Home / Politics / Saturday open thread for night owls: Poor People's Campaign focuses on the ballot box

Saturday open thread for night owls: Poor People's Campaign focuses on the ballot box

The Reverend Dr. William Barber II

The Reverend Dr. William Barber II and Dr Liz Theoharis at The Guardian write—The war on poverty begins at the ballot box:

[…] The weight of poverty lies squarely on the shoulders of politicians who lack the will and political courage to truly eradicate poverty despite abundant resources to do so.

If we are to truly wage a war on poverty, we must start by mobilizing and registering poor and disenfranchised voters who have been left out of the process for far too long.

Earlier this year, the Poor People’s Campaign waged the most expansive wave of non-violent civil disobedience in history, calling attention to the systemic racism, poverty, militarism and ecological devastation plaguing the nation. We marched on state houses and Capitol Hill, risking arrest to lift up the voices of people directly affected by these issues.

Now, with the midterms in sight, we’re deepening our organizing efforts with an eye toward registering and mobilizing poor voters and building moral knowledge and political power in our communities from the bottom up. We plan on executing massive voter registration efforts in addition to a series of town halls aimed at highlighting the true face of poverty in the US. We believe by empowering often forgotten communities and driving those voters to the polls, the poor and disenfranchised can be a game changer in this election and the years to come.

The Poor People’s Campaign has built organizing committees in 40 states, including in every state of the former Confederacy, which will form the backbone of this next phase of our campaign. Those committees are composed of poor people, clergy and advocates who will recruit new leaders in each state to engage tens of thousands of poor and low-income people around the issues that affect their lives.[…]

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BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2002Difficulties of urban warfare:

Military planners continue to shudder at the thought of a street-to-street battle in Baghdad.

The US is working on new small-unit tactics to counter the urban defender’s natural advantages, but those new tactics are still not ready for primetime:

The Marines put some of their ideas to the test in a recent exercise on a shuttered Air Force base in southern California. In it, a battalion of 1,100 troops, backed by tanks and helicopters, tried to capture base housing from a simulated enemy force, played by 200 eager reservists. A hundred “extras” were hired from a temp agency to play civilian refugees. In taking the city, about 100 of the attackers were killed — about 10 percent losses, a huge number compared with recent American military deaths in single battles. Several helicopters also went down before the Marines captured the town, and more were killed as the defending forces began using truck bombs and other guerrilla activities, Sullivan said.

And remember that in an urban center, US air power means little. It is difficult to call in air strikes on roving bands of urban defenders. Helicopter gunships are vulnerable to rocket propelled grenades. And as Grozny taught us, defenders can just as easily fire from behind rubble as from standing buildings.

Once again, given the weakness of Bush’s case against Hussein, are we really willing to risk hundreds, if not thousands, of US casualties?

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for “Netroots Radio.”

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