The Gulf Coast People’s Convention is a coalition of activists focusing our united grievances and the many issues our Gulf Coast faces. Individuals and members of activist groups belong to working groups that focus on specific issues.
Members of this coalition show solidarity by attending monthly actions planned by individual working groups, networking, and sharing resources.
The Gulf Coast People’s Convention began as a single event (The First People’s Convention in New Orleans) that took place in New Orleans Louisiana on October 27, 2012 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church.
Activists from Alabama and Louisiana met and broke up into workshops to focus on the the grievances that connected them all. This list was not meant to be all-inclusive, but these are the issues attendees chose to focus on.
- Student Debt
- Corexit toxic dispersants used in the Gulf of Mexico
- Military Industrial Complex
- Political Reform
- Workers’ Rights
- Tar Sands Event
The Gulf Coast People’s Convention tentatively approved the following motions with no objections from those in attendance:
1. To change the name of this group to The Gulf Coast People’s Convention.
2. Acceptance of the all the below stated reports, objectives, meetings and actions of all the listed groups
3. To sponsor and organize action in protest of the budget austerity measures slated for 2013 in December- December 15 Fiscal Cliff Austerity Protest (Jan 2 is when they are meeting).
4. Gulf Coast People’s Conventions to take place quarterly!
Here is the original statement composed by the convention organizers.
The First People’s Convention in New Orleans is where the 99%, not the 1%, sets the political agenda. We the people, as opposed to we the rich, have needs and interests that are in fundamental conflict with the 1%. We need, for example, low and moderate income housing, the right to organize ourselves into unions, living wage jobs, public education, an end to imperialist war, and an end to the rampant discrimination against and brutalization of African Americans.
Given the 1%’s domination of the leaders of the Republicans and the Democrats, the conventions of America’s two ruling parties cannot help but sacrifice the interests of the many to satisfy the seemingly boundless greed of the privileged few. To allow the Republicans and Democrats, in this time of economic crisis, to continue to monopolize the setting of the nation’s political agenda is a recipe for disaster for the 99 percent.
So why hold The First People’s Convention in New Orleans before the November 4th Presidential Election? Because the 99% cannot leave the creation of our political process to the 1%. Because the Budget Control Act of 2011, passed by the standing U.S. Congress and signed into law by the current President, guarantees that draconian cuts in federal funding for public services that we need and regressive tax increases that we don’t need will be the focus of Congressional activity during the weeks and months following, and we must defeat this. Because it is up to the people to create the political platform and process of a truly democratic government.
What should the People’s Agenda include?
Here are a few ideas to consider:
• A public works program open to all that pays a living wage.
• Democracy not oligarchy.
• Respecting the right of everyone to safe and decent housing.
• An end to brutalization of and discrimination against African Americans.
• Immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
• Selection for elections by the 99% rather than selection for elections by the 1%.
• Environmental justice rather than pillage of the environment.
We need your thought and ideas. Help Decide the People’s Agenda.
We hope to see you there!