Audio by artist rev_kujenga_eliyah_ashe

Rev. Kujenga Eliyah Ashe on building a mass movement

13:35 minutes (12.44 MB)

Rev. Kujenga Eliyah Ashe and K. Lanai Ashe.
Rev. Kujenga Eliyah Ashe and K. Lanai Ashe near the Fort Hayes High School where President Obama spoke during his visit to Columbus to highlight his jobs plan

Ashe is the executive director of Community Organization for Abundant Life COAL I asked him what he thought of the environmental movement.

"The Earth is being raped by multinational corporations. They're polluting the Earth. Instead of using the solar power and wind power that they could be using...they're using fossil fuels. They're doing that because there's so much profit in it."

Ashe said he and fellow activists are pushing for an economic rights movement.

"The civil rights movement which Dr. King led has done great things. We even have a president w/ brown skin. So his dream has come true in terms of civil rights. But Dr. King, before he was killed, was starting to push for economics. He was boycotting different corporations and was planning a poor people's march on Washington, just like up in Chicago. They still have the Poor People's Campaign headed by Jerry Robinson."

Ashe said an economic rights movement lends itself to being broadly inclusive.

"The Civil Rights Movement helped all people-- black, white, red, yellow, gays, women. Everybody piggybacked on the Civil Rights Movement. Now we have our civil rights. We can vote. We have the franchise and (Black) mayors, congresspeople, senators, and even the president of the United States...Now we need our economic rights."

Ashe said the first program of that economic rights movement is repatriation and reparations for all descendants of slavery.