From Hickory Daily Record:

HICKORY — Bishop William J. Barber II, past president of the North Carolina NAACP and current national co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, has been touring the country and North Carolina, mobilizing communities to participate in the upcoming Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ State House Assembly Moral March on Raleigh.

The Moral March on Raleigh will take place on March 2, in conjunction with similar marches in 32 other states at the same time.

On Feb. 17, Barber and his organizers made a tour stop in Hickory at Exodus Missionary Outreach United Church of Christ. Hundreds of people gathered to hear the goals of the march and make plans to participate.

Speakers from Hickory shared their struggle to overcome homelessness, secure affordable housing, earn a living wage, and re-enter society after incarceration.

Barber spoke about the plight of 135 million poor and low-wage people in the country and called for a third reconstruction to abolish poverty as the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Other demands include a living wage of at least $15 an hour, full voting rights, an end to voter suppression, health care for all, affordable housing, an end to gun violence, environmental justice, criminal justice reform, fully funded public education, just immigration laws, and an end to systemic racism, white supremacy, and extremist political agendas.

Barber said wages are stagnant, and that 40% of citizens in North Carolina are poor or low income while 37% of the workforce makes less than $15 an hour and cannot afford the basic necessities in life.

“This is wrong,” Barber said. “Somebody needs to do something and that is why we are here. This is a resurrection, not an insurrection. Dr. King said ‘The only thing it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing. We can do something and we need people to join our movement.’”

March 2 will be a day of nationally coordinated simultaneous direct action in 33 state capitals to kick off 40 weeks of voter mobilization for 85 million poor and low-wage eligible voters across the U.S. People from all across North Carolina will descend on Raleigh for the 10 a.m. march. It will begin at 1 East Morgan St. in Raleigh and travel up West Jones Street to the steps of the General Assembly.

Many N.C. communities are organizing charter buses to and from the march and participants are encouraged to RSVP on the NC Poor People’s Campaign website at www.ppc-nc.org to help facilitate this effort.

For more information about the Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ State House Assembly and Moral March, go to www.ppc-nc.org or moralmarchonraleigh@gmail.com.

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