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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Into The Streets – People’s Climate March

On September 21st, over 400,000 people took to the streets of Manhattan as a unified front against climate justice inaction. Diverse perspectives converge as a popular movement unfolds.

Below is a video created by Meerkat Media Collective that captured various organizations and activists that participated in the People’s Climate March with a special highlight of Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. We want to thank them for providing an outlet for us to show how we are connecting poverty to the climate crisis and having our voices heard.

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This is What the Climate Justice Movement Looks Like

On Sunday, September 21st we took the streets of NYC for the People’s Climate March to demand “People, Planet, and Peace over Profit” alongside Global Climate Convergence and System Change Not Climate Change; the Ecosocialist Coalition. We had representatives from around the country standing in solidarity speaking out for “System Change, not Climate Change” and showing what the real Climate Justice Movement looks like.

The march is now over but our voices will continue to be heard. In the words of one of our fellow PPEHRC leaders, Shamako Noble, “It won’t take one of us, it won’t take 25, it will take all of us if we’re going to survive”.

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PPEHRC Workshops at NYC Climate Convergence

This weekend, Friday September 19th – Sunday September 21st, thousands of people will be gathering in New York City for the Climate Convergence. What are we asking for? “People, Planet, and Peace over Profit! Demand an end to fossil fuels, mobilize for system change, living wage jobs now!” Throughout the day on Saturday PPEHRC will be holding various different workshops connecting issues of poverty to the climate change crisis.

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