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Ohio Activists Participating In National Relaunch Of Poor People's Campaign

May 15, 2018

Activists kick of the 40-day campaign at the Statehouse
Credit Ohio Public Radio

 Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Junior advocated for Americans living in poverty in what was called the "Poor People's Campaign." 

Advocates for poor Ohioans are relaunching the effort, saying those problems are still common today. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

Pastors and other advocates kicked off a 40-day campaign at the Statehouse. They sang songs, carried signs and listened to speakers. Pastor Thomas Barnes of the Kemper Road Church near Cincinnati says this is one of more than 30 events that he says will focus on non-violent activism.

“Sit-ins as we go forth, and to just civil disobedience. We are going to kneel down and pray in the presence of those individuals to let them know that it is through prayer that we owe a first approach in trying to address this issue,” Barnes said. The nationwide effort calls for sweeping legislative changes including an end to gerrymandering and so-called right-to-work laws, full funding for federal anti-poverty programs, changes in immigration laws, and bans on assault weapons and fracking.