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Hundreds Arrested in Nationwide Day of Action for New Poor People’s Campaign

HeadlineMay 15, 2018

As many as 1,000 people were arrested in civil disobedience protests in cities across the United States Monday during a national day of action for the new Poor People’s Campaign. On Monday, thousands of low-wage workers, clergy and community activists participated in sit-ins, marches and rallies in 40 states, including in Raleigh, North Carolina, where people joined hands and sang as they blocked traffic in front of the North Carolina Legislative Building.

Woman: “It ain’t no harm in havin’ your mind…”

Crowd: “Stayed on freedom.”

Hundreds also gathered for a rally and civil disobedience protest in Washington, D.C., where Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour spoke out.

Linda Sarsour: “I come here as a Muslim because my faith teaches me that I must stand with the most vulnerable people in my society. My god doesn’t just tell me to go pray in the mosque. This act that we’re doing today is an act of worship, because my god is a practical god. My god tells me, 'Feed the hungry. Feed the homeless.' My god tells me, 'Welcome the refugees.' My god tells me to open my home to my neighbors. That is my god, the god of Abraham. Sisters and brothers, our dear brother Malcolm X said, 'Freedom—if you're not willing to die for it, take that word out of your mouth.’”

That was Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour, speaking in Washington, D.C. Shortly afterward, she was arrested for blocking traffic. Monday’s actions come 50 years after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. launched the first Poor People’s Campaign to protest economic inequality, militarism and racial injustice. Click here to see our full interview with the new Poor People’s Campaign organizers Rev. William Barber and Rev. Liz Theoharis, who were also arrested in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

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