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Poor People's Campaign

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Poor People's Campaign, or Poor People's March on Washington, was a 1968 effort to gain economic justice for poor people in the United States. It was organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and carried out under the leadership of Ralph Abernathy in the wake of King's assassination.

The campaign demanded economic and human rights for poor Americans of diverse backgrounds. After presenting an organized set of demands to Congress and executive agencies, participants set up a 3,000-person protest camp on the Washington Mall, where they stayed for six weeks in the spring of 1968.

The Poor People's Campaign was motivated by a desire for economic justice: the idea that all people should have what they need to live. King and the SCLC shifted their focus to these issues after observing that gains in civil rights had not improved the material conditions of life for many African Americans. The Poor People's Campaign was a multiracial effort—including African Americans, white Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans—aimed at alleviating poverty regardless of race.[1][2]

According to political historians such as Barbara Cruikshank, "the poor" did not particularly conceive of themselves as a unified group until President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty (declared in 1964) identified them as such.[3] Figures from the 1960 census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Commerce Department, and the Federal Reserve estimated anywhere from 40 to 60 million Americans—or 22 to 33 percent—lived below the poverty line. At the same time, the nature of poverty itself was changing as America's population increasingly lived in cities, not farms (and could not grow its own food).[4] Poor African Americans, particularly women, suffered from racism and sexism that amplified the impact of poverty, especially after "welfare mothers" became a nationally recognized concept.[5]

By 1968, the War on Poverty seemed like a failure, neglected by a Johnson administration (and Congress) that wanted to focus on the Vietnam War and increasingly saw anti-poverty programs as primarily helping African Americans.[6] The Poor People's Campaign sought to address poverty through income and housing. The campaign would help the poor by dramatizing their needs, uniting all races under the commonality of hardship and presenting a plan to start to a solution.[7] Under the "economic bill of rights," the Poor People's Campaign asked for the federal government to prioritize helping the poor with a $30 billion anti-poverty package that included, among other demands, a commitment to full employment, a guaranteed annual income measure and more low-income housing.[8] The Poor People's Campaign was part of the second phase of the civil rights movement. King said, "We believe the highest patriotism demands the ending of the war and the opening of a bloodless war to final victory over racism and poverty".[9]

King wanted to bring poor people to Washington, D.C., forcing politicians to see them and think about their needs: "We ought to come in mule carts, in old trucks, any kind of transportation people can get their hands on. People ought to come to Washington, sit down if necessary in the middle of the street and say, 'We are here; we are poor; we don't have any money; you have made us this way ... and we've come to stay until you do something about it.'"[10]

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  • ✪ Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture | Rev. Dr. William J. Barber
  • ✪ LIVE Rev. Dr. William J. Barber
  • ✪ King, Pope Francis, and Poverty: The Poor People's Campaign for the 21st Century


