Why I Support the Poor People's Campaign

May 18, 2018
  • John Gubbings

I was asked to tell you why I felt called to support the Poor Peoples Campaign and participate in its direct action at the U.S. Capitol. It would take the story of my life, but basically it is the desire to take responsibility at the highest level opportunity brings my way. For the first three fourths of my life this was in the context of the Navy and classified activities of the U.S. Government. When I started going to Cedar Lane my consciousness was raised on one social issue after another, sermon after sermon, reflection after reflection. Soon social justice and Unitarian Universalism (because of its focus on social justice) were where I felt my urge to take responsibility would be useful. I have struggled with this over the years, doing the best I could with opportunities that presented themselves.  

The Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) is being led by Rev. Barber. He is doing the best he can to pick up the cause and movement begun by MLK. It appears to me that this movement has the potential to save democracy in the U.S. It is attempting to fuse together all the people currently being hurt by social justice issues that are not being sufficiently addressed by our federal Government.  The PPC is mobilizing people across the country to engage in civil disobedience and protest policies that perpetuate poverty, racism, militarism, and ecological devastation.  Because it is grounded in the ethic of love and faith in love, I believe it has a chance of being more successful than ordinary political activity. The tactics I have to leave to the movement’s leadership. They are putting their lives into the movement and doing the best they can to achieve success. I have decided the best I can do is to do what they ask – not without question or judgment, to be sure, but giving the benefit of any doubt. So I went to the first Moral Monday of the movement on May 14th and was arrested for being in the street in front of the Capitol for not moving out of the street when ordered, while singing “before this movement fails we’ll all go down to jail.”

Watch the video of the Rev. Barber speaking at the rally preceding “direct action.”  Join the movement to support it at any level, from just lending your name or donating a small amount to doing one of the many support functions available.  

Yours truly,

John Gubbings, Cedar Lane member