The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival continues its fight to save democracy with a motorcade on Aug. 26 in West Virginia to demand that Sen. Joe Manchin stop hiding behind what many have called the “coward’s filibuster”.
Invited by the West Virginia Poor People’s Campaign, the national organization is holding a Mass Moral Motorcade on Manchin with at least 151 cars that will leave at noon ET Thursday, Aug. 26, from a public parking lot on State Street across the street from the Boone County Courthouse in Madison, West Virginia, and end at the Statehouse in Charleston.
The motorcade is gathering in Madison to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain, where miners facing stolen wages and working abuse rose up in the greatest multiracial uprising in the country as they fought for a living wage and respect.
The 151 cars mark the 151st anniversary of the signing of the 15th amendment, which gave Black men the right to vote.
Motorcade demands robust voting rights, end to filibuster
The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is demanding that Congress approve the following actions:
End to the filibuster.
Restoration of the full 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Passage of all provisions of the bill that John Lewis wrote: The For the People Act.
Raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The motorcade will go through three counties — Boone, Lincoln and Kanawha — before stopping at 2:15 p.m. ET at Sen. Manchin’s office in Charleston. It will then proceed to the Statehouse in Charleston at 2:30 p.m. ET. There, most people will remain in their cars to hear from poor and low-wealth Black, White and Latino people, mine workers, religious and union leaders and voting rights lawyers.
The speakers also will include Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
Rev. Dr. William Barber calls for Sen. Manchin to “be a man”
A hearse, signifying how Sen. Manchin has used the filibuster to bury bills to expand and protect voting rights and to block a federal minimum wage of $15/hour, will lead the motorcade, according to a press release. As the hearse arrives in Charleston, mourners for the loss of Sen. Manchin’s backbone will walk two-by-two between the hearse and the motorcade.
“At least when the filibuster began, you had to stay on the floor to defend it, and when you could stand no more it ended,” said Rev. Barber, who also is president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach. “Today we have a coward’s filibuster — used by politicians who are too scared to make their case or know they can’t make their case to stop legislation that the Chamber of Commerce and corporate interests don’t like.
“It’s time for Sen. Manchin to be a man and a statesman and do right by poor and low-income West Virginians and end coward filibuster so the Senate can pass voting rights protections; pass $15/hour and go down in history on the side of the legacy of the miners at Blair Mountain and the side of the Constitution and justice.”
Rev. Theoharis, who also is director of the Kairos Center, said, “Throughout this season and this campaign we have continuously pressed leadership in high places to answer the question: Which side are you on? Are you on the side of the people and democracy or are you on the side of those who want to squash our power? Today we ask Senator Joe Manchin that question.”
The program will be live-streamed worldwide here and broadcast over the radio.