In Tennessee, CHANGERs March for Housing, Health Care, and Living Wage Jobs
Led by some of the many homeless people of the region, hundreds of members and supporters of CHANGER - Chattan-
oogans and North Georgians for Economic Rights - held their 2nd annual march through downtown Chattanooga on Friday, October 2nd
They were joined by a vanload of allies from WIT—Women In Transition—of Louisville, KY. Khalilah Collins, their Executive Director and the recently elected chair of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) Coordinating Council, brilliantly and passionately keynoted the rally at the end of the march. She concluded with an invitation to all to stay with her: “I will go anywhere, march anywhere, until we end this war on the poor and have our rights!”
Others among the marchers were scores of social workers, high school students and teachers, members of the clergy, artists, and a city councilman who, formerly homeless himself, reminded us at the rally that the sooner we identify with the poor, the sooner we will ensure everybody’s human rights. A special message of solidarity was sent to those who dared not attend the march—the hundreds of undocumented workers recruited by local mills in the past and now living in fear, often in the area’s hills and woods, perversely called “illegal”. The age and ethnic diversity of the marchers bore witness to the depth of the economic crisis and the breadth of the commitment to carry out solutions that preserve human dignity and rights.
This year the march and rally were designated as CHANGER’s Zero Evictions Day initiative. Marchers halted in front of the banks that have been aggressively foreclosing the mortgages of thousands of unemployed and underemployed homeowners in the region, changing “no more foreclosures!” Zero Evictions Day—a global effort to end evictions and claim the right to housing for all—will be observed on World Habitat Day, October 5, in Washington, DC, where PPEHRC will hold a press conference and demonstration to bear witness to the failed housing policies in the US and the bailout of the banks that continue to foreclose and evict millions of people across the nation.