Week Four in the Poor People’s Campaign in Trenton, NJ. Returning to the State House Annex, we began our rally as usual with a rousing song, this time the climate song, Do It Now!
Readers of this blog will recognize the tune from a previous blog post about how Bella Ciao inspires love and resistance around the world. As the climate song Do It Now, Bella Ciao appears in this Belgian video, which is a composite of recordings made in 180 Belgian cities and communities on September 22 and 23, 2012 when more than 80,000 people joined to Sing for the Climate. What we lacked in numbers yesterday in Trenton, we made up in spirit.
As seen in this Food & Water Watch video, speakers at the rally addressed the environmental violence that has been inflicted on their communities throughout New Jersey and about the impact of continuing lack of access to affordable health care.
Once again, when moral witnesses merely approached the door of the building after the speakers finished to deliver the same letter to Senate President Sweeney that was blocked last week, they were arrested.
This time we had outfoxed them. Prior to the rally, a group of moral witnesses entered the State House Annex to attend a budget committee meeting. During that meeting, they rose to challenge the legislature to consider and to adopt a truly moral budget, giving specifics of what such a budget would include. Here is a video of the Poor People’s Campaign speaking up. These moral witnesses were “escorted” out of the building by security.
The police were not happy that last week’s rally had gone past the permitted time, nor with this week’s end-run, so we were told that anyone who stayed in the plaza beyond the permit expiration would be subject to arrest. Along with other marshals, I had to encourage people to leave quickly unless they wanted to be arrested. Even though many people like to stay and talk after the rally, we did clear the area without incident.
Check Brian Lee’s post for videos and summary of the Poor People’s Campaign in Trenton on June 4, 2018.