Ohio Poor People's Campaign Kicks Off Six Weeks of Nonviolent Action at Statehouse

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The Ohio Poor People’s Campaign, A National Call for Moral Revival will host its first action Monday at the Ohio Statehouse in what has been described as a "six-week season" of non-violent events.

This afternoon's inaugural event, near the steps of the Statehouse, will focus on child poverty, women in poverty and people with disabilities. In subsequent weeks, actions will shift focus to systemic racism, the war economy, ecological devastation caused by climate change and the nation’s "moral narrative."

Ohio's campaign is part of a national movement, a revival of the original Poor People's Campaign, which marched on Washington in 1968 to demand economic justice. That march was organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. and began in May, shortly after King's assassination. 

This year's national campaign will culminate in a March on Washington as well, scheduled for June 23. Today's rally in Columbus will be one of more than 30 actions across the country.

"Although we live in the wealthiest nation in the world, it is troubling that so many people in this country live in poverty," said Rev. Dr. Susan Smith, one of the Ohio Poor People’s Campaign chairs, in a statement. "The fact that too many of our lawmakers seem to be unaware of the breadth and depth of the problem is even more troubling. The poor are blamed for their poverty and for their suffering due to their poverty, so much so, that many who need help will not ask for it and are afraid to admit they are struggling. Something is very, very wrong with that picture."