Poor People's Campaign granted access to the Capitol
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) – All members of the Poor People’s Campaign were granted access to the Capitol to protest Tuesday.
More than 30 people gathered on the steps of the Capitol in Frankfort to call for a “moral revival” in state government. The national campaign has been protesting poverty and systemic racism in cities across the country since early May. Local group leaders said they intend to keep their efforts going.
“We’re here to tell you today you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” Pam McMichael said.
The local group also said members were going to make one more attempt to enter the Capitol Tuesday. In early June, Kentucky State Police troopers told Poor People’s Campaign protesters they could only enter the Capitol two at a time. Then, in early July, Attorney General Andy Beshear gave his opinion that the policy violated state law.
Before the group walked up to the Capitol doors, a chant erupted during Dr. Rev. Don Gillett’s speech.
“So here we are again to try to go into whose house? Our house! Whose house? Our house! Whose house? Our house!”
Every member of the group got into the Capitol without any problem. Troopers simply asked everyone for their drivers licenses and scanned them with metal detectors, which is standard policy.
Once everyone was inside, some people chanted: “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y! Victory!”
The group then walked to Gov. Matt Bevin’s office and asked to go inside to meet with him. His office door was roped off, and troopers standing outside said it was by appointments only that people could enter.
They left a statement and list of demands for Bevin’s secretary to deliver to him. Members also left a box of new and used toothbrushes to symbolize the children who are losing health care benefits. Gillett said ongoing cuts to Medicaid, especially the loss of dental and vision insurance, are hurting everyone in Kentucky.
“What he takes away today for some, he’ll take away tomorrow for others,” Gillett said.
The group also left a list of demands for policy change for leaders of both the House and Senate.
Gillett listed four main issues they are fighting for change: poverty, systemic racism, the war economy and ecological devastation.
Leaders with the Poor People’s Campaign said if lawmakers will not make the change, they will not go away.
“As we look to the future, we are going to have a laser-like focus on mobilizing voters,” McMichael said.
Below is the news release distributed Tuesday at the Capitol by the Poor People's Campaign:
- KY's AG: Policy restricting protesters inside Capitol Building violates state law
- Capitol Police arrest about 575 people protesting Trump immigration policy
- Poor People's Campaign mulls lawsuit over state policy limiting Capitol access
- Protesters hold brief sit-in at Kentucky Capitol after being denied entrance
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