Past & Present: MLK's Poor People's Campaign


The actions kicked off 40 days of planned demonstrations across the country by the campaign, which is meant to continue in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Poor People's Campaign, cut short when King was assassinated 50 years ago.

Before that, they gathered on the State House grounds calling for greater economic equality.

Monday's event was the start of a six-week non-violent campaign to bring attention to people impacted by race, poverty, and inequality. Justice. When do we want it?

"We're living in an impoverished democracy", said the Rev. William J. Barber II.

"We come not with a left agenda or a right agenda".

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Derick Smith, a political education coordinator for the Poor People's Campaign, speaks to the crowd in Raleigh, N.C., on May 14, 2018 in front of the state legislature building. This year's national campaign will culminate in a March on Washington as well, scheduled for June 23.

In Washington, the two leaders of the campaign were among the protesters arrested outside the U.S. Capitol. Over the next 40 days, in cities across the nation protesters will conduct teach-ins, knock on tens of thousands of doors to mobilize voters, and conduct other forms of civil disobedience.

Today, movement leaders rallied in the nation's capital to engage in nonviolent direct action with the Poor People's Campaign, a national call for a moral revival demanding a shift in the way we think about poverty, racism, ecological devastation, and the war economy.

Across the country, people are joining in on the push to do more for the people in need.

Monday's rally kicked off 40 days of protest and voter mobilization here in ME and across the country, leading up to a rally in Washington, D.C. next month.