- [Woman] This is Duke University. - Good evening and welcome to the 2018 Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture and Boyarsky Lecture in Law, Medicine, and Ethics called Poverty, Health, and Social Justice with Reverend William J. Barber II. It takes a village to bring in Reverend Barber. I'd like to acknowledge some of the folks who've been involved. I'm Dr. Jeff Baker, director of the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine within the Duke School of Medicine. Our center brings together faculty and associates interested in the insights provided by the medical humanities on all aspects of healthcare especially the actual practice of medicine research. Our mission includes teaching and exploring the questions of bioethics and social justice within the broader matrix of medicine's history in social context. Our event tonight is presented jointly by the Trent Center and the Sanford School of Public Policy. The Sanford School has more than 80 faculty members, multiple research centers, several master's programs here and abroad, a PhD program in one of Duke's largest undergraduate majors. Our event is also co-sponsored by the Center for Child and Family Policy. POLIS, the Center for Political Leadership, Innovation, and Service, and Sanford's Bridging Communities. The Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture is made possible by a gift to the university from the William Kenan Charitable Trust in honor of the late Terry Sanford. Terry Sanford would've turned 100 years old in August and is a much beloved and respected figure in North Carolina. He dedicated his life to ethical leadership and public life. During his tenure as governor of North Carolina from 1961 to 1965, he focused on strengthening education, combating poverty, and expanding civil rights. He supported desegregation when other governors were blocking African-American students from entering university gates. In keeping with examples set by Terry Sanford, the purpose of this distinguished lecture is to bring on campus men and women of the highest personal and professional stature to speak to the Duke community. And tonight's event is also the 2018 Boyarsky lectureship in law, medicine, and ethics, created through a gift from Dr. Saul and Rose Boyarsky to bring distinguished lecturers to Duke University who can inspire achievement in social justice and public health through science. We are delighted to welcome them here this evening on this the UN's World Day of Social Justice, along with their children and grandchildren who have come from far and wide to join us tonight. And thanks to all of you, students, faculty, and members of the community alike for coming to this very special event. Please silence your cell phones and note that we are streaming this event live to a Sanford School of Public Policy Facebook page. I'm going to return the microphone at the end of Reverend Barber's talk to moderate an audience Q&A, but for now I would like to welcome Kelly Brownell, the Dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy and director of the Duke World Food Policy Center to introduce our distinguished guest. (audience clapping) - Thank you, Jeff, and thank you to the staff of the Trent Center for working together with our most capable team at the Sanford School of Public Policy to present this special event. The Reverend Dr. William J Barber II is the president and senior lecturer of the non profit organization known as Repairers of the Breach. He is a minister, an author, and a professor, above all he is an inspirational leader Reverend Dr. barber served as president of the North Carolina NAACP, the largest chapter in the south from 2006 to 2017. In this role, he started and led the Forward Together Moral Movement in which many people in this room participated. The movement gained national notoriety with its Moral Monday protest at the North Carolina General Assembly. These protests drew tens of thousands of residents and over the course of the campaign, police arrested more than 1200 protesters. In 2014, Reverend Barber led the largest Moral March in the state's history with an estimated 80,000 people calling on North Carolina's elected officials to embrace a moral public policy agenda. inspired by events in North Carolina, grassroots Moral Movements grew in a number of other states such as Georgia, Florida, and Missouri. Reverend Barber has been a powerful and tireless advocate for voters rights, fair legislative districts, healthcare reform, labor and workers' rights, immigrants' rights, reparation for women survivors of eugenics, release of the Wilmington Ten, and educational equality. In 2009, the Governor Beverly Perdue presented Reverend barber with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina's highest citizenship award, Some of his contributions to the state include helping win same-day registration early voting in North Carolina, the only state in the South, helping secure passage of the Racial Justice Act of 2009 to protect wrongly convicted African-American men from death row. The North Carolina General Assembly subsequently repealed that act. Reverend Barber is pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is a graduate of North Carolina Central University, the Duke Divinity School, and Drew University Theological School where he earned a doctorate in ministry, Since stepping down from his leadership of the NAACP, Reverend Barber became president of the Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign, a national call for moral revival. We are honored and humbled by the sheer power of tonight's guest to lead North Carolinians and now the country toward social justice and I can say there's no warmer man that I believe I've ever met, please help me welcome the Reverend Dr. William J Barber II. (people clapping) ♪ Everybody's got a right to live ♪ ♪ Everybody's got a-- ♪ - So, this feels like the old mass meetings. We're here in all of our diversity, we're here in the human family. - There is a fire raging now for the poor of this society. They are living in tragic conditions because of the terrible economic injustices that keep them locked in. - We have to deal with our war economy and systemic racism and systemic poverty and ecological devastation and finally we have to deal with the moral narrative. This wall, this is sin of the highest order. - We are traveling around this country building this Poor People's Campaign, a national call for moral revival. What we wanna do now is hear a little bit from the local community who are a part of this campaign. - I've spent five years, five or so more years homeless. - Living on minimum wage has cause me to have to figure out on a daily basis how to afford basic necessities. - While the US sends trillions abroad, my friends, family, and fellow veterans suffer the economic consequences of the war economy. - I have two children and I enjoy raising them while acknowledging that being poor is a struggle of human rights, but when I lost my housing, healthcare, and income all at the same time, I was terrified, panicked. - I wanna stand here and reclaim the power and dignity of the mujeres in my life. - I can't afford to pay a cab. - It is one thing to know that you didn't have water and you couldn't afford your water, it's a whole 'nother to find out that they shut off your entire community and none of you matter. - And in the aftermath of climate change disasters, poor people and people of color are the ones to lose their homes. - Who can survive with 7.25? - No parent in America should have to bury their child for a lack of Medicare especially. - Being poor is not a sin, poverty is a sin. Being homeless is not a sin, homelessness is a sin. (people cheering) - And we are here and it's time for us to be the remnant that can transform the nation. - We are calling for a season of moral resistance, a season of organizing, a season of nonviolent, massive civil disobedience. - There will be a movement that will break through the con and cut through the lies and bring people together to save the heart and the soul of this democracy and this world ♪ Everybody's got a right to live ♪ (people whistling) - Hello, home, hello, North Carolina. Forward together. - [Audience] Not one step back. - All right, it's good to be here tonight. I'm so thankful to God and for his grace, I've been under the weather with a bacterial infection and had to come off the road a bit, but I'm so thankful to be here tonight with all of you. I see so many folk if I start naming people, that's going to be the next three hours, so I'm gonna do like we do down south, what up y'all? If the light folk could help me on these lights a little bit, I'm getting a shadow, but I'll do the best I can tonight. I'm so thankful to this great family that has sponsored this event, to the Trent Center, to the great legacy of Terry Sanford, to the School of Public Policy. It is such a humbling reality to be invited to be here and to see all of you out on tonight. I want for a little while tonight to talk about SOS. Saving Our Ship of State, the saving of our ship of state, and I want to suggest that in order to do that, there are some things we must first see clearly. There's some organizing we must do intentionally and then we must stand together. We must see clearly, we must organize intentionally, and we must stand together. Since the rejection election of 2016 when in many ways white rage propelled the candidate who was even endorsed by the KKK to the Republican National Convention and onto the White House, race has been ever before us in America, but our national conversation about racism has many times become confused in the post-Charlottesville debates in a struggle of whether or not we define racism through the lens of personal biases or the lens of public policy. Now, make it be clear, every politician in America condemned hate after Charlottesville or at least those who had any kind of political savvy, but racism is not about hate alone. Did you hear Richard Spencer who spent some time here at Duke? The white supremacist. When he went back to Charlottesville a few weeks ago, he said, "We came peacefully "and we will come peacefully again." He said that when he endorsed the current occupier of the White House, it was after he heard his positions on immigrants. Racism isn't about whether you have a black friend or even use the N-word, institutional racism is about what's written into policy. It's about power. I would even go further to say it's not so much about the statues as it is the statutes. For instance, my good friend Dr. Tim Tyson and I have conversations often and how in a rush, many of the people in the media and others got it wrong about the statues. They ran out and said these statues were put up to honor the Civil War. No, they weren't, 90% of them weren't. Robert E. Lee said he wouldn't even be buried in a Confederate uniform. In fact, if you had tried to put those statues up immediately after the Civil War, you would've been locked up for treason. 90% of those statues were put up after Plessy versus Ferguson, between 1898, I represent the black, and 1924. And in fact, the one in Charlottesville was commissioned in 1919. More to pay homage not to the Civil War, but to Woodrow Wilson's election who was a white supremacist, who when he got into office, he immediately stopped the desegregation of the federal government and he had his entire staff 100 years before Bannon was ever in the White House to watch Birth of a Nation, that was written by a playwright from Shelby, North Carolina who used to be a member of the North Carolina senate, and the book was called the Klansmen and it was turned into Birth of a Nation. So, that statue was commissioned in 1919 as white nationalists were saying, "We have control of the laws again, the policy again," could it be that that's why they chose that statue to march around because in the mindset of a white nationalist, it's not about just hate, it's about policy. What is racism? Racism is what happened after the Civil War. By 1868, black and white people came together and they formed fusion coalitions all over the south and they rewrote constitutions like the one here in North Carolina. They put this in the preamble, "We hold these truths to be self-evident "that all persons are created in equal, "endowed by the creator with certain unalienable rights "among which are life, liberty, "the enjoyment of the fruit of their own labor, "and the pursuit of happiness," or our constitution, Article 11, Section 4, that says, "Beneficent provision to the poor and the unfortunate "and the orphan is the first duty "of a civilized and a Christian nation." That's 1868 constitutional language being written by black and white people coming together. They rewrote the voting laws and made sure that all, at least men could vote. They rewrote laws about wages, they provided healthcare. By 1877, you had 40 hospitals, free men hospital that were providing healthcare for blacks, former slaves, former freed blacks, and poor whites, free! By 1872, you had the 13th Amendment ending slavery, the 14th Amendment, equal protection under the law, the 15th Amendment providing protection for voting. Public education in these fusion coalitions of black and white people coming together by 1868 was a public constitutional right. A constitutional right. Something we still do not have in our federal constitution to this day. What is racism? Racism is when 1872, the Klan was founded to scare white people and make them stop working with black people. Racism is Governor Holden, the governor who led us in the Reconstruction being impeached because he dared to taken on the Klan and dared to push forward progressive. Racism is a group calling themselves the Redemption Movement, but what they meant by redeeming was redeeming America from the sin of black and white people working together. Racism is in 1877 a guy running for president and losing the popular vote and getting elected anyhow. In 1877. By the electoral college. And making a promise that if the electoral college won, most of us can't get into that college, but those who are in that college, if they would give him the presidency, he would give them the federal courts. He would pull the troops out of the south. They said yes, he said yes, he became president even though he lost the popular vote. He turned the judiciary, attorney general's office over to the racist extremist and by 1883, the 1875 Civil Rights Act was overturned with only one dissenter, Justice Holland out of Kentucky. By 1896, you had Plessy versus Ferguson. By 1898, you had the Wilmington riot that were designed to take back the government and put it in the proper hands of the white man and by 1901, the last elected black congressperson was put out of office, George White from North Carolina, and it would be 90 years before North Carolina had another African-American, that's racism. It's about policy. What is racism? Racism is like what happened after the Civil Rights Movement when extremists who happened to be white were afraid of losing power, they learned how to perpetrate the culture of racism without appearing to be racist. So, they used codewords and whistle words, the southern strategy is the former name for it. It was a strategy deliberately designed to play the race card in a way that didn't sound racist, but it would make southern whites vote against black and brown people who should've been their natural allies. GOP strategist Lee Atwater told us what it was like. He was on tape, but he kept talking, so the tape is out there. This is what he said, "You start out in 1954 "and you wanna get elected, "you say things like nigger, nigger, nigger, "but by 1968, you can't say that 'cause it'll backfire, "so instead you talk about stuff "like states rights, forced busing, "and then you get real abstract "and you say the only thing you wanna do is cut taxes. "And that doesn't sound racist to the untrained ear, "but it's codeword because it sounds like all the things "you're talking about are totally economic, "but the byproduct of them is that blacks "get hurt worse than whites," and whites are taught, and particularly in the south, to blame their problems not on the oligarchy or the aristocracy, but black and brown people who are getting quote unquote free stuff and using their tax dollars. The target of the southern strategy was initially the states of the old confederacy with the goal of developing a solid south because the extremists knew that if black and brown and white people ever formed coalitions in the south, they could not win, they had seen it before in the 1800s and so they said, "We'll lock up "the 13 states in the south." If you lock up the 13 states in the south, that's 171 electoral votes before you ever have an election, you only need 270 to get elected which means if you can lock up 13 states, you only need 99 electoral votes from the other 37 states. If you lock up 13 states, you can control 26 members of the United States Senate which means you only need 25 from the other 37 states, you can control 31% of the United States House, that means you only need 20% from the other 37 states to hold a majority and if you do it right, you can also win in the Rust Belt, you can win in the Wheat Belt and you can win in some of the ethnic enclaves of the north. And they learn this by watching as Wallace, George Wallace was called the greatest loser of all time because he taught folk that if you can find a way to use codewords to split people, you can get them to vote against their own self-interests. So, if you know this history, the first thing we have to see is that the problem is not Trump. Don't let anybody tell you right now, make you think a problem is that strong. Yes, he embraced and embolden white nationalists and this southern strategy that was designed to last 50 years and this is the 50th year by the way, 2018, but long before Trump mastered the con of the southern strategy, he had an audience that had been cultivated for 50 years and many other people that have been using this strategy, we are seeing right now what Nell Painter calls the iconography of an American call-and-response, the call is racial progress and the simultaneously or short thereafter, the response is as Carol Anderson has aptly named regression or white rage. Trump and those that support him in policy driven racism are symptoms, are symptoms of a deeper moral malady and we must see this and we, not just black people, but all of us must see this. We misunderstand the challenge of systemic racism if we think is just about dislike of black people. No, systemic racism is dislike of democracy, truth be told, you can be black and embrace and encourage white nationalism. You can be black and be so fooled by the system that you end up participating in the system and become a cheerleader if you will for the very proponents of institutional racism. Systemic racism is simply the perpetuation of a system where the ideal of whiteness and white power are the norm in our common life and it must be challenged by blacks and whites and Jews and Christians together, it is to accept the heresy that some people were not made in the image or likeness of God, therefore you can write them out of your public policy. Now, to see this up close, let's look at a particular instance of racism and white supremacy which is voter suppression. Before Trump, since the US Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, there has been an assault on voting rights in this country. Actually, it began long before that in 2010. Let me give you some numbers. I know everybody talking about Russia, but here is the most unreported story and by underreporting it and not dealing with it, America is once again making a mistake and not dealing with this issue of racism, would rather deal with Russia, should, but there were 868 fewer voting sites in the black and brown and poor community in 2016. 22, that's the number of states that have passed voter suppression laws since 2010. 22 states, that's 44 senators and 50% of the United States House of Representatives come from states that have engaged in proven voter suppression more than four years or nearly 2000 days, that's how long it's been since the Supreme Court gutted section 5 of the Voting Rights Act Now, I want you to put that in context Strom Thurmond was a sure enough racist. He only filibustered the 1957 Civil Rights Act for 24 hours. Ryan and McConnell and Boehner have participated in filibuster and fixing the Voting Rights Act for nearly 2000 days. We talked about a person winning. Trump for instance is winning by 20,000 votes in Wisconsin. There were 250,000 votes suppressed in Wisconsin. We won in North Carolina, We beat back Tom Farr, the white supremacist and yet in 2016 in North Carolina, we had over 150 fewer sites doing early voting, this is the election hacking that no one wants to talk about because it would force us to deal with systemic racism in America, not whether or not someone has a black friend, that's not even an issue. Tim Scott whose back is against the restoration of the Voting Rights Act, so he is an enabler of white nationalism and white supremacy and he's black. I don't know how much Trump got help from Russia, but it's manifestly clear that he could not have stolen the election without the help of systemic racism. Whether the tactics are partisan gerrymandering, a discriminatory voter ID, the rollback of early voting same-day registration, the place and the places where we see the attack, we wouldn't have the Senate we have today or the Congress we have today or the General Assembly that we have today without voter suppression. We're not talking about something we have heard, we're talking about that even this Supreme Court, the Robert Supreme Court, even Clarence Thomas had to vote unanimously on the case we said and agree that what happened in North Carolina that began under the leadership of Thom Tillis was surgical racism. Now, watch this, you say, "Well, I thought he was gonna "talk about health and poverty," I'm getting there, (audience laughing) but the problem is so many neoliberals want to talk about poverty without dealing with race and you can't do that, you can't do that. Because here's the trick and the hook that you must understand if you put up a map the same places where we see the attacks on voting rights the most are the same places that have the highest level of poverty, the highest level of the lack of living wages, the most attacks against healthcare, the greatest attacks on immigrants and the LGBT community, that the states that have the lowest funding of public education and the lowest labor rights and union density are all the same states where politicians have engaged in voter suppression. Now, what does that mean? Politicians who use surgical and targeted racist voter suppression, then when they get use it to get in power, but once they get into power, they promote and codify policies that hurt all Americans especially poor and working-class white people. So, the very people that use gimmicks to fool certain people to vote for them, once they get into office, they pass policies. For instance, we have a General Assembly that use voter suppression to get into office, once they got into office, in the first 15 days or so of being in office in 2013, they denied Medicaid expansion to 500,000 people. Now, if you heard them talk about it and understood the codewords they were kind of suggesting, we don't need to give healthcare to these quote lazy folk who aren't doing something or i.e black and brown people. Well, in actuality, 346,000 of the 500,000 people denied Medicaid expansion are white. And 30,000 are veterans. So, they got elected through voter suppression and racist gerrymandering, but then used the power to hurt poor people and sick people, many have not wanted to look at this, but we must see this if we're gonna save our ship of state. There's the second thing we must see and that is we must see the heretical work of so-called Christian nationalists and white evangelicals. You gotta see it. Now, many of Donald Trump's critics have raised concerns in recent weeks about his alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels and if the revelations are true, Trump's infidelity is a matter between him, his god, and his spouse. Quickly, but interestingly so-called white evangelicals rushed to defend the president, urging the nation to forgive and move on, all these things were years ago. Jerry Falwell said Tony Perkins told POLITICO, he and others were willing to give the president a mulligan on issues of personal morality because he trot champions and evangelical agenda. Now, it's easy to point out the hypocrisy of men who have cried so loudly about character in public leadership only to defend a man who spent his life flaunting conventional morality, but the truth is, can I drop this little truth in here? America has had to give every president a mulligan on some personal failing or another. If Trump's pastoral advisors want to forgive him, that's their right because infidelity normally has its own consequences, but the great moral issue here and what is heretical is that of this faith, they're trying to push in the public square is when they use religion to cover up his immoral and pornographic policies. Which are hurting vulnerable people and undermining our democracy. One of the great Jewish prophets said in Ezekiel 22 said, "Your politicians have become like wolves "devouring the poor and hurting the immigrants, "but there is a worse sin "the preachers are covering up for the politician "and claiming to say things that God has not said," and so in the end matters of public justice, no one has a right to give the president a mulligan, you want to on personal thing, that's you, but when it comes to public policy especially in this nation, for our nation's theological leaders who should be the torchbearers of public morality not the enablers of ethical decay. Unfortunately, what we are seeing now is the revival of a specific and subversive strand of Christianity, one with a historic legacy stretching all the way back to slavery which is heresy. The infidelity, oh, they shouldn't taught me the bible at Duke Theological Seminary, the infidelity that we must concern ourselves with is what the bible calls going or whoring after other gods, or whoring after other gods is whenever a nation chooses to hurt the poor and oppress the stranger and mistreat the weak and keep the sick sick and corrupt the courts, the biblical prophets accused the political leader of public infidelity. Unlike in marriage such adultery is not a private matter and it must be challenged in the public square. The problem is too many preachers are willing to overlook the policy failings in exchange for access to power and they have said things like Jesus teachings are about private morality and not public policy. Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself, but never told Caesar how to run Rome. Well, that's just not true. Jesus's first sermon said, "I've come to preach good news to the poor," and the Greek word for poor there is ptochos which means the poor who have been made poor by economic exploitation and imperialism. That was his first sermon. In his last sermon, Jesus says that every nation in the final analysis and the final judgment, every nation will be judged and will have to give an account for how they treated the vulnerable among us in public policy and Jesus;s good friend that he often quoted from Isaiah said that woe unto those who legislate evil and robbed the poor of their rights and make women and children their prey. It is hard to imagine someone who proclaimed the kingdom of God in the first century not to have a clear vision about transforming society. It's hard to imagine that unless your whole faith has been built upon the justification of systemic evil. Now, this kind of reading of the biblical text is not new and we need to see it for what it is because it's being used to confuse the minds of so many people. This brand was passed down by generations of so-called Christians who learned to read the Bible in the 19th century as a text that did not condemn, but rather affirmed race-based chattel slavery and public policy that legalized it, that's why Frederick Douglass once said "Between the Christianity of the slaveholder "and the Christianity of Christ, "I see the widest possible difference." The widest possible difference. Preston historian Kevin Cruz has documented how public religiosity that wraps itself in the flag while doing the bidding of big business is a purchase product. He said it was purchased in his book of research by the US Chamber of Commerce on Oil beginning in the 1930s when they funded organizations like the spiritual mobilization group that paid preachers to preach a twisted form of Calvinism to take on the social gospel of people like Rauschenbusch and later Dr. King, and this perverted form of Calvinism went like this. If you're good, you go to heaven. If you're bad, you go to hell. So, if you're a good American, you won't be poor, and if you're bad American, you're poor, so therefore you don't need Social Security, you don't need living wages, people just need to live according to certain precepts and it was purchased. In fact by 1940, the leader of it had bought 19,000 pulpits. It was a 20th century of slaveholder religion that the plantation owners had paid preachers to defend slavery in the 19th century and it's still with us today. When Robert Jeffress and Franklin Graham who got $10 million from somewhere to go all around the country during the election encouraging people to vote a certain way and then had the nerve to say that the election of the current occupant of the White House was God's will. Robert Jeffress, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, and all those who go in and pray, P-R-A-Y, for a president while that president and the legislators are preying, P-R-E-Y-I-N-G, on the least of these. We cannot understand some of what's going on without understanding this heretical form of Christian nationalism that tries to limit the moral discussion to being against gay people and against prayer in the school and against abortion and for gun rights and for tax welfare to the wealthy, this is what now some are calling Trump evangelicals and they are not forsaken their God to defend Trump, they are showing us that their God is cash and not Christ. And for Trump's personal failings, he needs personal professional counseling, but for his mean and vulgar use of power he and his allies, it's not just him, he and his allies, he can't write a law, he and his allies in the Congress need public critique and moral resistance. No matter how high the Dow Jones average is, it can never be high enough to be a sufficient payoff for us to keep quiet in the face of such moral inconsistency. We must see this. Now, if we're gonna save our ship of state, we must as I said see this systemic racism. We must see how this heretical form of morality is being used to confuse the public square and then if we see that, then we must see what kind of politics and policies you get when you mix this kind of systemic racism with classism and with the distorted moral view. What do you get? You get us having fewer voting rights today than the people had 53 years ago on August 6, 1955 because issues are seen as left versus right not as right versus wrong. What do you get? You get 25 states that have passed laws that preempts cities from passing their own local minimum wage laws. What do you get? You get the criminalization of poverty that has raised federal spending on prisons tenfold to $7.5 billion a year and led to increased policing to fill them. Nearly five million people. In 1968, wasn't but 180,000 in jail, now nearly five million people. We got two million more people in prison than China and China has a billion and a half more people than us, that's what happens with racism and classism and a false moral narrative are woven together and people use it from which to shape public policy, What do you get? Federal spending on immigration deportation and the border has gone from two billion in 1976 to 17 billion in 2015 with 10 times as many deportations. 