Poor People’s Campaign holds Moral March on Washington

The Rev. William Barber speaks to the crowd during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" rally on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
The Rev. William Barber speaks to the crowd during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” rally on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators march during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators march during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators decorate a mock tank during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators decorate a mock tank during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators wave their hands during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators wave their hands during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators rally during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators rally during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

With the U.S. Capitol in the background, demonstrators decorate a mock tank during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
With the U.S. Capitol in the background, demonstrators decorate a mock tank during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The Rev. William Barber speaks to the crowd during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" rally on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
With the U.S. Capitol in the background, demonstrators decorate a mock tank during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators rally during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators rally during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators chants during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators chants during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators rally during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators rally during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Anti-war demonstrators hold a mock drone as they rally during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Anti-war demonstrators hold a mock drone as they rally during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Anti-war demonstrators hold a mock drone as they rally during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Anti-war demonstrators hold a mock drone as they rally during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

With the U.S. Capitol in the background, demonstrators decorate a mock tank during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
With the U.S. Capitol in the background, demonstrators decorate a mock tank during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Anti-war demonstrators hold a mock drone as they rally during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Anti-war demonstrators hold a mock drone as they rally during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators decorate a mock tank during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators decorate a mock tank during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators wave their hands during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" rally on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators wave their hands during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” rally on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators march during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators march during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators march during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators march during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators march during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators march during the Poor People’s Campaign, “Moral March” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(1/19)
The Rev. William Barber speaks to the crowd during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" rally on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators march during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators decorate a mock tank during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators wave their hands during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators rally during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
With the U.S. Capitol in the background, demonstrators decorate a mock tank during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
The Rev. William Barber speaks to the crowd during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" rally on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators rally during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators chants during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators rally during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Anti-war demonstrators hold a mock drone as they rally during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Anti-war demonstrators hold a mock drone as they rally during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
With the U.S. Capitol in the background, demonstrators decorate a mock tank during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Anti-war demonstrators hold a mock drone as they rally during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators decorate a mock tank during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators wave their hands during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" rally on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators march during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators march during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators march during the Poor People's Campaign, "Moral March" on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Downtown D.C. saw protests and activism in action as the Poor People’s campaign held the Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington.

The goal of the march was to go beyond action, shift the moral narrative, build power and advocate for policy decisions that address poverty and low wealth geared toward the economically disadvantaged.



Speakers at the event pushed to “reconstruct American democracy” by demanding a summit with President Joe Biden, Congressional commitments to improve the general welfare and a sustained get-out-the-vote campaign.

The morning began at the intersection of 3rd and Pennsylvania Avenue in Northwest, D.C., when the Reverend William J. Barber II spoke of the impact poverty has in the United States, calling impoverishment in the “richest nation in the world” representative of a “crisis of democracy.”

“But there is something else that is even more grotesque: the regressive policies that produce 140 million poor and low wealth people are not benign,” Rev. Barber said. “They are forms of policy murder.”

Speakers outlined how thousands of deaths related to COVID-19 overwhelmingly were the result of health care disparities that could have been solved with Universal Health Care — a controversial topic among political actors.

Groups of immigrants, students, people of color, religious leaders and others also called for actions they say could remove financial burdens from marginalized groups. Often highlighted: the cancellation of student debt and the need for community members young and old to vote in the upcoming election.

“We must vote in historic numbers for our ancestors, for our children, and for the generations to come whose lives and planet are under threat today,” the campaign wrote.

The march continued down Pennsylvania Avenue over the course of more than five hours, concluding with a mixture of prayers, chants and demonstrations before the day’s end.


The White House hasn’t responded to the calls for a poverty summit with the campaign or its sister organizations, according to the Poor People’s campaign.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up