Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Maine Poor People's Campaign protests in Augusta

Maine Poor People's Campaign protests in Augusta

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.

They say the first week of this six-week campaign is focusing on child poverty, women in poverty, and people with disabilities, they say.

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Jerry Goldberg is with a coalition to stop foreclosures, which is part of the campaign. He and others who spoke inside the Capitol Annex Monday said they were there "because somebody is hurting our people". "And we're going to come together and take back what's rightfully ours". Goldberg said each week the rally will have a specific focus, like immigrant rights and water rights.

The campaign is co-organized by Repairers of the Breach, a social justice organization; the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary; and several other groups. The aim, organizers said, is to ensure lawmakers address the issues and help reclaim the nation's "deteriorating" moral narrative.

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"Our goal is to change the national conversation to no longer let politicians divide us on issues that shouldn't be dividing us", one protester who said she was from the Michiana area said. After the rally, participants blocked off an intersection in front of the Capitol.

Participants in D.C. sang out familiar chants from protests against racism and police brutality in recent years: "What do we want?"

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He cited statistics that indicate 46 percent of Kentucky residents - 2 million people - are poor or low-income; 76 percent of those are children; 47 percent are women; 65 percent are people of color; 42 percent are white people, according to Gillett.

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