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What is POC?

People’s Organizing Committee (POC) refers to a collaboration between a group of young organizers from several different organizations that were working under the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund. PHRF was founded on the principle that the people most impacted by Hurricane Katrina should lead the movement to return to and rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. In “PHRF – Who We Are,” this principle was stated this way: “The purpose of PHRF is to ensure that people from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region play a central role in all decisions made about relief and the rebuilding of New Orleans and Gulf Coast. PHRF believes that the people themselves should be the leaders and that this is the only way justice will be served.”

In mid-April, a group of people who disagreed with the Survivor Council overseeing the money and resources of PHRF took over the organization and all the money that had been raised around the country to support organizing those most impacted by the hurricane (over $600,000). They also fired the grassroots organizers who had been doing this work and directing the work of the hundreds of volunteers who have streamed in to help with it.

Those in PHRF who were dedicated to Bottom-Up organizing decided we must continue with or without money, and POC was born! We are continuing to build the New Orleans Survivors’ Council, canvass door-to-door in communities all over New Orleans and other cities, and host volunteers. We encourage you to read the documents on this site to learn more about the work of POC and how you can help!

POC believes in the importance of a mass, multi-racial movement led by those most oppressed and exploited in our society: poor black people. We unite with and support the struggles of immigrant workers and all oppressed people worldwide. We see that all levels of the government and both parties betrayed us and left us to die in New Orleans. We understand that we must build an independent movement and unite with all allies who are honest in the struggle against oppression and racism, nationally and internationally. These principles and this experience are not restricted to the Gulf Coast. Come join us here and then go back to your homes and help organize this movement wherever you are!

International School for Bottom-up Organizing