Anti-Poverty March Calls for Economic Justice at RNC

As Many as 1 in 4 Californians are Living in Poverty
The End Poverty Now March in Cleveland
The End Poverty Now: March for Economic Justice took place Monday July 18, 2016 outside the RNC in Cleveland.(End Poverty Coalition)

Suzanne Potter
California News Service

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – 341 California Republicans, delegates and alternates, are in Cleveland for the start of the Republican National Convention. On their hour-long commute from their hotel, they undoubtedly saw some protesters. One of those protests involved thousands of people for an anti-poverty rally and march on Monday July 18, 2016.

The “End Poverty Now: March for Economic Justice” was organized by a large coalition of groups, including Organize Ohio, the American Friends Service Committee, Cleveland Peace Action, and Jobs with Justice. Imam Paul Hasan is the national spokesperson for the End Poverty Now Coalition.

“We want to deal with the injustice in terms of the insane disparity with the haves and have-nots. Also of the police departments,” Hasan said. “Not all police, but those police that are not acting appropriately in terms of the way police officers should act.”

Hasan called for a peaceful protest that encouraged Republican delegates to focus on issues affecting low-income families, like the minimum wage, Medicaid expansion, affordable housing and childcare. The events started at 1 p.m. on Monday at 45th and Superior in downtown Cleveland.

According to Hasan, racial justice, as it intersects with public policy, has been ignored for too long by politicians of all stripes.

“We want to make a statement,” Hasan said. “We are against injustice in mass incarceration and Islamophobia in all kinds of ways. This is the message we want to send to both parties, the Republican party as well as the Democratic party.”

California’s official poverty rate is slightly higher than the average, but it becomes the highest when using a methodology devised by the Census Bureau that takes into account the state’s high cost of living. Under that method, 1 in 4 California residents is living in poverty.

For details on Monday’s march, visit endpovertynow2016.org

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