Thank you for your support for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. We have had three very successful days of action so far (May 14th, 21st, and 29th). We have three days of action remaining—Monday June 4, Monday, June 11, and Monday June 18. For important information on the last two Mondays, please see the end of this email.
This week’s action will be on Monday, June 4th. The theme is: THE RIGHT TO HEALTH AND A HEALTHY PLANET—ESPECIALLY CLEAN, AFFORDABLE WATER!. For important information about the theme and the list of demands from the National Poor People’s Campaign, please see the end of this email.
We are excited to have the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call to Moral Revival, joining us for the June 4 day of action!
We know that a lot of Michiganders are very passionate about the issue of access to clean and affordable water. We want to make sure that we know how many people are planning to participate in non-violent direct action this week. If you have already done a direct action training and have not already responded to this form, please do so to indicate your direct action participation plans.
The schedule for Monday, June 4 is as follows:
11:00–12:30 People trained and ready for Direct Action will gather at First Presbyterian Church, 510 West Ottawa, Lansing MI with their support people for further training and action planning.
12:00 Noon Gathering and registration at First Presbyterian Church, 510 West Ottawa, Lansing MI for rally participants (those who will witness but will not otherwise be involved in the direct action).
12:30-1:30 pm Lunch and pre-rally for all participants at First Presbyterian Church.
1:30-2:30 pm March to the Capitol Building for rally.
2:30-4:00 pm Non-Violent Moral Fusion Direct Action at a location that will be announced at the rally. [Again, only those who have been trained will participate in the Direct Action. The rest will stand with these brothers and sisters while they take action.]
If you have questions, please reply to this email.
TRANSPORTATION: GET ON THE BUS! The Michigan Poor People’s Campaign is chartering two large buses to bring people to Lansing—one leaving from Detroit and one leaving from Flint.
- To reserve a seat on the bus from Detroit to Lansing, click here. This bus will depart from the Metropolitan Center for High Technology, 2727 Second Avenue, Detroit, at approximately 10:00 a.m. It is OK to park your car through the day in the gated lot behind the building.
- To reserve a seat on the bus from Flint to Lansing, click here. The bus will depart from St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, 609 E. 5th Ave. Flint, MI. at approximately 10:30 a.m. and return by 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. It is OK to leave cars parked in the church lot.
LANSING PARKING – No parking is available at First Presbyterian Church; however, ample free parking is available at Union Missionary Baptist Church (500 S Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, at I-496), where shuttle service will be provided to transport people to First Presbyterian Church and back to the parking after the rally / action.
There are also many pay-for-parking structures in the Capitol area. Click this website for maps and information about parking from the State of Michigan: http://www.capitol.michigan.
LUNCH – Bring a bag lunch if you can; light lunch food will also be provided. Please bring monetary donations and food to share – boxes of single serve bags of chips, granola bars or other snacks, bags of oranges or bananas.
WATER– Please bring a refillable water bottle with you. We will have water coolers for you to refill your bottle onsite. A limited number of disposable cups will be available. In solidarity with those that do not have access to clean, safe water, please do not bring any commercially bottled water with you, regardless of brand or source.
ACCESSIBILITY– First Presbyterian Church is fully accessible. Our march will be about six long blocks each way. Limited shuttle service to the rally location will be available for those that need it. Please bring a folding/bag chair if possible for yourself or to share at the outside rally.
WEATHER– Prepare for Michigan weather: sunscreen, hats, umbrellas and raincoats.
DONATIONS– There are many ways to show your financial support for the campaign:
1) There will be donation buckets at our events.
2) Checks payable to People’s Water Board – In the memo line, be sure to write MI PPC. Checks can be mailed to People’s Water Board c/o EMEAC4605 Cass Ave Detroit, MI 48201.
3) Online donations can be made at MI PPC Online Donations – Please be sure to designate the donation is for MI-PPC.
We need your participation and those of your family, friends, faith communities and supportive organizations, this week and in the future. Here are the plans for the actions that follow our June 4th action:
Monday, June 11, Lansing, noon
THEME: Everybody’s Got a Right to Live: Education, Living Wages, Jobs, Income, Housing. This is going to be another great action! CHARTERED BUSES FROM DETROIT AND FLINT WILL AGAIN BE AVAILABLE. Please reserve a seat by clicking here for the bus from Detroit, and click here for the bus from Flint.
