Poverty

Puerto Rico Debt Deal Receives Court Approval

Judge Laura Taylor Swain approved a deal to restructure $17 billion of Puerto Rico's $72 billion debt on Monday. Court approval was the last hurdle creditors and the island's oversight board needed for a plan to address sales tax backed debt or "COFINA" debt."We are worried that not enough debt is being cut and that Puerto Rico's people are carrying heavy austerity burdens," said Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte, who monitors Puerto Rico's debt. "The math isn't adding up.

Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance Funding

On Thursday, Judge Laura Taylor Swain delayed approval of a $17 billion debt deal between Puerto Rico "COFINA" creditors and the island's oversight board. Citing concerns that her ruling could alter Puerto Rico's constitution, the judge requested additional materials to review on Monday from the federally appointed oversight board."We are concerned that the plan under consideration doesn't cut enough debt," said Eric LeCompte who heads Jubilee USA and has monitored the island's financial situation since 2015.

Tenant Activists protest sale of rent controlled buildings to developers by Catholic Church

On the 16th of September, DC area community activists showed up outside the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, demanding that the Catholic Church cancel plans to sell off rent-controlled buildings near Rhode Island avenue to developers who intend to evict the tenants.

Video-speakers call out the greed and hypocrisy of the Church throwing tenants out in the street for 30 pieces of silver

Movement for Black Lives DC hosts Night out for Safety and Liberation

On Tuesday, the 7th of August, Night out for Safety and Liberation hosted the Night out for Safety and Liberation as an alternative to the cop-focussed "National Night Out." The Night out for Safety and Liberation is all about solutions to problems on the street and elsewhere that avoid reliance on police and prisons.

In front of DC's Night Out for Safety and Liberation

Clean It or Close It : Protesting Inhumane Conditions at DC Central Holding block

Rev. Graylan Hagler and the DC Poor People's Campaign protest inhumane conditions at the DC Central holding block including roaches and vermin. Protesters describe their experiences being held at the DC jail and call for it to either be renovated or closed.

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Speeches and soundbites after 19:33

Mock demolition staged at Mayor Bowser's home against DC General demolition near shelter (and kids)

On the 30th of July, supporters of homeless familes living in the DC General shelter showed up in front of the Mayor's home to protest plans to demolish parts of the building before homeless families have moved out of other parts. Demolition can expose children living there to lead dust and other toxins. Apparently the Mayor wants to offer the site to Amazon for their HQ2 project as quickly as possible.

Video from SURG DC's and Emma Cleveland's Twitter clips

Mock demoliton of DC General staged in front of Mayor Bowser's home(Photo by SURJ-DC)

Senate Bill Offers Debt Relief for Puerto Rico

New Senate legislation offers additional options for Puerto Rico to cut its debt. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ed Markey (D-MA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced the US Territorial Relief Act. If Congress passes the act, US Territories that experience natural disasters could qualify for debt relief.

Senate Passes Puerto Rico Nutritional Assistance in Farm Bill: Puerto Rico Housing Assistance Fails in Senate

The US Senate voted for Puerto Rico disaster relief in the form of food assistance with the passage of the "Farm Bill." The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, included Senators Marco Rubio and Kirsten Gillibrand's amendment to fund Puerto Rico's Nutritional Assistance Program.

Capitol Police block Poor Peoples's March from US Capitol grounds

On the 23ed of June, the Poor People's Campaign held a rally and march on the US Capitol at the endpoint of their initial 40 days of action. The US Capitol Police blocked the march from approaching the Capitol West Lawn, using police lines and protest pen fence to divert marchers. This was not expected by many marchers and could have created a dangerous crowd crush scenario.

Video of the march and the police lines/pens that hemmed it in 2min 42 sec

The lead of the march between a pair of pen fences after flanking the intial police line

Poor People's Campaign Direct Action at HHS

A contingent of activists from the Poor People's Campaign marched to and delivered testimony at the Department of Health and Human Services, highlighting the plight of immigrant families separated by the Trump administration, health care and housing for all and other issues faced by poor people in this country.

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