The 8th Annual May Day USA March, Rally and Celebration

MAY 1 – The 8th Annual May Day USA March, Rally and Celebration here in Philly at Clark Park!

FROM THE 8-HOUR DAY TO THE FIGHT FOR $15 – WHEN WE ORGANIZE WE CAN WIN!

Unbeknownst to many Americans, May Day was founded in the United States after the nationwide general strike for the eight-hour workday that started on May 1, 1886. The annual May Day USA Education Committee celebration – taking place at Clark Park in West Philly this year – highlights this hidden labor history as well as today’s struggles and past labor struggles honored by the Elmwood Park Labor Monument right here in our own City of Brotherly Love!

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Jill Stein Among Those Calling for Release Political Prisoner Rev. Pinkney

St. Joseph, MI- Dr. Jill Stein was among supporters who attended Rev. Edward Pinkney’s evidentiary hearing on Tuesday, April 14, where a motion for a new trial based on the violation of Pinkney’s rights to impartial jurors was denied. Rev. Pinkney remains in prison, serving a 3-10 year term for altering the dates on petitions to recall the Mayor of Benton Harbor. However, according to Victoria Collier and Ben-Zion Ptashnik, who covered the trial in depth for Truthout:

“There was absolutely no evidence to convict Pinkney, and, legally, the altering of a petition document should have been a misdemeanor offense. Instead, they charged him with felony forgery – though no signatures were forged and all signatories testified that they signed willingly on the correct day. Incredibly, the all-white jury was urged by the prosecutor to believe that direct evidence was not required; they only had to “believe” that Pinkney was motivated to cheat and that he “could” have changed the dates while circulating the petitions.”

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A March to End Poverty

On Saturday, April 4th PPEHRC joined Reclaim MLK PHL and 15 an Hour Now Philadelphia outside of New Vision UMC Church at Broad and Westmoreland for a march to the OIC Building at Broad and Thompson. As a coalition, we were demanding the end to poverty in one of the largest, poorest, gentrified cities in the country. We are demanding $15.00 an hr, the right to unionize, and full employment in the city of Philadelphia.

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Re-Visioning the Constitution to Serve The People (PMA)

PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT ASSEMBLY
Re-Visioning the Constitution to Serve The People
Philadelphia, PA
Aug 9, 2014

In Philadelphia, Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) and Disabled in Action (DIA) have teamed up to anchor the planning for the 2015 U.S. Social Forum polycentric site. Addressing Philadelphia’s history as the original namesake of the Constitutional Convention, we kicked off the community outreach with a Peoples’ Movement Assembly in August that focused on the U.S. Constitution, discussing its original intentions and how it was never designed to include the most affected—including women and people of color— but was always meant to be a document that protected property rights.

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Activist and former homeless mother promotes poverty awareness

Homelessness is a major national issue, as well as a local one in the city of Rochester. That is why the Social Work Department at the College at Brockport brought Cheri Honkala to campus to speak about her firsthand experience as both an activist and former homeless mother.

“I’ve lived a very surreal kind of life,” Honkala said. “I live in, like you guys do, one of the richest places in the entire world and I consider myself to be fairly educated and smart and resourceful and yet I found myself living in a car with my 9-year-old son driving around trying to figure out where I was going to sleep on any given night.”

To prevent herself and her son, Mark Webber, from freezing, she began taking over abandoned government properties, like vacant houses.

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The Fight for Education

On Monday, October 6th, the School Reform Commission (SRC) cancelled the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ (PFT) contract, costing teachers their health care benefits. This is yet another destructive act in a long line of attacks on Philadelphia’s public schools. The SRC and Governor Corbett have eliminated jobs, school programs, plus 24 schools. Yet, at the same time, Corbett is advocating for $1.7 billion in tax breaks for Shell Oil. The big business plans to build a plant in Beaver County that is expected to rank in the top ten air polluters. Philadelphia schools and our environment are breaking under the burden of these big business tax breaks. Teachers are being told it is their time to make sacrifices but they have been sacrificing all along with limited resources, over crowded classrooms and fulfilling extra roles such as counselor and nurse due to lack of funding for full time staff.

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