‘National Moral Monday’ kicks off with demands to end the filibuster in D.C.
Poor People’s Campaign’s Season of Nonviolent Moral Direct Action is one in a series that also fights for voting rights, immigrant rights and a higher minimum wage
On Monday, Aug. 2, hundreds of faith leaders joined low-wage workers in direct action on Capitol Hill, as the Poor People’s Campaign continues to pressure the U.S. Senate to end the filibuster.
This “National Moral Monday” is part of the Season of Nonviolent Moral Direct Action that the Poor People’s Campaign launched in July. The event began at 10:45 a.m. at Union Plaza in Washington, D.C and streamed live on its website.
The Poor People’s Campaign and partners began the Season of Nonviolent Moral Direct Action with several demands: a full restoration of the Voting Rights Act, passage of the For the People’s Act, a $15 minimum wage, an end to the filibuster, and fair and respectful treatment of the nation’s 11 million immigrants.
Protesters and clergy are massing outside Union Station near the Capitol this morning, preparing for a March led by the Poor People’s Campaign.
Demonstrators are calling for an end the filibuster, expanding/protecting voting rights, a $15 minimum wage and immigrant rights. pic.twitter.com/DizNy0GNUW
— Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins) August 2, 2021
These demands are to be met by Aug. 6, which is the 56th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.
The partners for the season of action include the National Council of Churches, Black Voters Matter, Forward Justice, the National Welfare Rights Union, Red Letter Christians, Indivisible, the Sunrise Movement, and more.
The season started with a news conference and national call-in to U.S. Senators.
Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign encouraged online viewers of the conference to call their senators.
“There is an emergency going on right now — an emergency of our democracy. An emergency of poor and low-income people. An emergency where wages are so low and people cannot afford the basic living expenses,” Rev. Theoharis said.
Following the conference, there was a Women’s Moral March, where more than 75 women were arrested during a protest.
Do the ladies want liberation?
Do the ladies want to compromise?
So when we fight it on the inside!
And when we fight it on the outside!
Is justice on our side?
Yeah, yeah! #MoralMonday #PoorPeoplesCampaign https://t.co/4FJfoYIFRi pic.twitter.com/WK9P4nDP6Y
— Poor People's Campaign (@UniteThePoor) July 20, 2021
On July 26, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, was arrested during a sit-in at the Phoenix office of Sen. Krysten Sinema to demand she support an end to the filibuster.
Rev. Jesse Jackson and Barbara Arnwine, founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition were also arrested, along with dozens of Arizona residents who participated.
Monday’s event also included a music project. The Poor People’s Campaign teamed up with Songs for Good, The Peace Poets and Center for Artistic Activism.
The song, “Power for the People,” was performed for 24 hours and 18 minutes, which was the longest filibuster ever recorded, by Strom Thurmond when he unsuccessfully tried to derail the 1957 Civil Rights Act.
The “choir” and soloists were crowdsourced through a TikTok duet challenge that launched on July 20. It started on Aug. 1 at 3 p.m. and continued through Monday.
As of this writing, hundreds of demonstrators have already been arrested, including Ezra Levin, co-founder of Indivisible, Rev. Barber, and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis.
— Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam) August 2, 2021
As police kept up with arrests, the crowd continued to sing gleefully and powerfully.
“I am not afraid, I will fight for liberation cause I know why I was made. I am not afraid.”