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For Immediate Release

Contact

Jennifer R. Farmer, jenniferr@spotlightpr.org

Martha Waggoner, mwaggoner@breachrepairers.org

Press Release

The Poor People’s Campaign’s Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis & Nearly 100 Others From 42 States Arrested During Women's Moral March in Washington, D.C., on Monday

WASHINGTON -

Several poor and low-wealth women and social justice leaders were arrested during a Moral Women’s March in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

The event was part of the Poor People’s Campaign’s ‘Season of Nonviolent Moral Direct Action,’ which began earlier this month and will continue into August. Close to 100 women from 42 states surrendered to arrest as they joined the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival event, which fell on the anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848.

 The Seneca Falls convening was the first women’s rights convention in the U.S. The 100 participants represent the 100 signatures on the Declaration of Sentiments at Seneca Falls. The Women’s Moral Monday March demanded change of a broken system that disproportionately affects women of color and poor women.    

 The Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival; Yara Allen, theomusicologist for the Poor People’s Campaign; Shailly Gupta Barnes, policy director for the Poor People’s Campaign; Vicki Ryder and Ana Blackburn of the Poor People’s Campaign in North Carolina; Rahna Epting of MoveOn, Barbara Arnwine of the Transformative Justice Coalition; Tayna Fogle of the Poor People’s Campaign in Kentucky, Jodie Evans from Code Pink, and more surrendered their bodies to arrest. 

 The women were gathered at the U.S. Supreme Court to protect voting rights and urge passage of the For the People’s Act, the full restoration of the Voting Rights Act; an end to the filibuster and enactment of a $15/hour minimum wage. 

“We are clear that we are who our ancestors dreamt of; we are the seeds that they planted. We're planting seeds today. And we are building the movement that will give our children and the next generations the life that they deserve. We don't want to survive, we want to thrive,” said Kenia Alcocer, who moderated the event and is a part of the national Poor People’s Campaign.

“I carry with me today the voices of all the poor and low wealth, women, children and marginalized citizens of Oklahoma,” said Marianne Smith, chair of the Poor People’s Campaign in Oklahoma. “Rather than seeing an improvement I'm witnessing a decline in the rights and opportunities for the generations behind me. We’re demanding equal rights.”

“We are here to carry the torch. How dare legislators give us, 56 years later, a bill that was worse than the Voting Right Act originally passed,” said Tayna Fogle of the Poor People’s Campaign in Kentucky. “How dare they suppress the vote. What are they scared of? Well, no matter what they've done, including mass incarceration, they took our men, they took our loved ones, they thought we would forget but they forget that women have the power in this country.”

Poor and low-income women from over 42 states participated, including several states that have passed voter suppression laws this year: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas.  

Over 140 million people are poor or one emergency away from economic ruin, including more than 70 million women of all races, gender, and sexual orientations and faith traditions.

“Our democracy is in peril,” said the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. “In this time, when our Voting Rights are under attack, and economic justice is being denied, we must and so we are, calling out the immoral obstructionism of Congress. We're demanding that the United States Senate end the filibuster and pass all provisions of the For the People Act. We're demanding that they fully restore the 1965 Voting Rights Act. And we're demanding that we raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Right now. Not tomorrow. Not next year. Now.”

“In this season when extremists have committed themselves to voter up suppression, we cannot let the forces of greed destroy the very rights you had before you could even comprehend them,” said the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. “We cannot, and we will not. We are here today to say that the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 and the obstruction of Mitch McConnell that has prevented Congress from restoring it for over eight years, has undermined and eroded our Democracy. We don't want some of our justice, we want all of our justice. It's kind of like being pregnant, either you are or you're not.”

The statement signed by 100 women is here.

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Poor People’s Campaign

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral  Revival, is building a generationally transformative digital gathering called the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington, on June 20, 2020. At that assembly, we will demand that both major political parties address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism by implementing our Moral Agenda.

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