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The Poor Peoples Campaign: A Declaration, Announcement, Beginning, Moving Forward Commitment

NNPA NEWSWIRE — In Los Angeles, CA, Bishop William J. Barber, II said “The same people that are blocking laws that uplift the poor are the same ones that are spewing so much of this racist violence and rhetoric… claiming that the whole society is at threat because of Black and Brown people. This rhetoric that is being spewed… can get in the minds of people and it can radicalize them. The real question about the killer is not ‘who is he?’ but ‘who radicalized him?’”
The post The Poor Peoples Campaign: A Declaration, Announcement, Beginning, Moving Forward Commitment first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Menra Mapfumo

The Poor People’s Campaign was established in 1968, by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King wanted the Poor People’s Campaign to highlight the need for economic equality and social justice.

Dr. King wanted to help poor people by demanding the means for basic necessities. In 1967, Dr. King said the Poor People’s Campaign would seek to “demand jobs, unemployment insurance, a fair minimum wage, and education for poor adults and children designed to improve their self-image and self-esteem.”

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

In March 1968, Dr. King said the Poor People’s Campaign would be “the beginning of a new co-operation, understanding, and a determination by poor people of all colors and backgrounds to assert and win their right to a decent life and respect for their culture and dignity.”

On April 3, 1968, during the Memphis Sanitation workers strike, Dr. King told the workers, “We’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through.” His words further reinforced the mission of the Poor People’s Campaign.

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

Dr. King’s work is unfinished because on April 4, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN.

Bishop William J. Barber, II is continuing the efforts of the Poor People’s Campaign Dr. King began.

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

Dr. Barber is mobilizing for a Mass Poor People’s & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls June 18. Recently he held mobilization marches for June 18 Los Angeles, the site of America’s largest homeless population, and in Memphis, the site of Dr. King’s martyrdom.

In both cities, marchers expressed how they felt about the Poor People’s Campaign. They expressed how they felt about poverty and homelessness in America. Some told their own stories of living in poverty and being homeless.

Marchers expressed how they felt about the mass shooting in Buffalo and if they felt there is a relation between poverty and gun violence.

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

In Los Angeles, CA, Bishop William J. Barber, II said “The same people that are blocking laws that uplift the poor are the same ones that are spewing so much of this racist violence and rhetoric… claiming that the whole society is at threat because of Black and Brown people. This rhetoric that is being spewed… can get in the minds of people and it can radicalize them. The real question about the killer is not ‘who is he?’ but ‘who radicalized him?’”

“Secondly, this business of death is too broad in this country and we accept too much of it. A million people died from COVID. Poor people die five times higher in some ways… We keep having mass deaths and we talk about it for a day or two and then it goes away. Even before COVID, we had a quarter of a million people die from poverty, seven hundred people a day, and hardly a whimper being said about it. We had to decide we’re not just going to be quiet and accept death anymore.”

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

“Lastly, we have to see if this attack of what happened in Buffalo is connected to the season of violence that we’re in. Go back to the University of Virginia when they were shouting ‘Jews will not replace us.’ This whole replacement theory that has its roots in some parts of Europe, in Nazism, as well as here in America, is violent in and of itself because it’s always trying to point out who has to go in order for some people to live… It always means somebody has to be destroyed.”

Bishop Barber expressed how he felt about the mobilization of the Poor People’s Campaign on June 18th.

Bishop Barber said, “I am feeling good about it. I have mixed feelings… Sometimes I get bothered that we still have to do it, but I am glad that I am alive to do it… There’s something going on in this country… and people are responding from every state in this country… Most of all poor, low wealth people are leading the way and what I love about them is none of them are talking about this as a day. They’re all talking about it as a declaration, as an announcement, as a beginning, as a moving forward, as a commitment.”

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

Patrick Groman, a homeless man, and a chairman of the San Diego chapter of the California Homeless Union said, “Homeless is not a crime. We’ve been hearing… there’s been a lot of crime, a lot of activity and the majority of all these crimes all over the place are blamed on the homeless. You can’t just target one particular individual or all individuals… A lot of people don’t realize that when you’re homeless… you’re dealing with a lot of different individuals. You’re dealing with people who loss their jobs, dealing with [veterans], dealing with people with mental illness. There is not enough help and support out there.”

