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Poor People's Campaign/Resurrection City (1968)

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Inhabitants of Resurrection City, home of the Poor People's Campaign, read newspaper accounts of the capture of James Earl Ray in London, June 8, 1968.

The last great initiative of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Sothern Christian Leadership Conference, the Poor People's Campaign attempted to broaden the civil rights movement to include economic justice for disadvantaged people of all races. Conceived in November 1967, it began after King's assassination in April 1968. The centerpiece of the campaign was mass civil disobedience in Washington by an army of protesters including National Welfare Rights Organization members, and in mid-May they set up an encampment on the Mall dubbed "Resurrection City." Staging a series of sit-ins and demonstrations at various government agencies, the nearly 7,000 protesters brought their concerns to the nation's attention, but conflicts in the camp, terrible weather, and the assassination of Robert Kennedy all conspired to sap strength from the campaign, and Resurrection City was shut down a month after it opened.

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