Read

User menu

Search form

'Time for a Moral Confrontation': Poor People's Campaign Launches With Local Rallies Nationwide

'Time for a Moral Confrontation': Poor People's Campaign Launches With Local Rallies Nationwide
Tue, 5/15/2018 - by Julia Conley
This article originally appeared on Common Dreams

Protesters in Jefferson City, Missouri were just some of the participants in the nationwide launch of the Poor People's Campaign on Monday. (Photo: @standup_kc/Twitter)

Aiming to continue the work that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was doing when he was assassinated 50 years ago, a new Poor People's Campaign officially launched on Monday with advocates for economic justice rallying in Washington, D.C. and more than 30 state capitols nationwide.

The campaign, with an emphasis on voter mobilization and civil disobedience, will include 40 days of demonstrations culminating in a massive protest on June 23 in Washington, D.C. The movement calls for wage laws that are "commensurate for the 21st century economy," a repeal to the tax plan the Republican Party pushed through Congress last year, universal healthcare, and the expansion of public housing as well as guaranteed "fair and decent housing."

Led by the Rev. William Barber, organizer of North Carolina's Moral Mondays protests, the Poor People's Campaign will focus on weekly themes under the larger issue of poverty and economic inequality, including women and children in poverty, voting rights, healthcare, and housing.

"We cannot continue to have a democracy that engages in the kind of policy violence that we see happening every day," Barber told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! on Monday. "All over this country we continue to see what is not often seen or talked about in our politics, in our political debates, or even in the media...250,000 people are dying every year from poverty and low wealth."

King's Poor People's Campaign aimed to petition the government to pass an Economic Bill of Rights, guaranteeing Americans an annual wage and full employment, allocating $30 billion to combat poverty, and establishment of low-cost housing for the poor.

Today, Barber and the Institute for Policy Studies estimate that 140 million Americans are living in poverty—about 100 million more than the census estimates.

The new Poor People's Campaign demands far-reaching policy changes that aim to alleviate the economic burdens placed on poverty-stricken Americans.

The movement follows a widespread national focus on the labor movement, as teachers across the country have staged walkouts to protest chronically low wages and underfunded schools, and Sen. Bernie Sanders's introduction of a bill to strengthen the nation's unions.

On Democracy Now!, Barber stressed that the prevalence of poverty in the U.S.—one of the world's wealthiest countries—and the abandonment of American workers indicates a profound moral failing of the government.

"It is time for a moral confrontation, a non-violent moral confrontation," Barber said. "It is immoral to have 37 million people without healthcare, it is immoral not to pay living wages when we know we can do it...Our first goal is to break through the moral narrative to where we're talking about it. We're not even talking about these issues in the country."

The 40 days of protests will be the launch of a "multi-year campaign," Barber added.

On social media, participants in cities across the country shared images and videos of the Poor People's Campaign's launch.

Originally published by Common Dreams

Sign Up

Article Tabs

Cuadrilla Resources, U.K. fracking conflicts, fracking protests, fracking ban, Manchester fracking ban, carbon emissions, hydraulic fracturing

In a move that could have repercussions on the fracking industry nationwide, Manchester in northwest England has announced that it is effectively banning the practice.

Indian dams, Afghanistan water rights, Pakistan water rights, water wars, water crisis

As India finances a series of dams along the Kabul River, aiding its neighbor Afghanistan, Pakistan considers the move part of an Indian conspiracy against the increasingly water- and food-stressed nation.

As Medicare for All legislation heads towards Congressional hearings, here's a look at why even well-meaning projects and reforms inside our for-profit system are doomed from the outset.

Affordable Care Act, pre-existing conditions, universal healthcare, individual mandate repeal, GOP tax cuts, Obamacare, health coverage

That element of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, along with other actions taken by the Trump Administration, are contributing to higher premiums, less coverage and more uninsured.

Homrich 9, Detroit water shutoffs, Detroit water crisis, water privatization, Great Lakes Water Authority, water as a human right

The activists working hardest against the water crisis in Detroit are high school students, college professors, priests and volunteers – all disrupting a system that side-stepped popular votes.

Cuadrilla Resources, U.K. fracking conflicts, fracking protests, fracking ban, Manchester fracking ban, carbon emissions, hydraulic fracturing

In a move that could have repercussions on the fracking industry nationwide, Manchester in northwest England has announced that it is effectively banning the practice.

Indian dams, Afghanistan water rights, Pakistan water rights, water wars, water crisis

As India finances a series of dams along the Kabul River, aiding its neighbor Afghanistan, Pakistan considers the move part of an Indian conspiracy against the increasingly water- and food-stressed nation.

As Medicare for All legislation heads towards Congressional hearings, here's a look at why even well-meaning projects and reforms inside our for-profit system are doomed from the outset.

2020 census, citizenship questions, citizenship status, illegal immigrants, law violations, Administrative Procedures Act

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman found that Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross committed "egregious" violations of the Administrative Procedures Act by adding the citizenship question on the 2020 census.

Green New Deal, climate crisis, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

The Green New Deal provides an opportunity for transformational changes, not just reform, but changes that fundamentally solve the crises we face at all levels, in our towns and cities, states and nationally.

Affordable Care Act, pre-existing conditions, universal healthcare, individual mandate repeal, GOP tax cuts, Obamacare, health coverage

That element of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, along with other actions taken by the Trump Administration, are contributing to higher premiums, less coverage and more uninsured.

Posted 6 days 13 hours ago
government shutdown, Trump shutdown, 1%, FEMA, National Association of Realtors

A wide range of interests across the economic spectrum are jeopardized. But not all interests are suffering equally: Wealthier and more powerful interest groups have been granted preference by the government.

Posted 6 days 14 hours ago

As Medicare for All legislation heads towards Congressional hearings, here's a look at why even well-meaning projects and reforms inside our for-profit system are doomed from the outset.

Posted 5 days 5 hours ago
2020 census, citizenship questions, citizenship status, illegal immigrants, law violations, Administrative Procedures Act

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman found that Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross committed "egregious" violations of the Administrative Procedures Act by adding the citizenship question on the 2020 census.

Posted 5 days 13 hours ago
Green New Deal, climate crisis, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

The Green New Deal provides an opportunity for transformational changes, not just reform, but changes that fundamentally solve the crises we face at all levels, in our towns and cities, states and nationally.

Posted 5 days 13 hours ago
Indian dams, Afghanistan water rights, Pakistan water rights, water wars, water crisis

As India finances a series of dams along the Kabul River, aiding its neighbor Afghanistan, Pakistan considers the move part of an Indian conspiracy against the increasingly water- and food-stressed nation.

Green New Deal, climate crisis, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

The Green New Deal provides an opportunity for transformational changes, not just reform, but changes that fundamentally solve the crises we face at all levels, in our towns and cities, states and nationally.

government shutdown, Trump shutdown, 1%, FEMA, National Association of Realtors

A wide range of interests across the economic spectrum are jeopardized. But not all interests are suffering equally: Wealthier and more powerful interest groups have been granted preference by the government.

Cuadrilla Resources, U.K. fracking conflicts, fracking protests, fracking ban, Manchester fracking ban, carbon emissions, hydraulic fracturing

In a move that could have repercussions on the fracking industry nationwide, Manchester in northwest England has announced that it is effectively banning the practice.

Affordable Care Act, pre-existing conditions, universal healthcare, individual mandate repeal, GOP tax cuts, Obamacare, health coverage

That element of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, along with other actions taken by the Trump Administration, are contributing to higher premiums, less coverage and more uninsured.