Visions of a New Movement to Abolish Poverty
We must move past indecision to action . . . If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark shameful corridors of time . . . Now Let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves . . . the choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise, we must choose . . .
-- Martin Luther King
SO WHAT'S A POOR GIRL TO DO?
The problems facing low-income women demand serious change, the kinds of big change that can only be made by broad radical movement -- one that's out there for basic justice, for economic and social rights. As the opposition to welfare, and all poor people's programs has intensified and radicalized, we are less and less patient with strategies that end with lobbying to defend yet one more ineffective program. While this may still have to be done, for us the task is to educate, organize and mobilize a broader constitutency that will make the connections between welfare cuts and the increasing risk of poverty, and then between poverty and the lack of security for all in this society.
When we think about the possibility of creating such a change, the best model we know of is the predecessor to the Civil Rights Movement, the Abolitionist Movement.
We love the Abolitionist Movement because it was big and brave, funky and disorganized and accomplished a lot. For probably the widest range of people in the history of this country there was a period of time when, if you felt "radical" -- whatever that word meant to you -- there