Friday, June 19, 2009

Anti-Poverty march this weekend in Jackson, Mississippi

An anti-poverty march will take place in Jackson, Mississippi this weekend. The size of the march is what we are not sure on. Organizers say "busloads" yet the local police will not have extra patrols around for the march.

The organizers are the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, who traces their roots to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The march will begin in the inner city and make it's way to the state capitol. Some say the numbers may be small, and that the SCLC should have done more to get the word out.

From Macon dot com, writer Shelia Byrd tells us more about the conference's roots.

The SCLC was co-founded by the King in 1957. When King was killed in 1968, he was working on a similar initiative to reduce poverty, especially in hard-hit areas of the country. Evans said efforts to help the poor on a large-scale began to wane after that.

"We just let it lay. I'm not trying to be accusatory, but we went into the 70s doing our own things and it ended last year with almost the ruin of America," Evans said.

The renewed push comes as the nation grapples with a deep recession, and Congress has steered billions in federal dollars to corporate bailouts. Clay has said the poor have been left out.

King's campaign was to culminate in a march in Washington, D.C., and Clay said initially that's where the SCLC had planned to revive the movement.

But he said God instead directed him to go to Jackson, a capital city with a population of 176,614 that is nearly 71 percent black. Twenty-three percent of the population lives under the poverty level. He said Mississippi also is home to the Delta region, considered among the poorest areas in the nation.

Some residents living in a poor area of Jackson where people are to gather Saturday said they weren't told about the march.

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