Stop the war on the poor

First Annual International Week 
Stop the War on the Poor, July 14-20

Join the SoCal Event
Sunday, July 20th, 12:30-3:30pm
MacArthur Park, 
corner Wilshire & Parkview 
Metro: Westlake/MacArthur Park
All Welcome!  Children’s Activities, Food, Resource info for low income people including on benefits, food security, expungement of criminal records & more.


Background to Stop the War on the Poor

Stop the War on the Poor commemorates Martin Luther King Jr’s Poor People’s Campaign (PPC). In 1968, just prior to his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr condemned the Vietnam War and called for the PPC culminating in a Poor People’s March in DC in June, demanding a living wage and a guaranteed income. He said Congress had shown "hostility to the poor" by spending "military funds with alacrity and generosity”.  Coretta Scott King spoke out against poverty and in support of welfare mothers.


King learnt from welfare mothers. They had been calling for a poor people’s campaign and urging his organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), to oppose “anti-welfare” legislation and support their right to welfare. As a result of their leadership, King became anti-capitalist and anti-war. * Source: Michael Eric Dyson

Actions in the US, Ireland and England!

What are we demanding?

$       Passage and implementation of the RISE Out of Poverty Act (H.R. 814, Rep Gwen Moore D-WI) that makes the elimination of child poverty central to welfare legislation and recognizes caregiving and education as work Sign petition online

$       Passage and implementation of the Social Security caregivers Credit Act (H.R. 5024, Rep Nita Lowey D-NY), another step toward recognizing caregiving as work.

$       Child welfare agencies stop removing children from families because of poverty, racism, sexism or other bias rather than abuse or neglect.

$       A living wage for mothers and other caregivers – we are launching an international petition.

$       Resources for the care of people and the planet, not war and occupation.

Why do we need it? While one in two people in the US lives at or near poverty and the planet is on the brink, the US spends $682 billion on the military – nearly half the world’s total.  

For more information, contact

Welfare Warriors:  414-342-6662 [email protected]  Facebook page

Global Women’s Strike (GWS) and Women of Color/GWS:  323-276-9833,[email protected]  Every Mother is a Working Mother Network:

Co-sponsors include: Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin; Dallas 6 Campaign, Pennsylvania; Human Rights Coalition-Fed Up, Pittsburgh; 9 to 5 Wisconsin; Parents Organizing For Welfare and Economic Rights (POWER), Olympia, WA; Payday Men’s Network; Queer Strike; USPROStitutes Collective; Women and Trans Prisoner Defense Committee, Pittsburgh; Voces de la Frontera, Milwaukee, WI.

Southern California Planning Group: Alexandria House; California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement; DCFS Give Us Back Our Children; Every Mother is a Working Mother Network; Food Not Bombs; Feminists Working on Real Democracy (F*WORD, Santa Cruz); Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign, Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP); KidVillage@OccupyLA; LA No More Jails; Long Beach Area Peace Network; Martin Luther King Coalition of Greater LA; Military Families Speak Out-OC; OccupyLongBeach; RAC-LA; Sin Barras, Santa Cruz; Women of Color/Global Women’s Strike & GWS/LA; Veterans for Peace Los Angeles.  

Stop the War on the Poor!

War & Militarization Are Prioritized over Survival & Caring

  • MLK said “War is the enemy of the poor.”
  • The US continues to wage war around the world, causing death and destruction, and costing $3 trillion since 2001.
  • Globally $1 trillion a year on green energy could stop climate change.
  • In the US, 146.4 million people, or 1 in 2, are below or near the poverty line; 20.5 m in extreme poverty (below half of the poverty line).
  • Globally 1 in 3 people live on less than $2/day; a billion on less than $1.25/day  – similar to what many Native American communities are forced to live on.

Impact on Mothers & Families

  • The work of mothers is tokenized, devalued and unpaid. 41% of women-headed families with children live in poverty. The years we spend raising children are called zero years and we get no social security credit.
  • The most impoverished mothers are penalized by welfare “reform” (TANF) – it denies that every mother is a working mother and forces mothers out to waged work.
  • Welfare “reform” has increased poverty. Welfare spending has gone up while the number of families receiving welfare has gone down – from 82 % of poor families in 1979 to 25% now – and benefits have been cut to below 50% of the poverty line in all states.
  • Welfare “reform” benefits professionals at the expense of families. Money that used to go to low income mothers caring for children was shifted into “services” including childcare and child welfare agencies.
  • Homelessness is up 35%. Women and children are the fastest growing section of the homeless.
  • Single mothers are the fastest growing population going to prison, and there are more Black men in prison than were enslaved in 1857. The US has the largest prison population in the world.

The impact on our children

Nearly 1 in 4 young children in the US lived with insufficient food in 2012.

Children are 36 % of the poor. In 2010, 16.4 million US children (22%) were poor. Black, Latino and Native American children are most likely to live in poverty.

More and more children are being detained by child welfare agencies, a $29 billion industry generating income to millions of professionals and big Pharma, and placed in  foster care due to poverty, homelessness, racism, sexism . . .

The US is the only rich country with no federal paid maternity leave policy and no universal child or family allowance.  

47.6% of immigrants and their US born children live in or near poverty. Immigration laws force separation of children from their families.

The impact on older people & people with disabilities

  • In 2010, 8.3 million US people over 60 faced the threat of hunger – up 78% from a decade ago.
  • In the US people with disabilities are twice as likely to live below the poverty line. 72% of women with disabilities live below the poverty line.

Impact on wages for women & men

  • When welfare benefits drop so do wages. Wages (adjusted for inflation) have dropped from 1979 to today.
  • Domestic and homecare workers, along with farm workers, commonly make less than the minimum wage.
  • Women earn only 77% of what white men earn; Black and Latina women earn even less.
  • Men’s income has dropped by 19% since 1970; by 41% for those with a high school diploma and no college.
  • Almost 40% of Alzheimer’s caregivers are men, often caring for their partners, without pay. Men are increasingly echoing women’s demand for time and resources to care for their loved ones.

The 1% is getting richer, much richer

  • 95 % of all income growth between 2009 and 2012 went to the 1%.
  • The top 400 wealthiest are worth more than $2 trillion, more than the bottom half of the US population.  


  • July 13, 2014 at 6:00pm – 9pm

Will you come?

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  • posted about this on Facebook 2014-07-12 10:42:49 -0700
    Join the SoCal Event Sunday, July 20th, 12:30-3:30pm MacArthur Park, corner Wilshire & Parkview Metro: Westlake/MacArthur Park All Welcome! Children’s Activities, Food, Resource info for low income people including on benefits, food security, expungement of criminal records & more.