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Massachusetts Poor People's Campaign to rally at state house

The organization wants to put a spotlight on the challenges of those living in poverty, and the Massachusetts rally is one of dozens around the country.
massachusetts state house

Massachusetts State House.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Advocates who want to highlight the struggles of those in poverty are planning a rally at the Massachusetts State House on Monday.

The Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign is kicking off six weeks of protests across the country with one on the state house steps Monday, May 14 at 2 p.m. to ask for what they call a “massive overhaul” of laws and programs to address the country’s poor.

The organization’s name is a nod to the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, a grassroots organization organized by Martin Luther King Jr. That effort of the civil rights movement was cut short, the organization said, by King’s assassination, and this group aims to build off of that work.

“When we have a political discourse that ignores the issues of the poor, that is attention violence. Coretta Scott King said that violence is not just what happened to her husband when he was shot, but also what happens when people are denied the necessities they need to live,” said Savina Martin, co-chair of the Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign, in a statement.

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The group that will gather at the state house will include those who are poor or disenfranchised, clergy leaders and other advocates.

The Massachusetts rally is one of more than 30 across the country on Monday, and the start of a 40-day series of nonviolent actions meant to bring attention to poverty, ecological devastation and the war economy.

The group says a “sweeping” overhaul of the country’s voting rights laws is needed, as well as public policies around poverty. 

At the end of those 40 days, the organization said, on June 23, people from Massachusetts and across the country will gather for a mass mobilization at the United States Capitol in Washington.