Slogan: Stop the war at home!
Purpose: “If you have nothing, you still have your voice,” says Cheri Honkala, national coordinator of Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, a multi-racial, inter-generational coalition of national organizations dedicated to eradicating poverty and improving living conditions of the working poor and homeless. PPEHRC promotes the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes the right to work, a choice of safe working conditions, access to food, education, health care, and social services. “We’re building a human rights movement in the U.S.,” says Honkala.
Events: On Monday, August 30, at 4 p.m., PPEHRC will rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, outside the United Nations on 45th Street and First Avenue. From there the group will march across town to the convention (“with or without a permit,” says Honkala). They’re also setting up a Bushville encampment—a tent and shanty community modeled on Depression-era Hoovervilles—to draw attention to the Bush administration’s negligence towards the poor. Starting in Jersey City, the Bushville will move around New Jersey and into New York, collecting the names and stories of Americans who’ve died as a result of poverty and deprivation. PPEHRC’s website features a section called Faces of the Fallen, which brings together the stories and photos for the world to see.
Joining Up: Supporters are urged to join the group at the U.N. rally on August 30. “We’re counting on the general public to be there and uphold the right to demonstrate,” says Honkala. You can also follow the Bushville’s progress at marchforourlives.org or call the march toll free hotline, 888-233-1948, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 6, 2004