vis gentrification on Oct. 20, the anniversary of McDonald’s murder by Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke.
The event, organized by the People’s Congress of Resistance, ANSWER Chicago and Black Lives Matter Women of Faith, gathered in front of Mayor Emanuel’s Ravenswood home in response to the $2.25 billion bid for an Amazon headquarters in the city of Chicago.
Despite what the city’s political and economic elites may say, an Amazon headquarters would not benefit the vast majority of Chicagoans. In fact, it would disproportionately impact Chicago’s Black community just as it has in Seattle, where recently an ordinance was passed to prevent the city’s racist landlords from prioritizing tech workers over working class families.
The protest started off with militant chants of, “16 Shots and a Cover Up!” and “No Justice, No Peace, No Racist Police!” Before the speakers started, protesters took a knee in front of the mayor’s house to express solidarity with the movement against racist police terror.
John Beacham, Coordinator of ANSWER Chicago, opened up the evening by explaining what exactly an Amazon headquarters would mean for Chicago’s Black community.
“We just had to be at Rahm’s house on the anniversary of Laquan’s lynching. We are also here because the city is gearing up to possibly give billions of dollars to a corporation that’s going to escalate a gentrification that will disproportionately impact the Black community of Chicago,” Beacham said. “For us, it’s massively important to be out here on the street in front of Rahm’s house as he just put in the bid for Amazon. The man who covered up the lynching of Laquan McDonald has no right to be selling off our city to one of the wealthiest corporations in the history of the world.”
Following Beacham’s introduction, Lashawn Littrice, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Women of Faith, took to the front of the crowd and gave those in attendance a brief account of McDonald’s short life.
“[McDonald] had learning disabilities. … He had post traumatic stress disorder. He had multiple school suspensions. No one ever tried to reach out to help him,” Littrice said.
“[McDonald’s murder] is a nationwide case now. This is not something that just happened here and only affected us. It affected people around the world. We are mothers, we are wives, we have sons, and we will not stand by and watch our children get slaughtered like animals.”
Elias Rodriguez from the Party for Socialism and Liberation argued that the murder of Laquan McDonald and the Chicago bid for an Amazon headquarters are not two separate issues, but rather they are both connected.
“The wealth that Amazon has brought to Seattle has not been shared with its Black residents,” Rodriguez said. “[Amazon’s] whitening of Seattle is structurally racist and a direct danger to all workers who live in that city. So do we in Chicago and all across the country want a nation of cities dominated and occupied by massive corporations where only the rich and white can live and the vast majority of us must live on edges of the city and society living in deeper and deeper poverty?
“I don’t think so.”
Vigorous chants of “Justice for Laquan, not money for Amazon” followed Rodriguez’s speech as he stepped back into the crowd.
The evening concluded with a moment of silence for McDonald.
We will fight for a Chicago where racist police are held accountable for killing Black people, for a Chicago that welcomes and accommodates all peoples not just the rich and white, for a Chicago where healthcare, housing, and education are readily available to everyone. We will fight for a Chicago of the many!
On September 16-17, the People's Congress of Resistance held its inaugural convening and one of the resolutions passed called for "justice for the families of Keenen King and Anthony Holmes-Garriques, to have the Bouchard brothers convicted to the fullest extent of the law," and to expose injustice against communities of color in Suffolk County, Long Island.
Background: On June 22, vigilante Christopher Bouchard, who is white, was arrested and only charged with reckless endangerment for mowing down 19-year-old Keenan King and 20-year-old Anthony Holmes-Garriques.
Bouchard claims he believed Keenen and Anthony were driving his stolen bikes and pursued the two despite calling the police first to report them. Witnesses reported seeing Bouchard driving at least 100 mph into oncoming traffic to have a full-on collision with the two young men, killing King on the spot and injuring Holmes-Garriques, who died in the hospital. Witnesses also reported Bouchard and his brother, after killing King, attempted to load the bikes into their pickup truck and speed off.
If Bouchard is only given a slap on the wrist, it will be just another instance of the justice system saying that Black lives do not matter. The families of the victims and their supporters are demanding that the charges be increased to murder and that Bouchard’s brother be indicted as an accomplice.
Take action to demand justice
Please support the families of Keenan and Anthony by signing and sharing this petition. It will be delivered tomorrow evening, Oct. 21, to the Suffolk County DA's office.
The People's Congress of Resistance will continue to demand justice for Keenen and Anthony and all those who have lost their loved ones to racist police violence.
Karina Garcia of the Justice Center en El Barrio speaks on the "Society for the Many" Manifesto of the People's Congress of Resistance as a strategically vital document to bring together radical organizers whose struggle are often isolated and atomized.
