The national movement called the Poor People’s Campaign held a Poor People’s Hearing in Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 10. An overflow audience heard the heartbreaking stories of an undocumented person, a Native American, a farmer, a low-wage worker, and a veteran. After each of their stories, the audience chanted, “Someone is hurting my brothers and sisters, and we are not going to take it anymore!”
The work of peace in action demands justice for laborers the world over. The dominating cultural ethic in economic practice is exploitation for the benefit of an ownership class; the resistance, hard-fought, has resided in labor organizing into the collective power of unions. These protective organizations for workers remain precarious, now, perhaps, more than ever.
"We have to stand and fight this, because if we don’t at the end of the day, it’s not about them, it’s about us." This was a statement by Kansas City Missouri's Mayor Sly James at the "Rally to protest family separation at U.S. borders" June 24, 2018.
Bryan Scarcella, a leader in Stand Up KC, is seeking a $15 an hour minimum wage and a union for low-paid workers. "My low pay," he said March 11 at the PeaceWorks Annual Meeting, "means not having access to health care. It means I haven't turned on the heat in my apartment for years." Both Stand Up KC and PeaceWorks are part of the Poor People's Campaign.
As a billionaire class ascends to the presidency and cabinet (in January 2017), Jim Hannah reflects on class warfare in the United States. Hannah turns to Howard Zinn for hope: "When we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress."
'Ban the Bomb butterfly effect' // UNplaza Art Fair--beauty in the park // Activists aim to oust US nuclear weapons from Germany // Afghanistan--the forgotten war // Abolish prison slavery--write prisoners // How to keep our children safe from guns // Coalition forms to tackle contamination at Bannister Federal Complex
Ron Faust, speaking on Memorial Day, confronted the “reason” KC supported the new nuke-parts plant: jobs. He said people in favor of the plant were: Not thinking much about morality Or whether we are placed here To be constructive or destructive Or whether a job helps the earth Or hurts the earth.
Initiate or deepen your own discovery of this city—its panoply of people from many nations and of many tongues—with a robust recognition of belonging at the level of the everyday, personal, and particular: food. I hope it can be an entrance into systemic questions of who plants, grows, harvests, and prepares food, of who owns, and how. Ask the vendors. Begin again with daily bread.
Planting Seeds of Peace. // Sightings of a new ‘National Bird’. // Share at table and plot the politics of peace. // Dave Pack reflects on military costs, offers MLK for hope. // Constructive conversation. // Stand Up KC caps work against Puzder with victory rally. // Poems from prison.
On Feb. 16, Stand Up KC held a “victory” march and rally at a local Hardee’s fast food restaurant. The day before, Andrew Puzder, CEO of the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., had stepped down as President Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor. This concluded a two-month nationwide campaign.