The Poor People’s Campaign Sixth Week of Action

June 22, 2018 25 photos
  • The Poor People’s Campaign began its sixth week of action Monday in 40 states, culminating in Saturday’s major rally in Washington, D.C. Organizers predicted thousands will converge on the National Mall. Here is Michael Nigro’s photo essay from Week 6 of the campaign. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

  • Resurrection City. Early morning on June 18. The footprint of the tent is reportedly where Martin Luther King Jr. set up the original Resurrection City in 1968, during King’s effort to gain economic justice for poor people in the United States. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • The canvassing team. A main goal of the Poor People’s Campaign is to train activists to canvass poor communities and register residents to vote. This group, from all over the nation, set out to canvass the 8th Ward in Washington, D.C., which is one of America’s “sacrifice zones”—a geographic area permanently impaired by environmental damage or economic disinvestment. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • A U.S. military member double-times it through the canvassing team, which marched and chanted on its way to the D.C. Metro. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • The canvassing team descending into the Metro station. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)
  • Rush hour in D.C. didn’t stop the canvassing team from delivering its message inside a Metro car.  (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • Many reluctant commuters were eventually won over by the Poor People’s Campaign message. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)
  • Arriving in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C. According to a 2015 Washington Post article,  “Anacostia is ‘way more dangerous’ than parts of Kenya.”(Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • The phone number is for legal assistance if needed after an arrest. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • On Thursday, approximately 400 people marched to the Capitol to challenge the Trump administration and Congress’ policies toward immigrant families, poor families and families of color. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • Activists marched to the east steps of the Capitol. Forty states were represented, as well as various faith-based groups. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • What does this Poor People’s Campaign have that King’s didn’t? A minister on a skateboard videotaping the march. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)
  • Tourists documented the march as it moved around the Capitol. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)
  • The Rev. William Barber II led the march to the east side of the Capitol, where more than 50 Capitol police officers blocked the entrance. After a first warning, a police officer said to Barber, “You are a protest group. You will not be allowed on the plaza,”

    “Not on the plaza?” Barber said.

    “No, sir,” the officer said.

    This is the People’s House,” Barber said.

    “Yes, sir. You are demonstrating without a permit.”

    (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • “It’s almost as if ‘America First’ means first in attacking children and families, first in taking [away] health care, first in taking food stamps,” the Rev. Barber said. “It is immorality at the highest level.” (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • After clearing out the media and the marchers who didn’t wish to be arrested, more than 100 Poor People’s Campaign participants were arrested. A booking station was set up on the Capitol’s east lawn. Police tape cordoned off the area, but a platform 20 feet below the booking area remained open to the public. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • One of those arrested holds a sign while waiting to be given a summons. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

  • Arrestees waiting. The protest came as the Trump administration proposed a massive government overhaul aimed at weakening the agencies tasked with helping the poor. It has also pulled out of the U.N. Human Rights Council, where the Rev. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, will speak next week in Geneva. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • Protesters who were not arrested chanted and sang on a platform 20 feet below the pop-up police booking stations. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • Being booked, still protesting. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)
  • There is a lot of waiting when one is arrested. But all things considered, this was essentially a “catch and release” arrest. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)
  • The Rev. Barber sees my monopod being raised as I attempt to capture his release. He raised his sign, which reads: “Incarcerating Families is Immoral.” (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)
  • David Goodman, right, brother of slain civil rights worker Andrew Goodman, was among those arrested. (The Rev. Barber is to his left.) June 21 was the anniversary of the 1964 disappearance of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, whose bodies were found buried in a dam in Philadelphia, Miss., on Aug. 4 of that year. Listen to David Goodman’s words during the livestream at the 16-minute mark. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • Summons in hand. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)

  • After many of those arrested were released, Barber led a prayer honoring David Goodman’s brother and everyone (including those present) who has ever sacrificed for others. (Michael Nigro/Truthdig)