Georgetown, Texas – The Poor People’s Campaign began a Moral March for Democracy on Wednesday, starting in Georgetown. The four-day, 27-miles march will end Saturday with a rally at the state Capitol in Austin.
On Saturday morning, 151 cars will proceed from Georgetown to the state capital in honor of 151 years since passage of the 15th amendment, which said the right to vote shall not be abridged or denied on the basis of race or previous conditions of servitude. A hearse with copies of bills to bury voting rights, a higher federal minimum wage and immigrant rights will lead the cars.
Over 100 moral and religious leaders and poor and low-wealth individuals and families attended a news conference and church service Tuesday.
“Maybe it is a poetic irony that on the day of the first day of hearings on the violent insurrection of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, we are beginning a march for democracy,” the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, said at the news conference. “Ours is not an insurrection, but a moral resurrection. What we see happening here is happening all over the country. Texas is like the canary in the mine. Just like Alabama was the canary in the mine in ’65, Texas is the canary in the mine in 2021. And we must nationalize Texas in order to change the whole country.”
Also on Wednesday, Rev. Barber spoke pastorally with the Texas Democrats who fled the state to prevent a quorum for a vote on another bill to restrict voting rights.
“This is your Edmund Pettus bridge,” he said. “This is your Red Sea. Every generation has one, and this is yours.”
The Moral March for Democracy is demanding that the Senate end the filibuster; pass the fully restored Voting Rights Act; pass the For the People Act and raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour before Aug. 6, the 56th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act.
The Poor People’s Campaign and its partners emphasize the need to connect the fight for democracy to the movement for policies that have been obstructed by the filibuster despite overwhelming public support.
“I’m the granddaughter of undocumented immigrants, a proud daughter of social justice warriors, and the mother of two public school children. I have personally experienced poverty, homelessness and low wages,” said the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice. “At this time, when our voting rights are being denied and when economic justice is being denied, we must call out the immoral obstructionism of Congress. We must demand the full protection of rights and dignity of all 11 million undocumented people. We march for our children. We march for our elders. We march for our families and our partners and our communities. We march so that we can move, as we say in our movement, forward together and not one step back.”
“The Rev. Jesse Jackson is coming to Austin on Wednesday for the march,” said Bishop Tavis Grant, national field director for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “The importance of this fight is how we respond and not how we react. And sometimes, when things are at their worst, God is at his best. This is a fight we can win.”
“We have gotten some ugly notes about wanting to march in Texas,” Barber added. “It’s clear that everyone doesn’t want us here; doesn’t want all of Texas to stand up. But this land is our land. And God has called us in this moment to stand. And stand we shall.”
To follow the activities remotely, view the livestream.
SUBJECT LINE: Moral March for Democracy launches in Texas