Irma Hall Wood spoke on what brought her to the Poor People’s Campaign rally in Los Angeles, CA.

Wood said, “My brothers are hurting, including myself. God looks up on each one of us as a whole. All of us are his children and he doesn’t want us to suffer. Why suffer when there are millions of dollars? There are more millionaires these days than ever before. Why are we suffering? We can’t pay our rent, we can’t have health insurance; Accessible quality health insurance…”

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

Photo: Mark Mahoney / Dream in Color Photography

Marcher and Memphis, TN resident, Jayonee Webster spoke on poverty.

Webster said, “Most of the city of Memphis is living on poverty wages and we really need to change those conditions. I grew up in poverty.”

Webster also spoke on if she felt she was continuing the work of Dr. King.

Webster said, “Absolutely. The Civil Rights Movement never ended and here we are today as an expression of that. An expression of lots of different movements coming together.

The post The Poor Peoples Campaign: A Declaration, Announcement, Beginning, Moving Forward Commitment first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Brittney Griner Sentenced to More than 9 years in Russian Prison

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The lawyers of WNBA star Brittney Griner, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said in a written statement following the verdict announcement that the court ignored all the evidence they presented and that they will appeal the decision. “We are very disappointed by the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality,” Attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

WNBA Superstar Brittney Griner has been sentenced to more than 9 years in a Russian prison following her conviction on drug charges.

Her lawyers called the verdict a disappointment and vowed to appeal.

The lawyers of WNBA star Brittney Griner, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said in a written statement following the verdict announcement that the court ignored all the evidence they presented and that they will appeal the decision.

“We are very disappointed by the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality,” Attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement.

“The court completely ignored all the evidence of the defense, and most importantly, the guilty plea. This contradicts the existing legal practice.

“Taking into account the amount of the substance (not to mention the defects of the expertise) and the plea, the verdict is absolutely unreasonable. We will certainly file an appeal,” they added.

Russian officials contended that Griner committed the crime on purpose. They also levied a fine totaling about $16,400 American dollars on the basketball star.

Authorities arrested Griner on Feb. 17 at an airport in Moscow after finding less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.

She has been detained since then.

Recently, American officials revealed that the Biden-Harris administration had offered notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for the release of Griner and Paul Whelan.

“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” President Biden said.

“It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

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Report: Human Rights Violations in Prisons Throughout Southern United States Cause Disparate and Lasting Harm in Black Communities  

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The U.S. has long failed to live up to its international human rights treaty obligations on eliminating racial discrimination, perhaps more so in the area of mass incarceration and prison conditions than in any other context,” said Lisa Borden, Senior Policy Counsel, International Advocacy at the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

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NNPA Newswire

NEW YORK – The Southern Prisons Coalition, a group of civil and human rights organizations, submitted a new report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on the devastating consequences of incarceration on Black people throughout the southern United States.

With the long-term goal of eliminating all forms of racial discrimination in the criminal legal system, including the carceral system, the report describes the widespread, disparate harms resulting from the arrests, harsh prison sentences, and incarceration on Black communities.

The report also cites the devastating impacts of solitary confinement, prison labor, the school to prison pipeline, and incarceration of parents on Black families.

On August 8, 2022, the UN will review the United States’ compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination for the first time since 2014.

Among the ongoing stark racial disparities throughout prisons in the southern United States, Black people are five times more likely to be incarcerated in state prisons.

In states like Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, where Black communities comprise 38% of the total population, Black individuals account for as much as 67% of the total incarcerated population.

While incarcerated, Black people are more than eight times more likely to be placed in solitary confinement, and they are 10 times more likely to be held there for exceedingly long periods of time.

By submitting the report to the United Nations, the Southern Prisons Coalition hopes to solicit concrete recommendations from the UN Committee as well as commitments from the United States delegation about their plans to address systemic issues in the United States prison system, particularly in the South.

According to the report, several states in the United States have also failed to meet several of the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of incarcerated people, including:

  • Work should help to prepare incarcerated people for their release from prison, including life and job skills;
  • Safety measures and labor protections for incarcerated workers should be the same as those that cover workers who are not incarcerated;
  • Incarcerated workers should receive equitable pay, be able to send money home to their families, and have a portion of their wages set aside to be given to them upon release.

