Over 2,000 activists arrested nationwide as part of MLK-inspired Poor People’s Campaign’s “moral revival”
Almost 50 years after Reverend Martin Luther King’s death, his Poor People’s Campaign has been revived in a nationwide 6-week organized effort to protest racism and poverty. Over 2,000 protestors, activists, and organizers with the MLK-inspired campaign have been arrested and detained since it has launched.
The Poor People’s Campaign is a national anti-poverty movement which demands economic justice for the livelihood of poor people. It describes itself as a call for a “moral revival” that challenges “the evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy and militarism.”
The Poor People’s Campaign organizers, Rev. William Barber and Rev. Liz Theoharis, were two of nine anti-poverty religious leaders arrested and detained for protesting the Supreme Court’s setback on Ohio’s controversial voting laws on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.
Before Rev. William Barber was arrested, he spoke about why the issue of voter suppression was entangled in poverty.
“Voter suppression is not just a black issue. It’s a labor issue, it’s a poor people’s issue because if you suppress the vote, you undermine the ability to elect people, and if you undermine the ability to elect people, you get people elected that will give you a regressive Supreme Court,” said Barber. “So you can’t separate voting rights from labor rights. It’s not that the black folks are over here fighting for voting rights, and the white folks are over here fighting for labor rights. We all better be fighting for all of our rights, every one of them!”
Protestors in Columbia, South Carolina have also been rallying every Monday outside the State House and Department of Education against poverty and militarism.
S.C. protestor Regina Williams told a local Fox affiliatea, “How do you get out of the cycle of poverty? Once you get in, it’s a very deep chasm that you jump into. It’s hard to get out of. We need help getting out.”
Monday protests also took place in Nashville, Tennessee.