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Poor People’s Campaign in N.H. Protests Economic Inequality

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Robert Garrova for NHPR
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New Hampshire resident Debbie Opramolla speaks about educational inequality in the state during the "Poor People's Campaign" demonstration in Concord.

Dozens of supporters of what’s known as the “Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival” delivered a letter to the office of New Hampshire Senate President Chuck Morse Monday, calling out what the group sees as an unfair tax system and unequal access to education, among other things.   

 

Representatives with the Campaign filed into the State House Monday morning, singing the spiritual “We Shall Overcome.”

 

The group draws inspiration from the later work of Dr. Martin Luther King, who, in the late 60s, called for a march on Washington to demand jobs and health care for poor people. King was killed before the demonstration took place.

Rev. Eric Jackson is a pastor in Manchester and one of the chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign for New Hampshire. He said the new tax law is one of the main reasons he sees a need for renewed action.

 

“It’s a Christmas gift for the rich,” Jackson said. “The wealthy, the top 1 percent in the country.”

 

Included in the letter, which was also addressed to House Speaker Gene Chandler, is a call to address what the group claims is voter suppression and a lack of access to health care.

 

The Poor People’s Campaign letter states they are “prepared to take direct action and engage in nonviolent civil disobedience” if legislators fail to address their concerns, although Jackson and other organizers did not say what those actions might be.

The demonstration in Concord Monday was one of dozens of others in state capitols across the country and in D.C.

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