333,000 in 2015 according to our report, The Souls of Poor Folk, an audit being done by the Institute for Public Policy Studies and the Urban Institute that Dr. Tyson and Dr. Forbes and others are working on. What do you get? As of 2016 there are 40 million people living below the poverty line. This is an income based measure that is limited to $11,880, $11,880 for a single person. In other words, if you make $11,881, you are not poor as a single person. $24,300 for a family of four which means if you make $24,301 according to the statistics, you are not a poor person and therefore for 40 million people living below poverty, this means there's been a 60% rise in the number of poor people since 1968, not because the programs of the war on poverty fail, but because the programs of the war on poverty were undermined. There are 95 million people who are either poor or low-income, living under twice the federal poverty line and that number rises to 140 million people. 43.5% of the population when using the supplemental poverty measures and when you have this mix of racism and classism and a heretical morality, you get people saying things like, "Well, poor people are just on a vacation, "on a glorified vacation." 16 million of the 40 million people are women, 13 million are children, three-quarters of the people living below the poverty line are women and children. The codewords of racism have called us to racialized poverty, but the reality is while 8.8% of white people are poor, below the poverty line, that's 17.3 million people which is eight million more than black, so that eight million more poor white people than there are black in raw numbers. In raw numbers. In raw numbers. What kind of policies do you get? You get that from 1968 to 2017, the top 1% share of the economy has doubled. In 2017, three individuals had a combined wealth of $248 billion, the same amount of wealth as the entire bottom 50% of US households and Joseph Stiglitz when I talk with him, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said we can't keep ignoring the cost of inequality because 250,000 people according to the study by the Mailman School of Public Health die every year from low-income. They don't die because it's their time to die, they don't die because the divine has called them home, they die because of low wealth. We came to be the leader of the free world and yet the US pays half of its African American workers and 60% of Latino workers less than $15 an hour while we give bailouts to corporate crooks. In the south where politicians still pit white workers against workers of color, 50% of all workers in the south make less than $15 an hour. There are 400 families that make an average of $97,000 an hour and we lock people up who simply marched for 15. When it comes to healthcare, even with the Affordable Care Act, 37 million people are still insured and now with the rolling back more uninsured, more premiums are going up, and you think about that people will run for office when you mix racism and classism and a distorted moral narrative, people will run for office, look you in your face, and say, "Elect me and I'll take your healthcare." No, no, no, worse than that, "Elect me, I'll let you pay for my healthcare for free "and take yours." In other words, "Elect me and I'll accept healthcare "that I only get because I got elected, "but I'll make sure that you don't get what I get "even though you elected me." And people buy it because they believe they're talking about other folk until the reality hits in western North Carolina, in West Virginia, and other areas. When it comes to the health of the planet between 1970 to 1979, meteorologists recorded 600 disasters around the world, but between 2000-2009, there were 3,322. Climate scientists testifying before Congress have explained to the public that two centuries of fossil fuel extractions have not only built a global economy but have released enough carbon in the atmosphere that the planet to have a fever. Today, the earth fever is raging and the symptoms of rising floods and waters and droughts and poor people suffer the most and get the sickest the most from climate change. In addition to climate change when we talk about health, poor people can buy unleaded gas, but can't buy unleaded water. Multinational corporations are drilling for gas, penetrating the aquifers on the Apache lands. I was recently out with the Apache nation in Arizona. Do you know to this day that the First Nation people can't even own their own homes, own reservations, today. I was there at the burial and I went to the cliff where 120 Apache warriors rather than being captured chose to jump off the cliff. I was there in the place and sang the songs and cried with them, the songs of memory, and you could feel the spirit of those who were put in this valley on this piece of land. The Apaches were mountain people, but they were forced into this valley and then one night while they were in the valley, the troops opened up the river to drown them and now they're digging on a place called Oak Flats. They're drilling down in the earth, so-called looking for copper and only about two or 3% of what they get is worth anything, but the rest of it poisons the aquifers and the people that started doing it, they thought that if you drill on the First Nation Apache land, if you drilled, well, it's not the land, it's the reservation, if you drill there, then somehow the poison was going to stay on their land, only to find out that aquifers mean water and water travels and so now the white community right down the street is where it is now because they're going to be poisoned and many of them are upset because they voted for the people like John McCain who approved a multinational company to come in and do this. The love of money is the root of all evil. Pope Francis called it calls home, our common home has been reduced he said to a resource at best and when I was at the Vatican lecturing this past year at the invitation of the Pope about other leaders, one of the things he said to us in his letter was, he said that when we refused to address the issues of racism and poverty, we abdicate our responsibility to be the hands and the feet of God in the earth. Then the war economy and how war is often perpetrated toward black and brown citizens of the world. In Vietnam military spending was 354 billion, today, it's 635 billion, 53 cents out of every discretionary dollar of our taxes goes directly to military and then we create these military weapons and they end up getting sold on our streets and you can get an assault weapon easier than you can get a fishing license and our children end up dead and we can't break some politicians from their vampire-like bloodthirst, end up with the NRA for money. If you look at the money, if you just took a portion of the money, we can still blow the world up 50 times, that's the sad thing about it. It's not that somehow we gonna have a weak military, you can blow to earth up 10, 15 times, that seems to be quite a bit, quite enough. If you just took a portion of that military money, the same money could provide healthcare for 178 million low-income people. It could create more than 11 million green jobs and union jobs. It could give seven million poor kids Headstart and 442 million household solar electricity. It's not the money that we don't have, it's the moral will and the capacity to do right with what we have. And those who claim they love the military so much, now say they want to give poor people their food stamp in boxes, boxes of starches and canned food. At least when Jesus gave people food, he gave him fresh fish and bread, he didn't put in the box, they want to take us back to the Ghost of Days Past, back to Charles Dickens day, back to the poor houses I guess, but the problem with that is we give banks that abuse the system bailouts of cash and then wanna give poor folk boxes of food, it's just wrong, but they claim they care about the military. Well, 23,000 active duty military troops receive food stamps. 24% of children and schools run by the Department of Defense inside the US qualify for free meals and another 21% qualify for reduced-price meals. We have to see this. When you deal with race and class and I'm distorted morale, what kind of policy does it create? It creates a policy where four million families with children are being exposed to high levels of lead. It creates the kind of public policy that the populations within three miles of highly contaminated Superfund sites, 45% of them are non-white, 45%, even though the majority near these Superfund sites are still white in raw numbers, and so if we see this, then that means we need to understand why now, we need to organize intentionally. We gonna save our ship of state, we gotta see right, but then we've got to organize intentionally. Long before Dr. King, a bullet took his life, Dr. King, Rabbi Herschel, and others saw their systemic policy violence threatened the soul of this nation through interlocking issues of injustice. In 1967-68, he paired this diagnosis and called it the Poor People's Campaign. He said America's spiritual sickness was terminal and insisted that unless we experienced a radical revolution of values such a moral revival, he knew could not simply be spoken into existence, it had to be lived into existence. The poor people who were often blamed and pitted against one another would have to unite in a national campaign of direct action to save the souls of America and others would have to come alongside of them. 50 years later, Dr. King's life and witness can help us name America's spiritual sickness and see that the only hope is a brand new time of fusion politics. We face a national crisis not unlike in some ways to storm that rocked America in 68, but too often attempts to diagnose what ails us cannot get beyond the tired debates of left versus right and Democrat versus Republican, that is why we need a Poor People's Campaign, a national call to moral revival more than ever because there are five interlocking injustices, five bacteria if you will, five diseases that threaten democracy of the United States simultaneously, systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral view of Christian nationalism. As a preacher I would like the hope that this crisis would compel Americans to cry out to whatever source of divinity they know for help, but far too much of our religion in our public life has contributed to the moral crisis we now face. We suffer from a civil religion that has justified our social sin and so America has a moral malady and sometimes it tempts us to disband, but it also then can bring us in the darkest moments to the reality that we must have a moral movement, that there's only one way out. We've got to link up with others who are directly impacted by the interlocking injustices. We cannot deal with these separately. Black people can't get over here and deal with racism, white people over here with poverty and environmentalist over here. No, we have to find a way to connect together in a deeply moral way with a deeply progressive and prophetic agenda and refuse to be divided by the few who seem to benefit from a system that hurts us all. America I believe is right in the middle and the possibility of a third reconstruction and at this moment, this moment like this must remind us of the one truth that is at the heart of the tradition of resistance, that goes all the way back to the great psalmist. Find it in Psalm 118. The stones that the builders rejected can become the chief cornerstone. In other words, what we need now is the work of the rejected stones to lead a revival, those who've been rejected through racism, rejected through classism and rejected through homophobia, rejected because of poverty, rejected because of militarism, rejected, that fusion coalition must come together and we must assert our moral authority as children of God believing that we can shift the nation's narrative. We must know this that when a budget director goes on TV and puts a ash cross on his forehead on Ash Wednesday and then proposes to cut Medicare and cut seven million people from heating assistance and cut people's food stamps, we don't have merely a democrat or republican problem we have a moral problem and we need a Poor People's Campaign, a national call for moral revival. When leaders of both party will celebrate a budget compromise and one side will say we did it for the military and the other side says we did it for the middle class and nobody says what was done for the poor, the 140 something million people. We need a moral revival and a Poor People's Campaign. When we are 53 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act and we have the tax on voting rights like we haven't seen since Jim Crow, when people are more interested in protecting the NRA than funding our schools, when we refuse to stop the selling of assault rifles, but we cut healthcare and want to ban DACA students, when we destroy the environment, when we want to fund the war machine and fund a racist border wall, but we defend defunding poverty programs and refuse to pay people a living wage and protect unions, when you have preachers claiming to be representing God, they're so loud when it comes to being against gay people and abortion and prayer for the schools and loud on supporting tax cuts for the wealthy with tax cut welfare for the rich and the greedy at the tunes of trillions of dollars, the amount of dollars we haven't seen transferred on the backs of poor people since the time of slavery, and when they claim Trump is the will of God and they say nothing about racism and poverty and stopping the sale of assault guns, we must have a movement that challenges this heresy and names this hypocrisy and refuses to stand down. And this must be a movement rooted in love. It can't be just a movement about hate and what we're against or hating individual, it must be a movement rooted in love and truth. It must be a movement where we hate the policies, but we almost have a deep pity for the powerful that will use their power to hurt people because I tell you the other day I was thinking as I was reading through some Howard Thurman, something is wrong in the hearts of people when they gain power and then they use that power to inflict pain on the poor and the vulnerable. How much do you have to dehumanize yourself in order to dehumanize other people? That is the question before America. Rabbi Herschel told America in 1960, in fact, he said it to John Kennedy. He said, "Mr. president, this nation forfeits the right "to even worship God when you're on the wrong side "of justice and racial equality." Howard Thurman once said that we rupture the unity between us and God when we are not concerned about the dispossessed. Just this week Marian Wright Edelman who was a leader in the Poor People's Campaign wrote in an article, she said, "When are we going to protect "the children and not the guns?" These are the kinds of moral question. We need a Poor People's Campaign, a national call for a moral revival that will demand full restoration of the Voting Rights Act and will demand automatic registration at 18. If you can be registered to go to war at 18, you ought to be automatically registered, that will demand an open democracy that provides more than one day to vote all across the country, that demands a living wage, that demands universal healthcare for everybody and we stop this ungodly voting on children's healthcare every five, 10 years. It ought to be a divine right in this democracy. That demands guaranteed income for the poor and the weak among us, that demands we not fund and continue to fund war and militarism, that demands that we take care of our ecological systems, that demands that we change, that demands that we thought we asked ourselves, can America really be America? Can we live up to the deep religious values we claim? Can we live up to the moral claims saying that there is no freedom worth having unless that freedom engages in making sure that we have the establishment of justice and the providing of the common defense and the promoting of the general welfare? There's no freedom worth having that does not have these things and so we need people who will stand up and join this movement whether we believe in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, all the other great traditions, or no religion at all, we need to stand up. We don't need another tweet, another email, we need some people who are willing to stand with the poor and not because this is the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. King because you don't commemorate an assassination, you don't celebrate an assassination, the only way you can pay homage to a prophet or prophets that have been assassinated is you have to reach down in the blood where they fail, pick up the baton and carry out the next leg of the way. 50 years later, we must deal with systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, of war economy, militarism, and this distorted national, it requires a moral revival and a moral revolution of values and that's why as I close, we are now organizing 1,000 people. Dr. King called them emergency drivers. Dr. KIng said that in the normal course of time, you have to stop at a stop sign or a stoplight. He said but when there's a crisis, the ambulance can run the stoplight because somebody's hurt, somebody's sick. The nation's health is at risk, we need ambulance drivers now and we're organizing 1,000 of them in 32 states, 2000 in District of Columbia for 40 days of direct action, civil disobedience, voter mobilization, and power building among the poor. 40 days starting on Mother's Day, birth, ending on June 21st, the summer solstice, the birthing light, and on the 23rd, a massive poverty march and a rally not just to March, but to give an action call that we leave and we go back and organize and build deeply because change doesn't happen from Washington DC down, it happens from Montgomery, Birmingham, Greensboro, and up. And I tell you, we've been traveling from Appalachia to Alabama, from California to South Carolina, from North Carolina to New Mexico, and I've met some people. I met a white girl over in Seattle, Washington, has the highest density of poor white folk. She was homeless and poor in Seattle, Seattle, Washington. She came to one of our mass meetings and she stood up and testified. She said, "I want America to know that I am a redneck "and I'm the white trash that America threw out "and forgot to burn "and I'm joining the Poor People's Campaign, "a national call for moral revival," not only that we went down to Alabama and there's a mother there whose daughter died in her arms because Alabama would not expand Medicaid and she said the only way she can live is to fight for other daughters not to die. She's in the Poor People's Campaign. We're headed out to West Virginia and Kentucky in the Appalachia and their people are organizing all over. We were in Compton and watch black people and white people and Latinos come together in Compton to say we're organizing. Over in central California, organizing, Up in Wisconsin, we're organizing. I was there in New Mexico. One night we had a mass meeting and a Pueblo spiritualist and a Jewish rabbi and a preacher and a Congregationalist and somebody else got to shouting onstage together, all of 'em just like Pentecost, like they were speaking in tongues together and signing up for the Poor People's Campaign. You can sign up tonight. Just go to You can sign up tonight and clergy are coming, United Church of Christ, Unitarian, Methodist, Presbyterian, rabbis, Muslims are coming together not to do it for the poor because that's paternalistic, but with the poor, but we're coming conspicuously and we're talking about being in 25 state capitals all at the same time, and in Ryan and McConnell's office all at the same time, and we're not going to the safe spots where they tell us we can protest. We're claiming back the people's houses all over this nation and in Washington DC. We're going to demand an aspirational agenda. We're going to demand the kind of goals that can set America free, demand it from the Democrats and the Republicans. We demanded that it's time for all folk to step up and if they arrest us, they're gonna have to arrest us linking arms with poor people and they're gonna have to arrest us in full ministerial attire, but they're gonna have to arrest us if they do because we are going to arrest the attention of this nation and change the narrative. We cannot have another presidential election or another midyear like the one we had in 2016 where we had 26 presidential debates in the primary and in the general election and not one hour on poverty, not one hour on systemic racism, not one hour or ecological devastation, not one hour on the war economy We talk more about tweets and innuendos than we did the things that are hurting people and hurting real lives and the political structure can't change it alone, there must be a moral revival and a moral revolution of value. We need a political Pentecost. We need a political Pentecost where black and white and brown and Jew and Christian and Muslim and gay and straight and young and old learn how to speak with new tongues and how to act with new power and refuse to be denied, and we go in and we force CNN and and MSNBC and the New York Times to change whatever the tweeter was trying to get them to talk about that day because we come together and we call those 140 million people who never hear their name poor called. We call them and recognize that that's a great army of hope. It's a great army a possibility when we all come together and so I close tonight not with my own words, but with the words that come from the great Jewish prophet Amos. 2600 years ago, he wrote this and it sounds as contemporary as it was probably when it was first heard, it actually gives us our order. Some people say, "Well, are you all getting your cues "from the Poor People's Campaign?" Yes, but we're also getting it from the abolition movement. We're also getting it from the Reconstruction Movement. There are a lot of streams, the stream of resistance is in no one place or among no one people and every age has always had to be moral dissenters. There's always had to be somebody that will engage in moral analysis and moral articulation and moral activism, it's just our time. Don't you let anybody tell you this is the worst we've ever seen, that's an insult to the slaves, that's an insult to the survivors of the Holocaust, that's an insult to the women who had to fight for women's suffrage, that's an insult to those that went through Jim Crow, that's an insult to Cesar Chavez and the early Mexican people in their fight, that's an insult to say this is the worst, this is not the worst we've ever seen. It's bad, but it ain't the worst. I told somebody other day if Harriet Tubman could get 500 slaves out of slavery and she didn't have she didn't have Twitter, she didn't have tweet, she didn't have a cell phone, she didn't have a computer, all she had was moss on the north side of the tree, a made up mind, a 38 in her pocket in case somebody wanted to go back to slavery. She would send them to heaven and let them be free up there, but anyway, this is not the worst we've seen, but we've seen it and if we see it, we have to organize in it and then lastly, we gotta stand together because it's our time and so Amos said it like this in the fifth chapter. Listen to this and I'm through Amos said, listen, "People hate this kind of talk "because raw truth is never popular, "but here it is bluntly spoken," this is verse 12 and 13, "because as a nation you run roughshod over the poor "and because you take bread right out of their mouths, "I want to tell you as a nation, "you will never move into "your luxurious homes that you've built "and you're never going to drink in peace "the wine at Mar Lago," I mean, the wine. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, the wine, let me read the text like it says, "the wine from the expensive vineyards you've planted. "I know precisely the extent of your violations as a nation. "I know the enormity of your sins "and it is appalling. "You the leaders of that time, "you bully right living people, "you take bribes right and left "and you kick the poor when they're down. "Some people began to think that justice is a lost cause "and evil is epidemic "and decent people are throwing up their hands "and some of them even said that protest and rebuke "are useless and a waste of breath," but verse 14, but I need somebody. I need a group of people that will see good and not evil and live. I need a group of people that will say to the nation, you keep talking about God bless you, God loves you, well, act like it and the way a nation acts like it is verse 15, you hate evil and you love good and then you work it out in public policy and then maybe God will notice you. Verse 16, it says, "Now, I need a remnant because this nation "is not going to do right on its own, so I need a remnant." Maybe I need 1,000 people in 25 states and 2,000 in Washington DC. I need a remnant that will go out and cry loudly and refuse to shut up until change comes. I need a remnant that will fill up the malls and the shops and warn the nation that it can't be who she claims to be until she does right by the poor. I need a group of people that will say not me, not us, not now. I need a group of people that were empty the offices, empty the stores, this is in the bible, empty the factories, empty the workplaces, and enlist everybody in a general lament until you make the nation hear and God says I want to hear you in the streets crying so loud over what's so wrong and if you do, then I will make my visit. Could it be that God the divine spirit is simply waiting on us to get in the street and cry and then if we do, that divine spirit will help us change the soul and save the heart of this democracy. I'm told enough now that I wanna try and see what God will do. It's time to save our ship of state. We gotta see what's wrong. We've gotta organize and we must stand together and launch this Poor People's Campaign, a national call for moral revival and dare to shift the narrative and declare to history that has yet been and the future that is yet to come in our time with the few breaths of life that we had and a few years in this earth, we chose not to be silent, we chose not to be content, we chose to cry loud and to change the heart of this nation. God bless you. (audience cheering) - As a doctor, I know that Reverend Barber has been, his body has been through a lot lately and I would like thank him for all the energy he shared with us and give him formal permission to take a rest. And as a historian, I wanna thank him for reminding us that our story is part of a much bigger story. He reminded us of the story of the 1890s, of the fusionist movement that seemed to bring hope to bring poor whites and blacks together, how it collapsed in the 1890s, climaxing with the Wilmington Race Riot, but remember in Durham, part of our story is that just two years after that, a black physician, Dr. Aaron Moore worked with a formerly very poor white farmer, Washington Duke, and built Lincoln Hospital. Out of the chaos of that decay, there was hope. He left. Anyway, I wanted to thank him for his words, for sharing his historical perspective, for sharing his faith, and I would like to encourage all of you to join in his future work. Thank you so much, thank you, Reverend Barber.




