Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign is revived

RALEIGH, N.C. — A new version of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign to lift up poor people will hold its first national mobilization Monday, with events in 32 states and the nation’s capital.

Activists in the Poor People’s Campaign plan to deliver letters to politicians in state capitals demanding that the leaders confront what they call systemic racism, evidenced in voter suppression laws and high poverty rates.

Led by two clergy, William Barber of North Carolina and Liz Theoharis of New York, the campaign began Dec. 4, or 50 years after King started the first campaign. He was assassinated a few months later.


The letters call for a new course: ‘‘Our faith traditions and state and federal constitutions all testify to the immorality of an economy that leaves out the poor, yet our political discourse consistently ignores the 140 million poor and low-income people in America.’’

Barber said the campaign is building toward a ‘‘season of direct action and civil disobedience’’ May 13 to June 21. On Feb. 12, the 50th anniversary of a strike that brought King to Memphis, where he died, cooks and cashiers plan to walk off their jobs to support higher wages and union rights.

Associated Press