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Poor People’s Campaign Brings Activism to D.C.

Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s original Poor People’s Campaign, its follow-up resurgence involving more than 30 state capitals and D.C. has launched a 40-day period of nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience.

Several events connected to the campaign, which ends June 21, are slated for this week in D.C.

Modeled on its 1968 predecessor, the new Poor People’s Campaign, dubbed “A National Call for Moral Revival,” began May 14 in several venues across the country. It focuses on issues such as achieving federal and state living-wage laws as well as welfare programs for the poor, equity in education, Medicaid expansion and accessible housing.

The Rev. William Barber II, the North Carolina preacher who for the past four years has been at the center of the campaign, described its launch as “very powerful.”

“People across the country are standing up against the lie of scarcity,” Barber said in a statement. “We know that in the richest country in the world, there is no reason for children to go hungry, for the sick to be denied health care and for citizens to have their votes suppressed. Both parties have to be challenged – one for what it does and one for what it doesn’t do.”

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