The Poor People's Campaign had complex origins. King considered bringing poor people to the nation's capital since at least October 1966, when welfare rights activists held a one-day march on the Mall.[11] In May 1967 during a SCLC retreat in Frogmore, South Carolina, King told his aides that the SCLC would have to raise nonviolence to a new level to pressure Congress into passing an Economic Bill of Rights for the nation's poor. The SCLC resolved to expand its civil rights struggle to include demands for economic justice and to challenge the Vietnam War.[12] In his concluding address to the conference, King announced a shift from "reform" to "revolution" and stated: "We have moved from the era of civil rights to an era of human rights."[13]

In response to the anger that led to riots in Newark (July 12–17, 1967) and Detroit (July 23–27, 1967), King and his close confidante, Stanley Levison, wrote a report in August (titled "The Crisis in America's Cities") which called for disciplined urban disruption, particularly in Washington:[14][15]

To dislocate the functioning of a city without destroying it can be more effective than a riot because it can be longer-lasting, costly to society but not wantonly destructive. Moreover, it is more difficult for government to quell it by superior force. Mass civil disobedience can use rage as a constructive and creative force. It is purposeless to tell Negroes they should not be enraged when they should be. Indeed, they will be mentally healthier if they do not suppress rage but vent it constructively and use its energy peacefully but forcefully to cripple the operations of an oppressive society. Civil disobedience can utilize the militancy wasted in riots to seize clothes or groceries many did not even want.

