Hundreds in El Paso march to revive MLK's "Poor People's Campaign"

Poor peoples march

Half a century after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic "Poor People's Campaign," hundreds of El Pasoans in downtown El Paso marched to revive the movement.

Dr. King delivered his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech in Memphis on April 3rd, 1968.

"The greatness of America is the right to protest for rights," King said

The reverend was in the midst of planning the Poor People's March, which would occur several months later. Dr. King was assassinated the next day.

"Dr. King knew that poverty was systemic," said Rev. William Barber II, who is leading the new "Poor People's Campaign." "He knew that anybody that said we didn't have the resources was lying."

Barber was joined by immigration reform activists throughout El Paso and Juarez. He chose El Paso to start the march because he says the area's border ties create separation and poverty.

"In a place like El Paso, you can have a mother just across the river and a daughter on this side of the river and they only get two or three minutes to meet in the middle of the river," Barber said. "That should be troubling to very heart and the core of this nation."

Undocumented immigrants like Laura Murillo agree. She marched with her two young daughters.

"If anything happens to me, lets say I get deported," Murillo said. "What's going to happen with my kids?"

In addition to El Pasoans, the march attracted activists from all around the country.

"We're struggling against economic oppression, racial oppression and the militarization of our communities in the world," said Lu Aya, from New York.

Barber plans to take the march to multiple states and ultimately, Washington D.C. 

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