‘Poverty Is Violence!’ Thousands of Demonstrators in DC Demand Economic Justice

Common Dreams – By Jessica Corbett – June 21, 2022

Led by the Poor People’s Campaign, advocacy groups and low-income individuals gathered in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to demand that policymakers “fight poverty, not the poor.”

“We are the 140 million poor and low-wealth people, standing together to declare we won’t be silent anymore,” said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the campaign. “Poverty is a policy choice and we will hold our leaders accountable.”

Fellow campaign co-chair Bishop William Barber echoed that message in a speech at the Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington, which drew thousands to the nation’s capital.

Barber declared that as long as essential workers are treated like they are “expendable” during a public health crisis, as long as federal lawmakers block pandemic relief for families, “as long as we have the stealing of native lands and unjust immigration,” and as long as millions of people nationwide face hunger and homelessness, “we won’t be silent anymore.”

“Let us be clear: We are not simply here for a day,” explained Barber, who also highlighted voter suppression efforts and the United States’ significant military spending. “This assembly is to declare the full commitment of a fusion coalition.”

“Now is the time for a Third Reconstruction. We are the rejected—who’ve been rejected by the politics of trickle-down economics and rejected by neoliberalism,” he continued, sharing the history of the first two reconstructions.

“This is a movement—until children are protected; until sick folk are healed; until low-wage workers are paid; until immigrants are treated fairly; until affordable housing is provided; until the atmosphere, the land, and the water are protected; until saving the world, and diplomacy, and living in peace is more important than blowing up the world,” he added, “we won’t be silent anymore.”

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Posted by Teri Perticone

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