Friday, 24 May, 2019

Poor People's Campaign rallies downtown, 10 arrested

Memphians Stoke Fire of Re-Ignited 'Poor People's Campaign' Massachusetts Poor People's Campaign to rally at state house
Deanna Wagner | 15 May, 2018, 23:36

Hundreds of people took to the streets in cities across the country on Monday, as part of a new movement seeking to challenge racism and poverty in America. Half a century later, Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis have launched a new Poor People's Campaign.

Dozens turned out today, singing and chanting for change.

Similar rallies were coordinated and held in front of state houses in over 30 states across the country, according to organizers ― from Tennessee to MA to California.

Co-chairperson of the North Carolina Poor People's Campaign Love' Lemon emphasized the need for safe abortions and equal pay for women, as well as the meeting of impoverished children's needs. Justice. When do we want it? "We will let it be known that our children must not live or die in poverty".

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Calling it the "Poor People's Campaign," the activists invoked the memory of Martin Luther King Jr., who started a campaign by the same name in 1968 shortly before he was assassinated.

"We come not with a left agenda or a right agenda". Modeled after the original movement, in which thousands of people descended on the National Mall in Washington, DC, to protest poverty, the 2018 Poor People's Campaign is expected to last six weeks in 35 different states, where people plan to participate in nonviolent civil disobedience and teach-ins.

"We are here", Gillett said, "because between 1979 and 2012 income of the top 1 percent grew by 83 percent while the income for the bottom 99 percent remained stagnant and even declined for most of us".

Terrence Wise, a fast-food worker who has fought for the living wage and led campaigns for years, believes in the mission and that bringing working class people together will achieve change.