The Poor People’s Campaign is a movement that was created back in 1968 by the honorable Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The movement seeks to challenge poverty, racism and militarism in a nonviolent way. This notion and movement has been reignited recently, and massive six-week-long protests have been scheduled by the group across the nation.
As the protests kick off throughout the country, hundreds have already been arrested, detained or issued citations by local police officers. On May 14th, 146 protesters were arrested outside of the Capitol. The group had decided to protest by blocking traffic for one hour to send a message to lawmakers, but the demonstration was unacceptable according to the police. Officers issued three warnings to the protesters before beginning to take people into custody. Some protesters were detained for around five hours while authorities processed the hundreds of citations. Each person cited was charged a $50 fee for obstructing the street.
Protesters in Missouri also decided to block a downtown street. 88 people were given summonses for obstructing a police order. Individuals demonstrating in Raleigh, North Carolina, took a different route and decided to lock hands in front of the legislative building. They refused to leave the area until all 49 were forcibly removed by police. 49 individuals were issued citations.
Ten individuals were also held by Iowa State Police when they refused to leave Governor Kim Reynolds’ office. 50 protesters were originally in the area, but the ten that were held refused to leave after the office closed.
In total, over 300 people have been arrested, cited or detained in connection with the recent demonstrations orchestrated by the Poor People’s Campaign. Events are expected to continue for the next five weeks.