On Sept 2nd, the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) led a massive March for Our Lives: Money for Health Care and Housing, Not for War! to the seat of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, in the United States.

Families at the Frontlines

The PPEHRC's March for Our Lives, one of the largest marches at the RNC, followed a month-long series of events by poor and homeless families from the PPEHRC to ensure that the voices, stories and demands of the poor of the US be heard during the US elections.

Last week's march took place in a city heavy militarized - just days before more than 100 riot police, sharpshooters and others had evicted 20 PPEHRC families with children in the middle of night as we attempted to set up our Bushville encampment. In the preceding days, press attampting to cover PPEHRC's activities had been shoved into elevators and out of the State Capitol, our lawyer had been denied entry to the State Capitol to meet with us, members of the press had had their notes and footage and cameras confiscated, hundreds more press and protestors were unlawfully and violently arrested, and tear gas and rubber bullets had been used on peaceful protestors. (See reports on PPEHRC website)

PPEHRC's September 2nd March for Our Lives was surrounded by riot police with tear gas and rubber bullets, military in fatigues, sharpshooters, police and military in armored vehicles, helicopters, unmarked cars, on horses and bicycles who repeatedly attempted to sabotage our march and our message by instilling fear in families attempting to march and by diverting attention from our activities.

In the midst of heavy militarization and police violence against protesters and the press, the PPEHRC led thousands of people - poor and homeless families from across the US, public housing residents, residents of impoverished Indigenous reservations, leaders of the American Indian Movement, veterans, the disabled, immigrants from all over the world, families who lost children in Iraq, students, religious people, artists, poor youth, labor organizers, truckers who have gone bankrupt because of high gas prices, people without medical care, and many others suffering in the current economy - in a massive march for "Economic Human Rights.

The march, one of the largest of the week, ended with the delivery of a Citizens Arrest of members of the Bush Administration for "Crimes for Humanity."

The March for Our Lives was preceded by a statewide caravan by PPEHRC across the state of Minnesota to meet with fellow poor families, a Bushville encampent of poor and homeless families from across the US; a National Truth Commission on economic human rights violatoions in the US, and a sit-in by members of the PPEHRC at the Minnesota State Capitol to ensure that the stories and demands poor be seen and heard during the RNC, despite heavy repression against both the media and protestors before and during the RNC.

See for more coverage.

Later this month, PPEHRC leaders involved in these events will speak at European Parliament in Brussels (September 16th), and also at the European Social Forum in Malmo, Sweden (September 18-21). Please join us!

Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC)
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