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Reuters
poor-peoples-campaign-William-barber.JPG
Reuters
USA News

Hundreds arrested at faith-focused protest near Capitol in Washington DC

by Premier Journalist

Washington DC police have arrested more than 200 protesters at a faith-driven political rally in support of voters' rights.

The progressive political advocacy group known as the Poor People's Campaign, met at a rally on Monday near the US Capitol, where an assortment of leaders met to speak.

The event was organized by Rev William Barber II and Rev Liz Theoharis. It featured speakers like Rev Jesse Jackson and Luci Baines Johnson, former president Lyndon B. Johnson's daughter.

The rally's leaders aimed to connect a series of issues, explicitly voting rights, immigration reform, a $15 federal minimum wage and the elimination of the Senate filibuster.

Rev William Barber II presented the filibuster as an essential legislating tool that stops Congress from passing what he believes are critical policy decisions for improving the life quality of the lower class.

"Filibuster is a sin!" Rev Barber told the attendees. "Making essential workers work during a pandemic - and risk their lives to save this country - and then not give them a living wage is sin."

The event featured speeches from Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock, American Muslim activist Linda Sarsour, Christian pacifist Shane Claibourne and many others.

After the speeches, the rally gathered and marched toward the Capitol, with an assortment of clergy walking alongside those in poverty. There was a fleeting moment of tension as police attempted to rally the group into only walking on the sidewalk. However, some stayed in the middle of the road. The police eventually arrested several protesters on the road, including Rev Liz Theoharis, Rev William Barber II and Rev Jesse Jackson.

The Religion News Service notes that: "The mixture of religious and labor demonstrators appeared to be clear in their cause on Monday and dedicated to convincing Congress to support it. They sang many songs, but one favorite seemed to be aimed directly at lawmakers, asking over and over, 'Which side are you on?'"

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