Poor People's Campaign

June 8, 2021

DURHAM, NC – Bishop William J. Barber II and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, have announced a ‘Moral March on Manchin’ in Charleston, West Virginia on Monday, June 14. The event will be led by West Virginians of all colors, creeds, religions, and backgrounds. 

The march will begin at 5 p.m. Eastern in Charleston at a location TBD. 

In describing the purpose of the event, Bishop Barber noted: “Sen. Manchin’s policies hurt poor & low-wealth people. He is against a $15 per hour living wage and also against expanding voting rights. He has abandoned the poor and low-wealth people of his own state and the nation, and they’re tired of it! His positions are wrong, constitutionally inconsistent, historically inaccurate, morally indefensible, economically insane, and politically unacceptable.”

Barber added: “As Pam, a low-wage worker from the mountains of West Virginia says, ‘Manchin just wants to shut up anyone who stands against injustice, but we’re tired of it. We’re hardly surviving! There are over 900,000 poor & low-wealth people in West Virginia, over 45% of our population and Sen Manchin is abandoning all of us.’”

The Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis said, “People from the hood to the hollers will convene in Charleston for this event. But the ‘The Poor People’s Campaign’ and its Prophetic Clergy Council will reach out to others who wish to join poor and low-wealth people of every race, creed, geography, etc. to stand up and challenge Sen. Joe Manchin.”

There will be a subsequent convening on Wednesday, June 23 where people from West Virginia and Kentucky will board buses and head to D.C. to lead a Moral March and nonviolent direct action on Sens. McConnell and Manchin.

“Americans are being held hostage by political leaders such as Sens. Mitch McConnell and Joe Manchin,” Barber said. “What America needs is not the manipulation of Sens. Manchin and McConnell, but a movement for a 3rd Reconstruction that seeks to end poverty and address systemic racism from the bottom up. This is the only way to ensure that everybody rises.” 

“Civil rights leaders must remember the people want restoration of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and the For the People Act,” Theoharis added. 

The For the People Act, which has already passed the Democratic-controlled House, would bar states from limiting voting by mail, would require prepaid postage on absentee ballots, and would mandate voter registration on the same day as the election. It would also effectively overturn unnecessary voter ID laws by requiring states to allow voters to submit sworn statements in lieu of identification. “We should not let Manchin off the hook and claim if he supports the VRA, it’s a victory. No, it’s a trick,” Barber concluded.

Contact: Jennifer R. Farmer, [email protected]