News Release

Poor People’s Campaign: Nationwide Civil Disobedience

AP reports: “Thousands of anti-poverty activists have launched a campaign in recent weeks modeled after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign of 1968.” The Louisville Courier Journal reports Monday: “Anti-poverty activists plan another protest at Kentucky Capitol today.”

See from CommonDreams: “Hundreds Arrested Nationwide as Poor People’s Campaign Demands ‘End to the War Economy.'”

Other issues the Poor People’s Campaign is focusing on include voter suppression, immigrant injustice, lack of universal single payer healthcare and attacks on the social safety-nets and union rights.

Rev. GRAYLAN S. HAGLER, gshagler at verizon.net, @graylanhagler, @unitethepoor
Rev. WILLIAM H. LAMAR IV, william.lamar at metropolitanamec.org
Rev. Hagler is senior pastor at the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C. and chairperson of Faith Strategies. Rev. Lamar is pastor of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.

They were arrested at the Supreme Court last week protesting the court’s decision on Ohio voter suppression. See from “Democracy Now”: “Religious Leaders Shackled, Held in Jail Overnight, After Praying in Protest Outside Supreme Court” and “In the Streets with the New Poor People’s Campaign Against Racism and Poverty.”

JOHN CAVANAGH, via Domenica Ghanem, and domenica@ips-dc.org, @ips_dc
Cavanagh is director of the Institute for Policy Studies, which submitted testimony to Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Elijah Cumming’s panel on the Poor People’s Campaign on Tuesday.

Cavanagh said today: “There’s an enduring narrative that if the millions of people in poverty in the U.S. just worked harder they would be lifted up out of their condition. But here we’re proving — with data and analysis spanning 50 years — that the problem is both structural barriers for the poor in hiring, housing, policing, and more, as well as a system that prioritizes war and the wealthy over people and the environment they live in. It is unfathomable, for example, that in the wealthiest nation in the world, medical debt is the number one cause of personal bankruptcy filings, and one and a half million people don’t have access to plumbing.”