Protesters demanding change to lift people out of poverty - WNEM TV 5

Protesters demanding change to lift people out of poverty

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LANSING, MI (WNEM) -

Dozens of people marched in Lansing and demanded lawmakers do more to help the millions living in poverty.

It’s called the Michigan Poor People’s Campaign. Protesters will be hosting demonstrations for six weeks in an effort to change the state’s political and economic structures.

Members of the Michigan Poor People’s Campaign made themselves heard at the state capital by demanding change.

The protest aligned with 30 other demonstrators across the county.

Elieen Hayes said they are just asking to be treated fairly.

“It is our moral obligation, fight for these things,” Hayes said. “It’s our basic right.”

Hayes is from Flint.

She said the Flint Water Crisis still plagues her every day and that’s why she came out to volunteer.

She believes poverty and racism had a major role in the water crisis.

“That’s ecological devastation,” Hayes said. “At the heart of our woes in Flint is systemic racism. You cannot tell me that the problems we face in community would’ve been so severe in an affluent community.”

As you can see, hundreds of people came out to protest asking for a variety of things.

Beyond the water issues, Hayes said the movement sets to change the states voting laws, policies to address poverty.

“We are sticking together,” said Lisia Williams, a Flint community activist. “We’re driving this moment and we’re not gonna take it anymore.”

Williams came on behalf of Fight for 15, a group demanding to raise wages in fast food restaurants to $15 an hour.

“We are bringing a diverse amount of individuals together,” Williams said. “From labor unions community groups to community activists. This is a very powerful movement.”

These protests will take place every Monday until the end of June according to Hayes.

She said she wants lawmakers to know that poor and disenfranchised still have a powerful voice.

“We’re going to put some new people in there,” Hayes said. “That’s what we do, we are the people. We are the people that make you have jobs so we demand you to do your jobs.”

On June 23, protesters and advocates from Michigan will join with others from across the country for a rally in Washington.

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