Brian Becker of ANSWER and the PSL speaks about the significance of the People's Congress of Resistance as a tactic aimed at sharpening class consciousness, spreading revolutionary politics among "blue" and "red" states alike, and to overcome the cycle of social movements being co-opted by the ruling class.
At our inaugural event, the People's Congress of Resistance endorsed the call to action from the United National Antiwar Coalition for nationwide demonstrations to demand an end to the U.S. war on Afghanistan on its 16th anniversary.
Another major theme of the inaugural event of the People's Congress of Resistance was to oppose a new Korean War. A resolution passed on Sept. 16 read, "The People’s Congress of Resistance calls for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and bases from Korea, an end to the provocative annual U.S./South Korea war maneuvers, the removal of the THAAD missile system, and the signing of a peace treaty between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea." This resolution was introduced by the chair, following the statement of Jang Jingsook of the New People's Party in South Korea.
Lots of anti-war activities are happening this weekend and we encourages people to attend any events in their area.
Upcoming anti-war activities and other events:
- Protests this weekend: Anti-war actions on the 16th Anniversary of the Afghanistan War
- Protests this weekend: No new war on Korea!
- October 7 - Pittsburgh, PA: Study Group "Society for the Many" PCOR Manifesto
- October 7 - Seattle, WA: Report on People's Congress + Behind the War on Yemen
- October 7 - San Francisco, CA: Hurricane Relief for Cuba
- October 8 - Sarasota, FL: The Crisis in Puerto Rico + Supply Drive
Reports and livestreams
Puerto Rico relief: People's Congress of Resistance organizers from New York to Florida to California have been organizing relief for the Puerto Rican people in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
The Trump administration has added insult to injury with blatant disrespect of the Puerto Rican people, and by bringing up the illegal Wall Street-controlled debt that has been foisted on the island. On October 3, when Trump arrived to the island, Puerto Ricans there and in the diaspora held emergency protests to demand: Massive Hurricane Relief; End the Jones Act vis-a-vis Puerto Rico; and Cancel Puerto Rico’s Debt to the Banks. The People's Congress of Resistance proudly joined in this protests. See photos from around the country and the livestream from New York City here.
Confronting the opioid epidemic: People's Congress of Resistance organizers also held a People's Vigil on Oct. 1 in Riverhead, N.Y. to bring together families affected by the opioid epidemic that is ravaging so many communities nationwide. At the vigil, survivors and the relatives of those who have died spoke about the need for the government to treat the epidemic like the public health emergency that it is, and condemned the pharmaceutical companies that have profited from so much suffering.
Justice for Kennen and Anthony: The People's Congress of Resistance provided courthouse support to the families of two young men killed by a racist vigilante in Suffolk County, who ran them over with his van. The families are demanding higher charges than the mere "reckless endangerment" charges he now faces, and are calling on people to let the District Attorney know that he must take action.
Host a meeting
Ten cities have already held report meetings from the inaugural event of the People's Congress of Resistance. If you're interested in organizing an event in your local area, just fill out this form. We can share with you materials and resources to host your meeting, which could be a full 1-2 hour report meeting or a 15-minute presentation to give at your student group, faith-based organization or union chapter meetings. In other areas, activists are meeting to study and discuss in greater depth the People's Congress of Resistance manifesto. Fill out the form here.
Photos and video report from the inaugural event!
A major theme of the inaugural event of the People's Congress of Resistance was to oppose a new Korean War. A resolution passed on Sept. 16 read, "The People’s Congress of Resistance calls for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and bases from Korea, an end to the provocative annual U.S./South Korea war maneuvers, the removal of the THAAD missile system, and the signing of a peace treaty between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea." This resolution was introduced by the chair, following the statement of Jang Jingsook of the New People's Party in South Korea.
President Trump has threatened the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” – a new, nuclear war aimed at annihilating the DPRK.
Below please find information about recent and upcoming actions demanding No New Korean War!
Rally: No New Korean War!
Friday, October 6
Robert T. Matsui Federal Court House (501 I St.)
As part of an international week of action in solidarity with the people of South Korea struggling against the expansion of U.S. military bases, we will gather at the Federal courthouse to rally and show our support for peace.
We must say NO to a devastating new war in Korea and NO to the ongoing American militarization and occupation of the Korean peninsula.
Rally: No War in Korea! Bring the Troops Home!
Saturday, October 7
Meet at Wilshire and Western
-Bring U.S. troops home! U.S. out of Korea!
-Peace treaty to end the Korean War now!
-Korean Reunificaiton now!
-Support Committee for Korean Prisoners of Conscience
-Korean American National Coordinating Council (KANCC)
-People's Congress of Resistance
-Pro-People Youth (KMB)
-National Lawyers Guild
-Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition
-Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL)
-International League of People's Struggle