Civil disobedience has never been used on a mass scale in the North. It has rarely been seriously organized and resolutely pursued. Too often in the past was it employed incorrectly. It was resorted to only when there was an absence of mass support and its purpose was headline-hunting. The exceptions were the massive school boycotts by Northern Negroes. They shook educational systems to their roots but they lasted only single days and were never repeated.

If they are developed as weekly events at the same time that mass sit-ins are developed inside and at the gates of factories for jobs, and if simultaneously thousands of unemployed youth camp in Washington, as the Bonus Marchers did in the thirties, with these and other practices, without burning a match or firing a gun, the impact of the movement will have earthquake proportions. (In the Bonus Marches, it was the government that burned down the marchers' shelters when it became confounded by peaceful civil disobedience).

This is not an easy program to implement. Riots are easier just because they need no organization. To have effect we will have to develop mass disciplined forces that can remain excited and determined without dramatic conflagrations.[16]

Also in August, Senator Robert F. Kennedy asked Marian Wright Edelman "to tell Dr. King to bring the poor people to Washington to make hunger and poverty visible since the country's attention had turned to the Vietnam War and put poverty and hunger on the back burner."[17] At another SCLC retreat in September, Edelman transmitted Kennedy's message to King and suggested that King and a handful of poor people hold a sit-in at the Department of Agriculture. Stanley Levison proposed an even more ambitious crusade that modeled itself on the Bonus Army of 1932.[11]


The SCLC's major planning before announcing the campaign took place during a five-day meeting (November 27–December 1, 1967) in Frogmore, SC. With King's leadership, the group agreed to organize a civil disobedience campaign in Washington, D.C., focused on jobs and income. King wanted the demonstration to be "nonviolent, but militant, and as dramatic, as dislocative, as disruptive, as attention-getting as the riots without destroying property".[18]

Not all members of the SCLC agreed with the idea of occupying Washington. Bayard Rustin opposed civil disobedience. Other members of the group (like Jesse Jackson) wanted to pursue other priorities.[19] Dissent continued throughout the planning of the campaign.

King traveled to Washington in February 1968 in order to meet with local activists and prepare the resources necessary to support the campaign.[20]

Marchers were scheduled to arrive in Washington on May 2.[21] Some planners wanted to target specific politicians; others wanted to avoid "begging" and focus on movement-building and mutual education.[22]


The SCLC announced the campaign on December 4, 1967. King delivered a speech which identified "a kind of social insanity which could lead to national ruin."[23] In January 1968, the SCLC created and distributed an "Economic Fact Sheet" with statistics explaining why the campaign was necessary.[24] King avoided providing specific details about the campaign and attempted to redirect media attention to the values at stake.[25] The Poor People's Campaign held firm to the movement's commitment to non-violence. "We are custodians of the philosophy of non-violence," said King at a press conference. "And it has worked."[9]

In February 1968, King announced specific demands: $30 billion for antipoverty, full employment, guaranteed income, and the annual construction of 500,000 affordable residences.[10]

The media often discouraged those within the movement who were committed to non-violence. Instead of focusing on issues of urban inequality and the interracial efforts concerted to address them, the media concentrated on specific incidences of violence, leadership conflicts and protest tactics.[26]

King toured a number of cities to raise support for the campaign. King's visits were carefully orchestrated and the media tightly controlled; meetings with militant Black leaders were held behind closed doors.[27] On March 18, 1968, he visited the town of Marks, Mississippi. He watched a teacher feeding schoolchildren their lunch, consisting only of a slice of apple and some crackers, and was moved to tears. A few days after the visit, he spoke at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.: "We're coming to Washington in a poor people's campaign. I was in Marks, Miss., the other day, which is in Quitman County, the poorest county in the United States. And I tell you I saw hundreds of black boys and black girls walking the streets with no shoes to wear."[28] He decided he wanted the Poor People's Campaign to start in Marks because of the intense and visible economic disparity he'd seen there.[29]

Members and friends



The SCLC recruited marshals, who came to a training workshop in Atlanta in March then returned home to recruit participants, raise funds, and solicit organizational support.[21] Participants were required to sign an agreement to use non-violence and to obey the marshals.[33]

Reactions to the campaign were mixed, and some were outright hostile based on their perceptions of King and the SCLC.[34] Leaders and recruiters had to construct their images carefully in order to appeal to potential marchers across lines of wealth and denomination—they de-emphasized their middle-class status, wearing denim instead of suits.[35] They faced the delicate challenge of simultaneously appealing to radicals and moderates (including campus liberals).[36]


Campaign leaders recruited across the country, first in the East and South, and then increasingly westward, reaching poor people in Texas and the Southwest, as well as California and the West Coast. People of all walks of life came from across the nation. Many volunteers were women and many had been involved in other civil rights protests.[37] People commenting on their reasons for participation explained that they wanted to participate in the decisions that affected their lives, and to explain how federal programs, intended to help them, sometimes left them behind completely.[38] They stressed that they were deprived of their basic human rights, and they wanted to make their situations known in the nation's capital.[39] Most did not own their homes or have basic utilities where they lived.[40] Many did not receive federal benefits of any sort.[41]

Minority Group Conference

In one of the campaign's more important recruitment efforts, SCLC hosted about 80 representatives of other poor, often minority groups in Atlanta, with whom the civil rights organization had had little to no relationship up to that point. On March 14, 1968, delegates attended the so-called "Minority Group Conference" and discussed the upcoming campaign and whether or not their specific issues would be considered. Among the delegates were Chicano Movement leaders Reies Tijerina, Corky Gonzales, Jose Angel Gutierrez, and Bert Corona; white coal miners from Kentucky and West Virginia; Native American and Puerto Rican activists; and Myles Horton, organizer and founder of the Highlander Folk School. With a skeptical and fast-weakened Cesar Chavez occupied by a farm workers' hunger strike, Reies Tijerina was the most prominent Chicano leader present. At the end of a long day, most delegates decided to participate in the campaign, convinced that specific demands that often revolved around land and treaty rights would be honored by campaign organizers.[42]


The National Welfare Rights Organization and the American Friends Service Committee were key partners in the campaign's organizing, including developing demands, fundraising, and recruitment.[43]

The American Federation of Teachers promised to set up "freedom schools" for children in the camps; the National Association of Social Workers also said it would help with child care.[44] The Youth International Party held its own rallies in support.[45] The campaign received an endorsement from the YMCA.[46]

Volunteer advocates from the Peace Corps and VISTA formed a speakers bureau, which helped publicize the campaign and educate outsiders.[47]

Organizers already in D.C. were enthusiastic about the campaign, and by March 1968 over 75 people were meeting in committees to prepare for the incoming marchers.[48] The campaign was endorsed by a variety of local organizations, especially religious congregations.[49]

The campaign received a limited endorsement and financial support from SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. SNCC (soon to change its name to the Student National Coordinating Committee) announced that it would not march with the Poor People's Campaign in D.C. because it did not believe in strict adherence to nonviolence.[50] SCLC also reported receiving major financial support for the march from middle-class whites.[51] The Steering Committee Against Repression (SCAR)—which included members from SNCC as well as from a variety of other groups—also gave a partial endorsement, urging the SCLC to focus the campaign on state repression, surveillance, persecution, and political prisoners.[52]

The campaign had support from within the organized labor movement, including endorsements by The Daily Worker, United Steelworkers, and Walter Reuther. However, the official leadership of the AFL–CIO—particularly President George Meany—would not endorse the campaign because of disagreement over the Vietnam War.[53]

Government reaction and preparations

The prospect of an occupation of Washington by thousands of poor people triggered fears of rioting.[54]

Johnson administration

The Johnson administration prepared for the campaign as though it might attempt a violent takeover of the nation's capital.[55]


Some members of Congress were outspoken about their fear of the campaign. Democratic Senator Russell B. Long called for the censure of congresspeople whom he accused of "bending the knee" to the campaign, also saying: "When that bunch of marchers comes here, they can just burn the whole place down and we can just move the capital to some place where they enforce the law."[56] Another Democratic Senator, John L. McClellan, accused the SCLC of attempting to start a riot, and decried a recent court decision that he said would allow marchers "to go to Washington one night and get on welfare the next day", rendering D.C. a "Mecca for migrants".[57]


Richard Nixon, campaigning for the 1968 presidential election, asked Congress not to capitulate to the campaigners' demands.[58]

Military preparations

20,000 army soldiers were activated and prepared for a military occupation of the capital should the Poor People's Campaign pose a threat.[59]

Operation POCAM

Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show how the FBI seeded a news story about jealousy and resentment between the Poor People's Campaign and a friendly group of Quakers, in an attempt to drive the two groups apart.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) strove to monitor and disrupt the campaign, which it code-named "POCAM".[60] The FBI, which had been targeting King since 1962 with COINTELPRO, increased its efforts after King's April 4, 1967 speech titled "Beyond Vietnam". It also lobbied government officials to oppose King on the grounds that he was a communist, "an instrument in the hands of subversive forces seeking to undermine the nation", and affiliated with "two of the most dedicated and dangerous communists in the country" (Stanley Levison and Harry Wachtel).[61] After "Beyond Vietnam" these efforts were reportedly successful in turning lawmakers and administration officials against King, the SCLC, and the cause of civil rights.[62] After King was assassinated and the marches got underway, reports began to emphasize the threat of black militancy instead of communism.[63]

Operation POCAM became the first major project of the FBI's Ghetto Informant Program (GIP), which recruited thousands of people to report on poor black communities.[64] Through GIP, the FBI quickly established files on SCLC recruiters in cities across the US.[65] FBI agents posed as journalists, used wiretaps, and even recruited some of the recruiters as informants.[66]

The FBI sought to disrupt the campaign by spreading rumors that it was bankrupt, that it would not be safe, and that participants would lose welfare benefits upon returning home.[67] Local bureaus reported particular success for intimidation campaigns in Birmingham, Alabama, Savannah, Georgia, and Cleveland, Ohio.[68] In Richmond, Virginia, the FBI collaborated with the John Birch Society to set up an organization called Truth About Civil Turmoil (TACT). TACT held events featuring a Black woman named Julia Brown who claimed to have infiltrated the civil rights movement and exposed its Communist leadership.[69]

Events, 1968

Memphis sanitation strike

In February–March 1968, King directed his attention to the Memphis Sanitation Strike. Although King continued to tour to raise support for the marches to Washington, he declared the Memphis strike to be a major part of the campaign itself.

On March 28, unusual violent incidents in Memphis brought negative media scrutiny to the Poor People's Campaign.[70] The FBI released negative editorials for newspaper publication, implying that the Memphis outbursts foreshadowed mass violence by the Poor People's Campaign in Washington.[71] The SCLC released counter-editorials which included the statement, "The issue at stake is not violence vs. nonviolence but POVERTY AND RACISM".[72]


King flew back to Memphis on April 3 and was murdered in the evening on April 4. The assassination of King dealt a major blow to the campaign, leading to greater emphasis on affirmative action than on race-blind policies such as King's recommendation of basic income in his last book.

