Poor, disenfranchised people, clergy and moral leaders from across the state will deliver a letter to Maryland lawmakers Monday morning highlighting racist voter suppression laws and the growing number of people living in poverty.
Organizers in thirty states and the U. S. Capitol are simultaneously delivering the letters at press conferences on behalf of The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, led by North Carolina civil rights activist Rev. William J. Barber III.
“It is the demand of the poor and the disenfranchised to be heard and heeded in the places of power and decision making,” said Maryland coordinator for the press conference, Dr. Mary Dadone. Members of the campaign wish to express their disappointment to lawmakers in what they feel is a legislative “failure to address the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and America’s distorted national morality.”
Dadone hopes that members of the public will connect to the movement by attending the press conference in solidarity. “I believe we are only safe and whole if we unite with each other,” said Dadone.
If legislators do not take action, the group plans six weeks of direct action beginning Mother’s Day and are willing to risk arrest in what they are calling “one of the largest waves of nonviolent civil disobedience in U.S. history.”
The original Poor People’s Campaign was the last endeavor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before he was assassinated. Barber rekindled the movement in 2013 by leading a series of Monday marches protesting the North Carolina’s Republican majority’s attempts to pass laws restricting voter access.
Monday’s press conference is open to the public and will be held at 10 a.m. in Annapolis at the Maryland House of Delegates Office Building, Room 145.
Brenda Wintrode is a freelance reporter for The Arundel Patriot. Comments? See our Facebook post.