Led by the Poor People\u0026#039;s Campaign, advocacy groups and low-income individuals gathered in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to demand that policymakers \u0022fight poverty, not the poor.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Poverty is a policy choice and we will hold our leaders accountable.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022We are the 140 million poor and low-wealth people, standing together to declare we won\u0026#039;t be silent anymore,\u0022 said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the campaign. \u0022Poverty is a policy choice and we will hold our leaders accountable.\u0022\r\n\r\nFellow campaign co-chair Bishop William Barber echoed that message in a speech at the Mass Poor People\u0026#039;s and Low-Wage Workers\u0026#039; Assembly and Moral March on Washington, which drew thousands to the nation\u0026#039;s capital.\r\n\r\nBarber declared that as long as essential workers are treated like they are \u0022expendable\u0022 during a public health crisis, as long as federal lawmakers block pandemic relief for families, \u0022as long as we have the stealing of native lands and unjust immigration,\u0022 and as long as millions of people nationwide face hunger and homelessness, \u0022we won\u0026#039;t be silent anymore.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022Let us be clear: We are not simply here for a day,\u0022 explained Barber, who also highlighted voter suppression efforts and the United States\u0026#039; significant military spending. \u0022This assembly is to declare the full commitment of a fusion coalition.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Now is the time for a Third Reconstruction. We are the rejected—who\u0026#039;ve been rejected by the politics of trickle-down economics and rejected by neoliberalism,\u0022 he continued, sharing the history of the first two reconstructions.\r\n\r\n\u0022This is a movement—until children are protected; until sick folk are healed; until low-wage workers are paid; until immigrants are treated fairly; until affordable housing is provided; until the atmosphere, the land, and the water are protected; until saving the world, and diplomacy, and living in peace is more important than blowing up the world,\u0022 he added, \u0022we won\u0026#039;t be silent anymore.\u0022\r\n\r\nParticipants in the event shared updates on social media with the hashtag #MoralAssembly2022:\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe event featured testimonies from people like Vivian Henry of the Minnesota Poor People\u0026#039;s Campaign, who spoke of her fears about losing her Medicaid due to politicians who don\u0026#039;t care whether she lives or dies.\r\n\r\n\u0022I\u0026#039;m here to say that if Congress can repeatedly afford to give corporate welfare to the rich, then Congress can afford universal healthcare for all so that people don\u0026#039;t go bankrupt or are forced to use a GoFundMe to cover medical expenses,\u0022 Henry said. \u0022Scarcity is a massive lie!\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022My children are survivors just by being alive. It is not enough to be resilient and survive, it is our human right to grow and thrive,\u0022 declared Maya Torralba, an Indigenous mother who spoke at the assembly, followed by her daughter, Kateri Daffron.\r\n\r\nDescribing her experience growing up in Anadarko, Oklahoma,\u0026nbsp;Daffron said that \u0022although I moved away I am still in poverty. I cannot leave poverty. I am a 17-year-old child and my country has already failed me.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nKevin Queen, who traveled to the rally from Nebraska, told North Country Public Radio that \u0022it\u0026#039;s kind of sickening to me that we\u0026#039;ve come to the capital of the richest country on the planet and we see homeless people in tunnels and living on the streets.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022And so just to be able to be here and participate is an honor as well as something that\u0026#039;s very upsetting, because here we are, what, 60 years later, and we\u0026#039;re still marching for the poor—we still haven\u0026#039;t fixed this problem,\u0022 he added, referencing the 1963 March on Washington—where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his \u0022I Have a Dream\u0022 speech.\r\n\r\nAhead of the assembly, Barber said that people were coming to D.C. \u0022to say not only do we need a moral reset... we represent 32% of the electorate now, poor people do, and 45% of the electorate in battleground states. And it\u0026#039;s time for that power to be organized, mobilized, and felt in every election throughout this country.\u0022\r\n\r\nThis post has been updated with comment from Maya Torralba and Kateri Daffron along with additional tweets.