At King's funeral on April 9, 1968, tens of thousands[73] marched through Atlanta with Coretta Scott King—following King's casket on a mule-drawn wagon.[74]

The SCLC, now led by Ralph Abernathy, held a retreat in Atlanta on April 16–17. They resolved to proceed with the campaign after learning that the Memphis strike had ended in relative success.[75] The SCLC applied for a permit to camp on the Washington Mall and reoriented the campaign away from civil disobedience and towards the creation and maintenance of a tent city.[76]

The April 16 edition Look magazine carried a posthumous article from King titled "Showdown for Nonviolence"—his last statement on the Poor People's Campaign.[77] The article warns of imminent social collapse and suggests that the campaign presents government with what may be its last opportunity to achieve peaceful change—through an Economic Bill of Rights.

The Committee of 100

The Committee of 100 was a group formed to lobby for the Poor People's Campaign in advance of the arrival of thousands for Resurrection City. On April 29, 1968, the Committee began lobbying members of Congress and leaders of executive agencies. The group, a diverse coalition of different people from around the country, acted as a formal lobby that delivered organized presentations of the campaign's demands.[78] Tijerina was arrested in New Mexico (on charges that had earlier been dismissed) hours before he was scheduled to leave for Washington to join the lobby. His arrest was interpreted as an intentional effort to thwart the campaign.[79] SCLC leaders including Abernathy, Young, and Lafayette were present and led delegations. Poor people from around the country made up most of the group. Many officials perceived even this group as threatening.[80]

The Committee demanded an Economic Bill of Rights with five planks:[81]

  1. "A meaningful job at a living wage"
  2. "A secure and adequate income" for all those unable to find or do a job
  3. "Access to land" for economic uses
  4. "Access to capital" for poor people and minorities to promote their own businesses
  5. Ability for ordinary people to "play a truly significant role" in the government

Abernathy defended these demands by highlighting the use of slave labor in the production of America's capital and arguing that historically oppressed populations did not have the same opportunities as whites who already controlled economic and political resources. Regarding the last point, Abernathy also made specific call for collective bargaining, invoking King's recent involvement with the Memphis strike.[79]

The Committee visited several executive agencies to raise awareness and make demands:[82]

  • The Committee made a separate stop at the Department of Justice, where it demanded legal reforms including an end to police brutality against Mexican Americans and indigenous Americans.[83] Attorney General Ramsey Clark responded that "man is not the most efficient or effective creature we would hope him to be," and, "We'll do our best and I hope you will do yours."[84]
  • At the Department of Labor, the Committee met with Secretary William Wirtz to demand jobs, living wages, job training, input on labor policy, and an end to discrimination. The Committee also called attention to the high unemployment rate among minorities, which they believed to be underreported by the Department.[85]
  • The Committee had particularly sharp criticism for the Department of Agriculture, which they said had done little to address the crisis of hunger and malnutrition in the United States—and in fact neglected to use available funds to feed the starving and malnourished. They called for food stamps, school lunches, and distribution programs, which would be staffed by some of those who needed jobs. They also criticized the favoritism showed for corporate farming and demanded protection for poor small farmers.[86] Secretary Orville Freeman was reportedly dismissive, and downplayed his Department's responsibility for the subsidies to corporate agribusiness.[87]
  • The Office of Economic Opportunity was intended specifically to assist poor people. A contingent of the Committee, led by Andrew Young, made the case that the OEO had failed in its responsibility and failed to authentically involve poor people in its decision making.[88]
  • Young led a delegation the next day to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. A statement read by Lafayette highlighted duality and hypocrisy within the American medical system: "We come to ask why a rich nation with the most advanced medical knowledge in the world can develop artificial organs yet cannot provide inoculations against disease to many of its poorest children."[88] The Committee also presented a long list of specific demands surrounding health care, which mostly involved expanding the medical system to make it more accessible to the poor (while creating jobs in the process).[89] Walter Fauntroy read a separate statement about education, which called for increased minority control of education through policies that "permit poor black, brown, and white children to express their own worth and dignity as human beings, as well as the extent to which instruction, teaching materials, and the total learning process stresses the contributions and the common humanity of minority groups." The delegation called for democratic control over schools and curricula, transparency of school budgets, affirmative action in HEW's own hiring practices, and real progress on desegregation.[90] Finally, they made similar demands for democracy and dignity in the administration of welfare.[91]
  • At the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Committee demanded low-incoming housing and enforcement of laws against housing discrimination. In particular they outlined a work program that would allow poor people to construct and rehabilitate housing. They also demanded Chicago participation in housing policy and greater inclusion of Spanish speakers in low-cost housing programs. And they criticized "urban renewal" programs, which they (following James Baldwin) called "Urban Negro Removal".[92] Secretary Robert C. Weaver said he was doing the best he could.[93]
  • The Committee of 100 also visited Secretary Dean Rusk at the State Department to demand enforcement of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, limitations on immigration while Americans still lacked jobs, and cessation of diplomatic relations with South Africa and Portugal because of their governments' racist policies.[94]
  • At the Department of the Interior, the Committee presented a list of concerns related to the situation of American Indians. They repeated demands of jobs or income, housing, and schools. They also criticized the cultural assimilation of young Indians. There was some accusations that the Bureau of Indian Affairs was intentionally inculcating racism against Blacks among Indian Americans.[95]

The Committee of 100 also lobbied the Senate Committee on Manpower, Employment, and Poverty, which had more direct power to act and appropriate funds. The Senate Committee created a new ad hoc poverty committee that met during the Poor People's Campaign occupation.[96]

Media reports were mixed on the Committee of 100. Many delegates received the opportunity to tell their stories for the first time, publicly challenging those in power (who typically enjoyed automatic access to the media). Congress's reaction, as quoted in the media, was hostile. Appropriations chair George H. Mahon suggested that the Committee would be mostly ignored because Congress could not "legislate under threats of violence.[97]

On June 5, activist Bayard Rustin had drafted an "Economic Bill of Rights," which he published in The New York Times with more specific aims intended to convince the middle class and labor groups to support the action.[98] Rustin suggested that the federal government should:[98]

  1. Recommit to the Full Employment Act of 1946 and legislate the immediate creation of at least one million socially useful career jobs in public service;
  2. Adopt the pending Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968;
  3. Repeal the 90th Congress's punitive welfare restrictions in the 1967 Social Security Act;
  4. Extend to all farm workers the right—guaranteed under the National Labor Relations Act - to organize agricultural labor unions;
  5. Restore budget cuts for bilingual education, Head Start, summer jobs, Economic Opportunity Act, Elementary and Secondary Education Acts.

Roads to Resurrection City

On Sunday May 12, 1968, demonstrators led by Coretta Scott King began a two-week protest in Washington, D.C., demanding an Economic Bill of Rights.[99] May 12 was Mothers' Day, and five thousand people marched to protest 1967 cuts to Head Start, as well as Senator Long's description of mothers on welfare as "brood mares" and other elements of mounting racist stigmatization.[100][101]

Throughout May, nine major caravans of poor people gathered and prepared to converge on Washington.[102] One caravan originated at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Others originated in Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco. Most media attention was focused on Mule Train, which departed on May 13 (the last to leave) from Marks, Mississippi.[103][104][105]

Marshals for many of the caravans were militant young Black men, often affiliated with radical groups like the Memphis Invaders, who had been connected to the outburst of violence in March.[106]

The FBI gathered copious information (including photographs) about each caravan, concerning participants, route, finances, and supplies.[107] The marchers received assistance from the Department of Justice's Community Relations Service Division, newly led by Roger Wilkins, which negotiated with local governments to help Campaign proceed smoothly.[108]

The only incident of police brutality on the march came at Detroit's Cobo Center, where police surrounded a stalled van, provoking a standoff that eventually led to marchers being clubbed and stomped by mounted police.[109]

Resurrection City

On Tuesday, May 21, 1968, thousands of poor people set up a shantytown known as "Resurrection City," which existed for six weeks.[53][110] The city had its own zip code, 20013.[111]

Building the camp

A row of tents set up in the shantytown
A row of tents set up in the shantytown

The City initially scrambled to build shelters and meet basic needs of its initial 3000 residents. Many people volunteered to help construct shelters for the campaign's Building and Structures Committee, chaired by University of Maryland architect John Wiebenson.[112] The group struggled in choosing a name and a location for the demonstration, and did not decide on "Resurrection City" and the National Mall until two days before the arrival of marchers.[113] In exchange for a permit to camp on the most famous strip of grass in the United States, the campaign agreed to limit the city to 3000 people and 36 days.[114]

The group was, of course, poor to begin with, and had now gambled on survival in a strange environment. The Baltimore Afro-American reported that the camp, receiving a flood of donations and volunteers, had reached a sort of equilibrium by Friday (May 24) of that week. It also reported the appearance of celebrity visitors, including D.C. Mayor Walter Washington, Illinois Senator Charles H. Percy, and prominent SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael.[115]

Reports surfaced quickly that some of the young marshals were bullying people, particularly white journalists who had been invited to cover the city.[116] It also encountered confusion and criticism when Bernard Lafayette announced that Resurrection City needed $3 million, but couldn't convincingly explain why.[117]


SCLC leaders led groups of residents on marches and small excursions in attempts to meet with members of Congress. These actions were mostly uneventful.[118] The City never conducted large-scale civil disobedience actions in Washington as King had envisioned.[110]

The Community Relations Service sent agents, dubbed the "RC squad", who monitored and assisted the camp, actively endeavoring to sustain its morale.[119]

FBI surveillance of the campaign also continued with agents posing as journalists and payment of Black informants within the City.[120] Military intelligence also spied on the city, wiretapping the campaign,[121] posing as press and generally duplicating FBI efforts.[122]

Everyday life

Thousands of people lived in Resurrection City and in some ways it resembled other cities. Gordon Mantler[123] writes:

Resurrection City also became a community with all of the tensions that any society contains: hard work and idleness, order and turmoil, punishment and redemption. Businesses flourished inside the tent city's walls, as did street crime. Older men informally talked politics while playing checkers or having their hair cut; others argued in more formal courses and workshops.[124]

There were unusual problems but there was also unusual dignity. Residents called it "the city where you don't pay taxes, where there's no police brutality and you don't go to jail."[125] Resurrection City had a university, a "Soul Tent", a psychiatrist, and a city hall.[53]

Unfortunately the makeshift community suffered from multiple violent incidents, including seventeen in one night including assualt and robbery. In addition strong arm tactics were used by leaders of the movement to cheat local business out of money. [126]


The group suffered from political demoralization, conflicts over leadership, racial tension,[127] and, always, difficult living conditions.[10] Permanent residents became fewer as the occupation went on. People reported discipline problems, attributed to a few problematic residents who continually harassed and abused their neighbors.[128] Abernathy was criticized for staying in a hotel[53] and for cooperating with the Johnson administration to reduce the impact of the demonstration.[110]

The camp suffered from the mud produced by continual rain, which at one point created standing water five inches deep. The wet and muddy protestors nevertheless made numerous mostly unsuccessful efforts to meet with their members of Congress.[129]

Resurrection City was stunned when Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated on June 5; many took this second killing as a sign of bad things to come.[32] Kennedy's funeral procession passed through Resurrection City en route to Arlington National Cemetery and many residents joined the group in singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the Lincoln Memorial.[130][131]

Hawthorne School

Some marchers, including the grand majority of Chicano activists, chose to live in the Hawthorne School, an alternative high school in D.C. a few miles away from Resurrection City. Not only did the school offer dry conditions, in contrast to Resurrection City, it also witnessed interesting interactions between people of different backgrounds. Residents referred to it as a tight-knit community in which cultural exchange flourished between Chicanos, poor Appalachian whites, and other folks escaping the poor weather. It was also from Hawthorne where protesters marched to the Supreme Court and held one of the campaign's most captivating protests. Opposed to a recent court ruling on native fishing rights, the mostly African-American, Chicano, and Native American protesters pounded on the court's front doors and received considerable media attention.[132]

