The Poor People’s campaign protest march to fight for economic and poverty issues in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the original 1960s campaign, resulted in faith leaders getting arrested near the U.S. Capitol today.
New York Mag reports that the resurgence of the campaign by faith leaders and civil rights advocates was launched to address Dr. King’s “unfilled” dream objectives.
“We understand that in order to change things we have to do the rallies, we have to do organizing, we have to do voter mobilization, we have to engage in civil disobedience,” says Rev. William Barber, a pastor at Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, N.C., and a national co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.
“People will come together and put their mouths and their bodies on the line to force the nation, the media to have to see and hear the people that are impacted,” said Barber.
Today civil rights advocates and faith leaders planned peaceful protests in Washington D.C. They plan to protest outside of more than 30 state capitals including Washington, DC.
King’s 1968 Poor People’s Campaign was an initiative to bring thousands of low-wage workers to the national mall, along with faith leaders, to demand better pay and improved living conditions for the people on the lowers rungs of the economic oppression. But King didn’t live to see it come to fruition.
The new Poor People’s Campaign calls for many demands including “changes to federal and state living wage laws that are commensurate for the 21st century economy.”
According to ABC News, Rev. William Barber and the Rev. Liz Theoharis, its two co-chairmen were arrested during the protest outside the Capitol.
The men were said to be standing in the middle of a street and refused to move along.
Barber is also a former president of the state NAACP chapter. Theoharis is co-director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice in New York, according to ABC News.