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Dozens Arrested Nationwide at 5th Week of Poor People’s Campaign Protests

HeadlineJun 12, 2018

On Monday, dozens of people were arrested in front of the Supreme Court as part of a national day of action for the new Poor People’s Campaign protesting poverty and racism. This is Reverend Dr. William Barber, speaking at a rally just before he too was arrested.

Rev. William Barber II: “How many of you understand: How do Supreme Court justices get on the court? They get what? Nominated by who?”

Protesters: “The president.”

Rev. William Barber II: “And then they get what by the Senate?”

Protesters: “Confirmed.”

Rev. William Barber II: “How do senators get into office?”

Protesters: “Voting.”

Rev. William Barber II: “So you understand why voting suppression is a labor issue?”

Protesters: “Yes.”

Rev. William Barber II: “Voter suppression is not just a black issue. It’s a labor issue, it’s a poor people’s issue, because if you suppress the vote, you undermine the ability to elect people, and if you undermine the ability to elect people, you get people elected that will give you a regressive Supreme Court. So you can’t separate voting rights from labor rights. It’s not that the black folk are over here fighting for voting rights, and the white folks are over here fighting for labor rights. We all better be fighting for all of our rights, every one of them!”

Nine religious leaders, led by Rev. Liz Theoharis, were arrested at the Supreme Court and have been held overnight in jail by Capitol Police. They were among dozens of people arrested in nationwide protests staging a moral revival, 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s original Poor People's Campaign. In downtown Boston, protesters blocked traffic to demand a higher minimum wage. In Olympia, Washington, activists erected tents to protest homelessness and unaffordable housing. In Sacramento, California, hundreds rallied outside the California Association of Realtors’ office to protest evictions. Monday’s actions were part of the Poor People’s Campaign’s fifth week of nationwide protests.

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