Solidarity Day

A Solidarity Day rally, initially planned for May 30, was postponed by Abernathy, who asked Bayard Rustin to organize the rescheduled event. On June 8, however, it was announced that Rustin had been dropped from the Poor People's Campaign following a fallout with Ralph Abernathy, who believed Rustin's proposal for an Economic Bill of Rights ignored many issues important to SCLC's campaign partners, including opposition to the Vietnam War.[133][134] Following Rustin's departure, SCLC leaders agreed to appoint Washington Urban League Director Sterling Tucker, who was relatively unknown outside the Washington metro area,[133] to lead the Solidarity Day march.[133] Solidarity Day was ultimately held on Wednesday, June 19 (Juneteenth), and attracted between 50,000 and 100,000 people (including many whites).[135] The crowd was addressed not only by SCLC leaders—including Abernathy and Coretta Scott King (who spoke against the Vietnam War)—but also by Tijerina, Native American activist Martha Grass, and politicians such as Eugene McCarthy (whom they applauded) and Hubert Humphrey (whom they booed). Labor unions, including the United Auto Workers, had a strong presence at the event.[135] Puerto Rican and Chicano marchers held a separate rally on the weekend before when people were less likely to be working.[136]


On Thursday, June 20, police fired several canisters of tear gas into the city—reportedly after members of the Milwaukee NAACP provoked them by throwing rocks. Life in the camp had become extremely chaotic. There were reports of vandalism from escaped mental patients.[137] A number of people were hospitalized but none were seriously injured. On Sunday, June 23, a white visitor to the camp was beaten, shot in the knee, and robbed.[138] Abernathy accused police of provoking "all the violence"—through "paid infiltrators" and with the use of tear gas canisters and Molotov cocktails—and called for an investigation into "mass police brutality against the people of Resurrection City."[138][139]

When the demonstration's National Park Service permit expired on Sunday, June 23, 1968, some members of the House of Representatives called for immediate removal.[140]

On June 24, over one thousand[141] police officers arrived to clear the camp and its 500 remaining residents. Some had been led by Abernathy to another site for a pre-arranged arrest.[110] In the camp, police still found some people singing and clapping.[139] Police systematically searched the camp's shelters and arrested people inside and nearby the city.[139][139] Police ultimately arrested 288 demonstrators including Abernathy.[142]

On the afternoon of June 24, police reported being hit with rocks near 14th Street & U Street, an intersection central to April disturbances following the King assassination. Broken windows and a fire bomb were also reported.[143] One hundred police in riot gear responded with tear gas. The area was sealed off, a curfew was declared, and Mayor Washington declared a state of emergency.[142] 450 National Guardsman began patrolling the streets that night, and few incidents were reported (one man leaving a liquor store was wounded by a police officer's bullet).[143]

Aftermath and impact

An economic bill of rights was never passed, and leaders spoke with regret about the occupation. SCLC director Bill Rutherford described the campaign as the movement's "Little Bighorn."[99][130] Andrew Young, vice president of the SCLC, suggested that Resurrection City was spending $27,000 a week on food and had been about to run out of money.[143] The mainstream media contrasted the Poor People's Campaign unfavorably with (an idealized version of) the 1963 March on Washington, which they portrayed as organized and palatable.[144]

The campaign did produce some changes, however subtle. They included more money for free and reduced lunches for school children and Head Start programs in Mississippi and Alabama. The USDA released surplus commodities to the nation's one-thousand poorest counties, food stamps were expanded, and some federal welfare guidelines were streamlined. Marian Wright Edelman formed a network of agency bureaucrats concerned about poverty issues.[145] Activists in the National Welfare Rights Organization also gained important connections in the capital.[146] Meanwhile, other marchers, especially Chicano activists, spoke of eye-opening experiences that made them more sophisticated in their thinking about poverty and their relationships with each other, when they returned West.[147]

The SCLC organized a protest caravan, driven by mule-power, to work its way down to the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida, in early August. Nixon continued to make rioting a campaign issue, explicitly seeking the votes of suburban whites, "the nonshouters, the nondemonstrators", by promising increased policing, crackdowns on rioters, and an end to educational integration.[148]

The Mule Train traveled on and arrived in Chicago for the turbulent Democratic Convention in Chicago, where the demonstrators got caught in the midst of violence in the streets surrounding the convention site.[149]

In 1969, a Poor People's Campaign delegation, including Abernathy, met with President Nixon and asked him to address hunger and malnutrition.[17]

During the 1972 Democratic National Convention, Abernathy and the SCLC organized "Resurrection City II" in Miami. There, they camped alongside other groups, including Students for a Democratic Society and Jerry Rubin's Yippees.[150]

In Savannah, Georgia, there is a group of Socialists that carry on the Poor People's Campaign legacy, calling themselves "PPC/CAT", "CAT" meaning "Community Action Team". They provide clothes and household items to anyone who needs them at Direct Action events throughout the city.

