Text Size
Wednesday, 13 June 2018 23:37

The Didlake Workers Still Standing Strong After 3 Weeks

This is Week 5 of the Poor People's Campaign: 40 Days or Moral Revival. The theme this week is Everybody's Got a Right to Live. On Tuesday, June 12th (Primary Election Day in Virginia) striking Didlake workers were again on the picket line; however today they were joined by fellow Virginians supporting their cause. Among those supporters joining them was Rev. William Barber of the National Poor People's Campaign. Rev. Barber introduced himself to every worker standing on the picket line and then had some words to share.


 

Just last night, I was reading Dr. King's sermon. All labor has dignity, not some labor, but all labor has dignity. And all people that engage as workers must be treated with dignity, regardless of their race, their color, their sexual orientation, or their physical disabilities, or as I like to say, "handicapibilities" because people have abilities, just in different ways. All labor and all laborers. And that's why I wanted to come today to show solidarity and I want to find out from you ways to really show even more solidarity.

One of the things I want to do, I want to find a way to have these workers stand on the stage on the 23rd, to elevate this campaign nationally.  In fact, I might want to have him on the stage when we speak that day 'cause we have to have witnesses to stand around so I'd like to have them be apart of the group that stands with me. In the Poor People's Campaign, nobody speaks on the stage standing up there by themselves, it's not about that. And I think it's important because they represent poor workers, disabled people who are fighting. All that should be at the front of our public cause, not at the back of it. It should be at the center of every decision that we make. 

I also want to invite you, if any of you can and if you could come, to be in the Capital Building at 3:30, whennwe have a hearing on Capital Hill. If any of these workers could be there, even just one, I would like to reference them before members of Congress today and talk about this, and talk about what the next step is before the Board.

We cannot leave anybody behind. Not only did Dr. King say that all work has dignity, Jesus, whom I follow, said in the Bible that the laborer is worthy of their hire. That the laborer is worthy of their hire. And Jesus's brothers said, in the Book of James, that whenever we exploit workers, we exploit God. Whenever we exploit workers, we undermine the agenda of God. In fact, it's one of the few texts where it says God gets very angry. God gets very angry.

I was listening the other day when one of the Trump people said there was a special place in Hell for anybody that challenged Trump on trade. Well, they need to be real careful with that language because actually Jesus's brother James said there's a special place for those who exploit workers. And that special place doesn't come in the hereafter - it comes even in the now because nations and companies and cities and counties and businesses stand on a kind of moral judgement when we mistreat workers. And that's why those of us, whenever we can join a fight, we need to be a part of a fight. To stand with workers, to stand especially with those who should be treated with the utmost respect, who are trying their best in spite of everything. 

This company should be celebrating these workers. They should be celebrating these workers and not selecting these workers to be targeted for unjust labor practices. They should be paying them more, not paying them less. They should be lifting them up, not pushing them down. They should be offering them up as a model for America, not oppressing them down in America. And so all of us are called to stand with you, all across this nation. And I wanted to come this morning. We've got people in jail right now who got put into jail for just praying yesterday, exercising their right on the Supreme Court steps. That's their level of commitment. We had over 3,000 people arrested over the last three weeks across this country. You haven't heard it yet on CNN because they're still caught up on the tweets but it's coming. We have 15 million people that have touched on Twitter saying "We are with this movement, this movement for what's right." Over a million people have joined so something is happening. 

You are not alone, not only is the Divine Spirit of God with you but people are with you. And there's something we used to say, the people united have never been defeated. The people united have never been defeated. 

And there's another thing is we say, "Everybody has the right to live, no matter who they are, who they love, where they come from, what their abilities are, everybody has a right to live. And before a campaign fails, we'll all go down to jail because everybody has a right to live." And there's another thing we say, "Forward together not one step back. Red, yellow, black, white, brown, gay, straight, young, old, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Unitarian, whatever you are, people of faith, people not of faith, people with disabilities, people without disabilities, we are America, we're not going anywhere and we'll fight for our rights, and we will win. Forward together not one step back." 

No matter the boards, no matter the rulings, as long as there's life in our bodies, a voice in a our mouth, a beat in our hearts, and our minds are set in order, forward together not one step back. Amen. 

Would all the workers here put their hand on my hand right here, if you're able. And then would the rest of y'all just touch us from the side, on the back.

Gracious in eternal Spirit of Justice, and Love, and Mercy, and Truth.

Spirit that gives us the power to stand, the power to speak truth, the power to believe, the power to unite, the power to have solidarity with our brothers and sisters.

We stand today with these workers. We believe and declare and decree that the union will be approved.

We believe and declare and decree that this company will help them bargain.

We believe and declare and decree because of the efforts that it will make the way for others around the country.

This is holy ground.

This is justice ground.

This is love ground.

And we will never turn back because we believe you have called us to go forward together and to never take a step back when it comes to love, justice, workers' rights and speaking truth in every situation.

Remind this country what you said in your word.

Go unto those that legislate and rob people of their rights and make women and children their prey.

We stand to stop the robbery.

We stand to stop the stealing of labor and our efforts.

We stand to loose justice and to set the captives free.

What is in the name that is all great and powerful and wonderful, the name of the Divine Spirit, Amen.

 

Read 273 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 June 2018 02:46

Media

Latest News Articles

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Richmond Hearing 9-26-2018

Worker Solidarity

Contact Us at virginia@poorpeoplescampaign.org