“The U.S. has long failed to live up to its international human rights treaty obligations on eliminating racial discrimination, perhaps more so in the area of mass incarceration and prison conditions than in any other context,” said Lisa Borden, Senior Policy Counsel, International Advocacy at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“We hope the Committee will help to shine a light on these very dark truths and prompt the U.S. to take its obligation to make significant improvements more seriously.”

“The abuses of forced labor are inextricably tied to racial discrimination in our nation,” said Jamila Johnson, Deputy Director at the Promise of Justice Initiative.

“In Louisiana, for instance, people are still sent into the fields to labor by hand in dangerously high heat indexes, for little to no compensation, and with brutal enforcement reminiscent of slavery and the era of ‘convict leasing’.”

“This report reveals the suffering of Black people in southern U.S. prisons, whose stories of marginalization and discrimination echo the racial subjugation of slavery and convict leasing during our country’s most shameful past,” said Antonio L. Ingram II, Assistant Counsel at the Legal Defense Fund.

“Despite widespread knowledge of the longstanding racial inequalities in the criminal legal and carceral systems, the United States continues to allow egregious human rights violations to persist for Black incarcerated people in violation of international law. This report serves as a sobering reminder of how far we need to go.”

Read the full report here.

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Celebrate your birthday with 10 free items

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Is your birthday coming up, and you’re not sure how to celebrate? Beat the summer heat by grabbing free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, or a daiquiri at WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe.” Not in the mood for sweets? Head over to Jersey Mike’s or McDonald’s. Check out the rest of these Top 10 places giving out free items on your special day.

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By Angelina Liu, Entertainment Editor of The Trendsetter / Texas Metro News

Is your birthday coming up, and you’re not sure how to celebrate? Beat the summer heat by grabbing free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, or a daiquiri at WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe.” Not in the mood for sweets? Head over to Jersey Mike’s or McDonald’s. Check out the rest of these Top 10 places giving out free items on your special day.

1. Chocolate Secrets

At Chocolate Secrets, located at 3926 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219, you can celebrate your birthday by getting one free piece of candy under their candy cases.

2. WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe”

Head to WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe”, located at 684 W Pioneer Pkwy Suite 100, Grand Prairie, Texas 75051, to claim a free small personal daiquiri on your birthday. Quench your thirst with signature flavors such as “Strawberry Shortcake” or “Bahama Mama.”

3. Sephora

Sign up for a free, Beauty Insider account and receive your choice of 250 bonus points, Laura Mercier, Amika or Tatcha sets on your birthday. The choice of powders, lipsticks and skincare is bound to make you look fabulous for your special day.

4. Starbucks

Need a quick pick-me-up on your birthday? Starbucks has it covered! Join the Starbucks Rewards Program seven days prior to your birthday and make one purchase. Starbucks will then email you a coupon for a free food or beverage item two days before your birthday. The birthday reward qualifies for anything on the menu, including any size handcrafted drink or food item.

5. Jersey Mike’s

In the mood for a sub? Head over to Jersey Mike’s and receive a free sub and drink. Make sure to sign up for the Jersey Mike’s Subs Email Club prior to your birthday to receive this reward. Nothing tastes quite like melted cheese and meat in between a toasted baguette, along with an icy cold drink.

6. The Cheesecake Factory

Celebrating with friends? Tell your server it’s your birthday and receive a free treat as well as a song. It may be mildly embarrassing, but hey, it’s free!

7. Culver’s

Need something cold and sweet to beat the Texas heat? Head to Culver’s for a free sundae when you sign up for their rewards program. The sweet creaminess will surely not disappoint.

8. IHOP

Want to indulge in a sweet breakfast before birthday festivities? Join the International Bank of Pancakes rewards program to receive a free stack of pancakes on your birthday. Pair your pancakes with a choice of chocolate chips, syrup, fresh fruit or a dollop of whipped cream.

9. McDonald’s

Need a snack before embarking on your next birthday adventure? Download the McDonald’s app and join MyMcDonald’s Rewards to receive free large fries. Mmm, the taste and smell of fresh, perfectly salted french fries.

10. Smoothie King

Want to celebrate your birthday with a healthier option? Enjoy a birthday smoothie at Smoothie King. Download the Smoothie King app to receive this offer.

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Photos courtesy of Ella Baker Center, photography by Brooke Anderson
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