One day this past July I abandoned my blueberry patch to drive to Louisville and sit in a gathering of artists and activists—black, white, and Latino—who all said they wanted to help change the world. There were teenage rappers from the Mississippi Delta and young video artists from southeast Louisiana. It was a workshop session at the national conference of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.
The campaign, made up of more than 90 organizations around the country, aims to “unite the poor across color lines as the leadership base for a broad movement to abolish poverty … through advancing economic human rights as named in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, such as the rights to food, housing, health, education, communication and a living wage job.” Some of the campaign’s affiliates do things such as mass occupations of property to prevent home foreclosures. The campaign itself marched on the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis last year and is planning a march from the Mississippi Delta to the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit in 2010. They seem to be picking up the banner of the Poor People’s Campaign that fell after Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968.