Poor People's Campaign

50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign, people are again taking to the streets under that banner. The modern campaign is a nationwide effort to confront lawmakers with a progressive moral agenda.

The fundamental principles of their campaign center around framing systemic racism, income disparity, ecological devastation and militarism as being immoral. The Campaign, therefore, is a call for a moral revival. It also invites comparisons between 1968 and today, which seem increasingly important as voting rights are curtailed.

Now into the final days of the campaign’s 40 days of action, the movement persists despite crackdowns and arrests. Some protesters have made the case for why they will get themselves arrested for their cause. Some even actively intend to get arrested to garner attention for the cause.

A leader of the movement, Rev. Liz Theoharis, was arrested last week for praying at the Capitol.

Today’s protests move the campaign closer to its national march this Saturday. And today, they took aim at the appalling treatment of immigrant children at the hands of the Trump administration.

And they were not afraid of the consequences of their protest, and the latest round of mass arrests their campaign would endure.

Turnout from Albany to Alabama was gave some truly beautiful images and stunning displays of democracy in action.

And it’s starting to have an impact. A small group of legislators met with the Campaign last week, including Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) who are all favorites to seek the Democratic bid to unseat Donald Trump.

The Poor People’s Campaign returns to Washington, DC this Saturday.


Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.

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