Monday, June 18—Location TBA (not Lansing)
THEME: A New and Unsettling Force: Confronting the Distorted Moral Narrative.
Saturday, June 23, Washington, D.C., 10 am
Global Day of Solidarity Mass Rally—hope you can join in on the rally in D.C.! If you are interested in going, please let us know by responding in the MI-PPC registration form.
We are grateful for your support and look forward to Moving Together with You – Not One Step Back!
Yours in Justice,
Michigan Poor People’s Campaign Coordinating Committee
PS. Please help us mobilize for this and future Poor People’s Campaign actions, by sharing this email and our Website and Facebook page. If you organize Poor People’s Campaign events in your own community, please share those with our Facebook page as well.
Information and List of Demands for Week 4
THE RIGHT TO HEALTH AND A HEALTHY PLANET—ESPECIALLY CLEAN, AFFORDABLE WATER!
Did you know 13.8 million U.S. households cannot afford water?
Federal assistance to local water systems is currently 74% below its peak in 1977. This has contributed to the inability of public water utilities to address failing and aging infrastructure. It has also prompted utilities to privatize their water systems, even though private water utilities charge 59% more per unit of water than publicly owned water systems.
As a result, nearly 12% of U.S. households face unaffordable water bills. Tens of thousands of households have had their water shut off due to non-payment, precipitating homelessness, child removal and a host of medical problems. It also means that at least 4 million families with children are being exposed to high levels of lead from drinking water and other sources. Poor rural communities face the additional problem of lacking access to piped water and sewage systems in the first place. Of the 20 counties with the highest percentage of households lacking access to complete plumbing, all were rural and 13 had a majority Native American or Alaskan Native population.
While there is failing infrastructure in poor cities and rural counties across the country, there has been a boom in infrastructure to support fossil fuel production and transportation. Fracking has driven U.S. domestic oil and gas production since 2007, making the U.S. the world’s largest producer of both oil and gas. It has also demanded an expanded pipeline infrastructure criss-crossing the country. These pipelines often pass through or are near poor communities, including First Nations, Native American and Alaskan Native communities, whose resources and lands continue to be exploited and turned over to private interests, including through the opening of public lands to extractive industries.
Since 1998, there have been 5,712 significant oil and gas leaks or ruptures on U.S. pipelines. And since 1964, there were more than 2,400 spills from offshore drilling in U.S. waters. The largest of these was the Deepwater Horizon “BP” oil spill in 2010, which accounted for 95% of oil spilled in the past 50 years.
There are also more than 1,100 coal ash sites throughout the country. Toxins from these sites gradually leach into water bodies and groundwater, or get released in catastrophic spills.
Scientists have known for decades that human activities, particularly the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas, are warming the planet. In spite of knowing the risks, political leaders have dragged their feet on implementing solutions. U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions peaked in 2007. This reveals how little priority our political leadership attaches to an existential threat that, for now, mostly impacts poor people. It also shows the political influence of the fossil fuel industry, which has effectively captured the U.S. political system and prevented the kind of drastic action the country should have taken long ago.
The truth is that our policies have not fundamentally valued human life or the ecological systems in which we live. Instead, it has prioritized private, corporate and financial interests over our precious natural resources.
We have a fundamental right to clean water, air and a healthy environment and public resources to monitor, penalize and reverse the polluting impacts of fossil fuel industries.
- We demand 100% clean, renewable energy and a public jobs program to transition to a green economy that will put millions of people in sustainable living wage jobs.
- We demand a fully funded public water and sanitation infrastructure that keeps these utilities and services under public control and that prioritize poor, rural and Native communities that have been harmed by polluting and extractive industries.
- We demand a ban on fracking, mountaintop removal coal mining, coal ash ponds, and offshore drilling. We demand a ban on all new pipelines, refineries, and coal, oil, and gas export terminals.
- We demand the protection of public lands and the immediate cessation of opening up public lands for polluting and extractive industries.