See also


  1. ^ "Lampinen 1968
  2. ^ Mantler, Power to the Poor (2013), p. 5.
  3. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 37–38. "Barbara Cruikshank argues that the government's War on Poverty actually transformed those in poverty from a disparate group often in conflict with one another into 'the poor'—a multiracial, regionally diverse political interest group. During this era poor people joined forces to protest their condition and the government's failure to help them and at the same time fostered a sense of pride and dignity in being poor."
  4. ^ Mantler, Power to the Poor, p. 19.
  5. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 48–49, 52–53.
  6. '^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 13–14: "King's emergent radicalism was fostered by his mounting despair over the callous and reactionary political climate in Washington. The White House's earlier boastful assurances of 'guns and butter' was proving a cruel hoax. Johnson's 1966 civil rights bill containing the strong open housing title died in the Senate, largely because the White House, distracted by the Vietnam War, never bothered to lobby the leaders of the political opposition in the upper house. Before the year ended the Congress slashed the budget of the Office of Economic Opportunity, reducing the War on Poverty funds by half a billion dollars ..."
  7. ^ Bishop, Jim. The Days of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1971.
  8. ^ "To All Souls. "The ill fated second phase of the civil rights struggle."". April 8, 2007.
  9. ^ a b Burns, Stewart. To The Mountaintop. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc, 2004.
  10. ^ a b c Engler, Mark (January 15, 2010). "Dr. Martin Luther King's Economics: Through Jobs, Freedom". The Nation. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  11. ^ a b Mantler, Power to the Poor (2013), p. 94
  12. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 150–151: "At a SCLC retreat at Frogmore held from May 21–22, 1967, the organization agreed to focus on an economic human rights agenda by attacking the slums of northern cities, particularly Cleveland and Chicago, and challenging the Vietnam War as the greatest impediment to combating poverty".
  13. ^ King, Jr., Martin Luther. "To Charter a Course for Our Future." Frogmore, SC, May 21, 1967. Quoted in Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 151.
  14. ^ Mantler, Power to the Poor (2013), p. 92.
  15. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 152.
  16. ^ King, Jr., Martin Luther. "The Crisis in America's Cities: An Analysis of Social Disorder and a Plan of Action Against Poverty, Discrimination, and Racism in Urban America". Atlanta: Southern Christian Leadership Conference, August 15, 1967.
  17. ^ a b Edelman, Marian Wright. "Still Hungry in America". Philadelphia Tribune, February 21, 2012.
  18. '^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 20.
  19. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 154. "William Rutherford, who had organized the Friends of SCLC in Europe in 1966 and was appointed executive director of SCLC during the summer of 1967, declared that, "basically almost no one on the staff thought that the next priority, the next major movement, should be focused on poor people or the question of poverty in America."48 at the time James Bevel wanted to remain focused on combating slums in northern cities, Hosea Williams promoted voter registration campaigns in the South, Jesse Jackson wanted to continue to develop Operation Breadbasket, and Andrew Young worried that SCLC's budget of under a million dollars necessitated smaller campaigns in the South."
  20. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 158–159.
  21. ^ a b Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 164.
  22. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 166–168.
  23. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 156.
  24. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 157.
  25. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 20: "When reporters later pressed him about the campaign's tactics, King sidestepped specific details and focused on the moral dimensions of the crisis".
  26. ^ Jackson, Thomas. From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King and the Struggle for Economic Justice. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.
  27. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 165–166.
  28. ^ Elliott, Debbie (May 13, 2018). "How A Mule Train From Marks, Miss., Kicked Off MLK's Poor People Campaign". NPR. National Public Radio, Inc. Retrieved February 26, 2019. We're coming to Washington in a poor people's campaign...
  29. ^ Amy Bach (2009). Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court. New York: Metropolitan Books. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-8050-7447-5.
  30. ^ "Rev. Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr., Distinguished Senior Scholar-in-Residence". Faculty Biographies. Emory University. 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  31. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 234–235.
  32. ^ a b Okoh, Gim (June 8, 1968). "Will death of senator hurt Poor?". Baltimore Afro-American. p. 1. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  33. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 240. "Before participants could participate in the PPC, they had to sign a pledge of non- violence.17 Lawrence S. Apsey, Chairman of the Quaker Project on Community Conflict, initiated the idea for the pledge and outlined the reasons why PPC participants should remain non-violent. ... SCLC used Apsey's pledge word for word. Participants who signed the pledge vowed to commit themselves to be nonviolent, to avoid abusive or hostile language, to not resist arrest, and 'to obey the instruction of official Campaign marshals at all times.'"
  34. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 162. "Boston organizer, Pierce Barker, explained to Hosea Williams that Boston's black community viewed King unfavorably and was still reeling from the "minor sort of rebellion" during the summer of 1967, which had united the black community behind the more militant organizations. Meanwhile, local white liberals had turned their efforts and their money to anti-war activities."
  35. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 232.
  36. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 235.
  37. ^ Mantler, Power to the Poor (2013), pp. 97-101.
  38. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 242–245.
  39. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 246.
  40. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 247.
  41. ^ Out of 140 marchers who filled out a questionnaire, 20 received social security, 25 received welfare, and 42 had food stamps (many could not afford the $2 fee required to purchase them). Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 247—248.
  42. ^ Mantler, Power to the Poor (2013), pp. 108-112
  43. ^ Mantler, Power to the Poor (2013), pp. 102-105
  44. ^ "No Good Nature About It, Says King of Spring March". The Spokesman-Review. AP. March 24, 1968. p. 24. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  45. ^ "Traditions May Break on Easter". Palm Beach Post. AP. April 13, 1968. p. 1. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  46. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 163-164.
  47. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 232. "SCLC's Speaker's Bureau established the Educational Task Force—composed primarily of volunteers from the Peace Corps and Vista, ministers, seminarians, and concerned citizens—which aimed to educate and involve Washington residents. The Bureau used the mass media and delivered speeches in the D.C. area to publicize the PPC's plans, educate the public on the causes and effects of U.S. poverty, and inform the non-poor about ways they could participate in the movement."
  48. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 24: "Before SCLC staffers fully settled into their Washington headquarters, more than 75 volunteers had formed a dozen committees to plan for alternative housing, transportation, freedom schools, medical and sanitation needs, and other contingencies."
  49. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 25: "By the end of March, the FBI's list of organizations endorsing the PCC was impressive. It included most of the liberal church and community action groups in Washington: Interreligious Committee on Racial Relations, Council of Churches of Greater Washington, Cooperative Lutheran Parish Council, Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, Potomac Presbytery, Baptist Ministers Council, Greater Washington Unitarian Ministers Association, the local chapter of the NAACP, Black Student Union, Washington Teachers Union, National Association of Social Workers, and SANE."
  50. ^ "SNCC Won't March in Poor People's Drive". Baltimore Afro-American. May 25, 1968. p. 18. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  51. ^ "Resurrection City grows by leaps in Washington". Baltimore Afro-American. May 25, 1968. p. 18. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  52. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 255–266.
  53. ^ a b c d Robert T. Chase, "Class Resurrection: The Poor People's Campaign of 1968 and Resurrection City", Essays in History (Vol 40), 1998.
  54. ^ Risen, Nation on Fire (2009), pp. 14–15. "Already agitated by the past summer's riots and afraid of a repeat, or worse, in 1968, the federal government looked at the Poor People's Campaign from inside a bunker. Congress held hearings. The D.C. Police Department developed extensive antiriot plans."
  55. '^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 8: "On the whole the Johnson administration reacted as though the campaigners were an invading horde from a strange land intent on the violent disruption of the government rather than fellow Americans, most of whom were underprivileged and powerless nonwhite citizens. Many Kennedy-Johnson government liberals acted no differently than as if they had signed on as outriders in Hoover's private war against King and the poor people's movement."
  56. ^ "Russell Long hits march of the poor". New York Times. AP. April 26, 1968. Retrieved October 3, 2012. Senator Russell B. Long, Democrat of Louisiana, said today that he would call for the censure or expulsion of any member of Congress who advocated 'bending the knee' to demands of Negro leaders planning a massive demonstration—the Poor People's Campaign—here next month.
  57. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 251.
  58. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 85.
  59. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 93: "A March story in the New York Times estimated that officials in Washington would have 10,000 police and troops on standby for the Poor People's Campaign. By May Pentagon planners were ready to deploy 20,000 regular army troops in 'a steady stream' into the capital over a 72-hour period, the first 5,400 within six hours after notification."
  60. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 9–10: "During project POCAM the FBI marshaled its awesome resources to propagate the thesis that the Poor People's Campaign was instigated by a subversive conspiracy. (POCAM was the code name for the Poor People's Campaign in all internal FBI communications relating to this project, which had initially been identified as the Washington Spring Project. ...) Hoover and his executive officers used every opportunity to intensify the siege mentality gripping the federal government as it prepared for the army of the poor converging on the nation's capital."
  61. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 16: "Most officials probably were taken in by the copious flow of FBI reports like the monograph, letters, phone calls, and discreet visits from highly placed FBI officials and were receptive to charges that King was 'following the communist line.' Hoover's chief lobbyist on Capitol Hill, Deputy Director Cartha D. DeLoach, routinely briefed members of Congress on the material in the King monograph."
  62. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 16: "After an office visit from DeLoach, Senator Thomas J. Dodd (D-Conn.), moderately liberal on the civil rights issue and a supporter of King, criticized King's Vietnam position and backed away from the civil rights movement. Presidential aide Harry McPherson began referring to King as 'the crown prince of the Vietniks.' Roger Wilkins, the highest-ranking black in Johnson's Justice Department, recalled that after King came out against the war, Johnson's 'soul hardened against us then and he liked very few of us.'"
  63. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 98–99.
  64. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 22.
  65. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 23: "Within a few weeks, FBIHQ had compiled files on SCLC recruiters in at least 17 major cities and the District of Columbia. The nature of the information in their files included past and current political activities as well as personal matters and trivia; virtually all of the intelligence was unrelated to criminal or violent activity."
  66. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 24.
  67. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 25–26: "The campaign would spread stories 'about the lack of funds and organization. Fears of economic reprisal and personal safety' were calculated to dissuade potential participants. The rumored threat that government welfare checks would be cancelled if recipients of federal assistance showed up in Washington was especially targeted at the South's black population. All FBI field offices involved in project POCAM were directed to shape their own distinctive campaigns according to what would play best in their respective locales."
  68. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 26–27.
  69. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 27: "Alerted in March that King was preparing for one of his whirlwind tours to galvanize support for the PPC in Virginia, the FBI connived with elements of the local John Birch Society to thwart these efforts. The bureau and the Birchies set up a front organization called TACT (Truth About Civil Turmoil). Several days before the SCLC leader was scheduled to visit the capital of the Old Confederacy, TACT planned to sponsor a public lecture in Richmond by a Julia Brown, who would speak about the Communist penetration of the civil rights movement and especially King's links to the American Communist party. Brown was billed in the Birchite advance publicity as a derring-do black patriot and 'secret operative' who had infiltrated the civil rights movement for the FBI and had witnessed the machinations of the Communist conspiracy to use the movement to undermine the American social order."
  70. ^ Risen, Nation on Fire (2009), pp. 17–18.
  71. ^ Indeed, the unusual outburst was so useful to opponents of the campaign that some have accused the FBI of intentionally neglecting warning signs (if not being overtly involved.) McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 60–61: "The FBI seized upon the March 28 violence as a way to undercut King's reputation as a man of peace and nonviolence. There is good reason to conjecture that the FBI's inaction on March 28 in the face of threatened mayhem was a deliberate decision on the part of bureau agents."
  72. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 186.
  73. ^ Estimates range from 10,000 to 150,000.
  74. ^ Honey, Jericho Road (2007), p. 480: "The next day in Atlanta, Mrs. King led some 150,000 people, including presidential aspirants and top religious, civic, and labor leaders from cross the land; civil rights leaders, ministers, and sanitation workers also attended. An old wooden carriage drawn by mules, symbolizing the Poor People's Campaign, pulled King's body through the streets to his resting place."
  75. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 107–108.
  76. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 111–112. "The encampment was limited to a population of 3000, and the permit was valid until June 15, with possible extensions at the government's discretion. With the preliminaries out of the way, the SCLC leadership, contrary to the original plans, opted to make Resurrection City the focal point of the Poor People's Campaign.
  77. ^ King, Jr., Dr. Martin Luther. "Showdown for Nonviolence". Look 32(8), pp. 23–25.
  78. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 178.
  79. ^ a b Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 197–198.
  80. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 179. "... while the Committee of 100 presented themselves as a legitimate lobbying group, often the style of the participants' presentations became the focus rather than the substance of their demands. Government officials tended to perceive the visits as threats rather than rational meetings to discuss serious societal problems."
  81. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 195–197.
  82. ^ Recounted in somewhat chronological order (although some of the meetings were simultaneous or overlapping) by Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 200–225.
  83. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 200–201.
  84. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 202.
  85. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 203–204.
  86. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 205–208.
  87. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 208–210.
  88. ^ a b Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 210–211.
  89. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 212.
  90. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 213.
  91. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 214: "Finally, like all of the other contingents, the Committee demanded that the poor play a role in determining the structure and practice of welfare, both by working in the welfare agencies and by establishing community evaluation systems for existing programs. Other specific reforms responded to social workers intrusions into poor people's lives, restrictions on their family structure, and limitations on their personal relationships. They demanded the elimination of the patriarchal 'man in the house' rule, payment for appeal lawyers and continuation of welfare payments until rulings were decided, as well as more aggressive enforcement of civil rights requirements, particularly 'courteous treatment of applicants and recipients and the uniform use of courtesy titles in addressing them.'"
  92. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 216.
  93. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 217. "Secretary Weaver, like others, explained that he was doing all he could, but that he was only one man and could not make appropriations in Congress then touted the legislation he did get passed. Instead of responding to the group's demands, Weaver complained about the erratic nature of the Committee of 100's visit ..."
  94. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 220–221.
  95. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 220–225.
  96. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 219–220.
  97. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 225–226.
  98. ^ a b PBS (August 23, 2006). "The Goals of the Poor People's Campaign, 1968: Primary sources for Eyes on the Prize". Archived from the original on 8 March 2007.
  99. ^ a b Shahid, Sharon (February 7, 2012). "In News History: Dateline: Resurrection City". Newseum. Archived from the original on September 24, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  100. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 89.
  101. ^ The march was dutifully shadowed and surveilled by the FBI, who warned of potential violence against the Congressional Club in retaliation against a refusal of Congressional wives to meet with the marchers. See McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 90.
  102. ^ In Baltimore, the penultimate stop for a caravan of over 800, marchers were welcomed by Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro and Police Commissioner Donald Pomerleau. Said D'Alesandro, "Whatever we can do to make your stay a comfortable one, just call on us." Source: Max Johnson, "Race with Stork ends at Provident". Baltimore Afro-American, May 25, 1968, p. 18.
  103. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 94.
  104. ^ Mantler, Power to the Poor (2013), p. 133.
  105. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 258–259.
  106. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 259–260.
  107. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 95.
  108. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 99–102.
  109. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 103.
  110. ^ a b c d Lily Gay Lampinen, "The Poor People’s Campaign", International Socialism, Autumn 1968.
  111. ^ "The Scene at ZIP Code 20013.", Time magazine, May 24, 1968, p. 34: "Resurrection City even boasted the ultimate insignia of identity: a ZIP code number (20013)."
  112. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 357.
  113. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 359–361.
  114. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), pp. 361–362.
  115. ^ Jenkins, Ruth (May 25, 1968). "Life for poor is hard at 'Resurrection City', too". Baltimore Afro-American. p. 18. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  116. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 114–115.
  117. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 115–116.
  118. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 116–117.
  119. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 117.
  120. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 122–123.
  121. ^ Risen, Nation on Fire (2009), p. 233.
  122. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 123–125.
  123. ^ Journalist and Ph.D. in African American and Latino history.
  124. ^ Mantler, Black, Brown and Poor (2008), p. 1.
  125. ^ Mantler, Black, Brown and Poor (2008), p. 3.
  126. ^
  127. ^ "Resurrection City Friction Developing". Bonham Daily Favorite. UPI. May 27, 1968. p. 1. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  128. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), pp. 119–120.
  129. ^ "Resurrection City: Poverty Marchers Mired in Mud". Montreal Gazette. UPI. May 29, 1968. p. 25. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  130. ^ a b Kotz, Nick (2005). "Epilogue: The Legacy". Judgment days : Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the laws that changed America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 422. ISBN 0-618-08825-3.
  131. ^ Mossman, B.C.; M.W. Stark (1991). "XXVIII: Senator Robert F. Kennedy". The Last Salute: Civil and Military Funerals 1921–1969. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  132. ^ Mantler, Power to the Poor (2013), pp. 158–165.
  133. ^ a b c UPI (June 8, 1968). "Poor Marchers Have Dropped Baynard Rustin". The Times-News. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  134. ^ Mantler, Power to the Poor (2013), p. 167.
  135. ^ a b "50,000 Hear Leader of Poor Vow to Keep Resurrection City in Capital: Cheer Made By King's Widow for End of War". Toledo Blade. AP. June 20, 1968. pp. 1, 8. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  136. ^ Mantler, Power to the Poor (2013), pp. 171–172.
  137. ^ McKnight, Last Crusade (1998), p. 133.
  138. ^ a b "Poor People's Permit Runs Out: Negroes Vow to Remain". Lodi News-Sentinel. UPI. June 24, 1968. pp. 1, 2. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  139. ^ a b c d "Resurrection City Seized by Police Without Clash". Milwaukee Journal. Press Dispatches. June 24, 1968. pp. 1, 9. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  140. ^ "Showdown Looming on Resurrection City". News and Courier. AP. June 23, 1968. p. 9C. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  141. ^ Estimates range from 1000 (Montreal Gazette) to 1500 (Milwaukee Journal).
  142. ^ a b "Police close down Resurrection City, arrest 288". Montreal Gazette. CP. June 25, 1968. p. 1. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  143. ^ a b c "Capital Calm After Shutdown of Resurrection City". Miami News. AP. June 25, 1968. p. 2-A. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  144. ^ Wright, Unfinished Business (2007), p. 47.
  145. ^ Mantler, Power to the Poor (2013), pp. 183-184
  146. ^ Mantler, Power to the Poor (2013), p. 211
  147. ^ Mantler, Power to the Poor (2013), p. 185
  148. ^ Risen, Nation on Fire (2009), pp. 239–240.
  149. ^ Blobaum, Dean (October 16, 2011). "A Chronology". Chicago '68. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  150. ^ "Resurrection City Set Up". Bangor Daily News. AP. July 10, 1972. p. 5. Retrieved September 18, 2012.


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