MUSICIANS ARE (POOR) PEOPLE TOO

[please forward to other musicians]

"I think our goal should be to take care of each and every one of our citizens, no matter who they are or where they come from."-- Steve Earle

We are Rock A Mole (rhymes with guacamole) Productions in Los Angeles. We are artists, musicians, and writers. We are stepping to you to let you know about something very important that is happening in our country.

Did you know that there is a large and growing movement to end poverty led by the poor themselves? Did you know that musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Wyclef Jean, Jackson Browne, Tom Morello, Sara Hickman, Ice T, Steve Earle, and Wayne Kramer have aligned themselves with this movement?

"I believe that the only people who are capable of leading a movement to end poverty are poor people. You can't go begging with your cup, knocking on the master's door and say, 'Please sir, may I have another portion?' That's just not how it works. All progressive change has come from below."--Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine

Under the leadership of the Poor People's Economic Campaign for Human Rights (PPEHRC), dozens of poor people's organizations have come together to organize for what they know this wealthy country can give them: Food, housing, medical care, and education. These organizations represent people of all races and all ages, spanning the U.S. from the inner cities to the backwoods of Appalachia to the fields of Florida.

"Oh yes, it has to come from the bottom up anyway, it has to come from the bottom up."--Mahdi of Krown Ju-elz

The PPEHRC is in the process of waging a lawsuit before the Inter-American Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS), charging the United States government with violating the economic human rights of its citizens-- the rights to food, housing, health care, and education. All across the country, the PPEHRC is going door to door and gathering the testimony of people who have been denied these rights.

Music has been a vital part of the battle to end poverty--it helps to connect people up, to raise consciousness, to build morale, and to raise money. And, of course, musicians are poor, too.

Paying the rent, struggling to find health care, getting a day job--all of this impacts on the lives of musicians and on our ability to pursue our creative visions. So it's only natural that the PPEHRC campaign should include the testimony of musicians, so that the voices of musicians can be combined with the testimony of other people who are struggling to survive.

Could you please answer the following three questions (at any length you want) and send them to us at rockrap@aol.com so that we can make sure they become a part of the PPEHRC campaign? Thanks, peace, and keep making music--

1. How many people do you know who've performed at a benefit for a musician who was unable to pay his or her medical bills?

2. Have you or any other musicians you know ever had problems obtaining health care?

3. Have you ever had a problem with finding a place to stay or paying the rent?

Please include your name (band name, if any), address, and email address. Thanks!

Rock A Mole Productions
P.O. Box 341305
Los Angeles, CA 90034
310-398-4477
E-Mail: rockrap@aol.com

For more information on the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, contact:

Kensington Welfare Rights Union
Box 50678
Philadelphia PA 19132
215-203-1945
http://www.kwru.org
E-Mail: kwru@libertynet.org

P.S. Rock A Mole Productions, in association with the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, is producing The Ultimate Song, a film about music's role in the struggle to end poverty. The film includes Wyclef Jean, Jackson Browne, Wayne Kramer, Steve Earle, Sara Hickman, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, and Ice T. The film will be completed this summer and VHS copies will be sent FREE to any musician who wants one. If you are a musician and would like a copy, contact Rock A Mole at P.O. Box 341305, LA CA 90034 or at rockrap@aol.com

"We have the resources to end poverty, the question is do we have the will to end poverty? I really think that it takes throwing your lot in with those that are impoverished."--Jackson Browne



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