Moral March on Raleigh And The Polls

NC NEWSLINE - On a day that brought the top two Republican presidential contenders to North Carolina, a crowd of nearly 2,000 gathered outside the state legislature to highlight issues they felt were widely being ignored this election cycle.

Those  attending the “Moral March on Raleigh and to the Polls” rally carried signs calling for higher wages, an end to systemic poverty, gun control and LGBTQ+ rights.

Bishop William Barber, co-chairman of the Poor People’s Campaign, told the crowd that poverty and low wages are violence.

“When  the goal of people in power is to love money, the root of all evil, the goal is to block wages, power to feed corporate greed, power to say “No” to health care, it’s just wrong,” said Barber.

He said  during the pandemic most low-wage earners were labeled essential workers, but treated like they were expendable.

“You’re essential, but you’re not essential enough to have a living wage or paid family leave or health care. What the hell is wrong with that picture?”

Barber said the Poor People’s Campaign was launching a massive voter mobilization in 34 states targeting low-wage, infrequent voters.

“There’s not a state in this country where poor and low wage voters don’t make up at least 20% of their electorate. In every battleground state where the margin of victory was within 3%, poor and low wage people now make up 36 to 41% of the electorate. We have power. You don’t hear it on the media. You don’t hear them talking about it in the debate because they don’t want you to know the power that we have.”

Barber said 34 million eligible, poor and low income voters did not vote in 2016. If just 20% of those voters in swing-states were mobilized in 2024, he believes they could change the political outcome of every election.

Sitting-out this election cycle is not an option, he warned.

“If we don’t get this right and dispatch that sin, you don’t want to see what will happen in a democracy. That is what opens up the door for demagogues, and despots and would-be dictators.”

Photos by Clayton Henkel

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