Activists With New Jersey Poor People’s Campaign Vindicated As State Drops Charges

Activists With New Jersey Poor People’s Campaign Vindicated As State Drops Charges
 
10.8.18
Trenton, NJ
– On Friday prosecution for the State of New Jersey granted a motion to dismiss all charges against 23 members of the Poor People’s Campaign who were illegally arrested this Spring over the course of a historic 40 days of nonviolent direct action at the State Capital in Trenton.  

“Today’s result vindicates our refusal to submit to the improper suppression of our Constitutional Rights of Assembly, Free Speech, and Petition by the State Police” said Bennet Zurofsky, lead attorney for the New Jersey Poor People’s Campaign. 

Over two dozen activists were arrested simply for attempting to enter the New Jersey Statehouse to speak with Senate President Sweeney and demand that he introduce a moral budget that fights poverty, not the poor. 
 
“We were there to call on Senator Sweeney to introduce a moral budget, one that requires the wealthy to pay their fair share, and a budget that meets the needs of all New Jerseyans, including the nearly 1 Million people living in poverty in our state.”  Said Quincy Bloxom, co-chair of the NJ Poor People’s Campaign.  “Cuts to housing, healthcare and other essential services are violence against poor and working families.”

The latest ALICE data from the United Way of Northern NJ indicates that 10.5% of New Jersey residents are living at or below the federal poverty level, while another 30.5% of residents are working but unable to afford all their basic necessities like food, housing, healthcare, and transportation.


A copy of the dismissal notice can be found here:  
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RiNAHFMUC1DZFre1rMt96-TjEkXs4hqo/view?usp=sharing
 
A copy of the successful motion filed on behalf of the New Jersey’s Poor People’s Campaign can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EPK-niu6Cstm1-DvCA4J2PfourtNCLfo/view?usp=sharing
Background
 
The NJPPC is part of a “national call for moral revival” that draws on the history and unfinished work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and many others who called for a “revolution in values” in America, inviting people who had been divided to rise up and stand together against the “triplets of evil” – militarism, racism, and economic injustice.  Fifty years later, in New Jersey and throughout the nation, poor people, clergy, and advocates of all races and backgrounds are joining together again to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation, and the nations distorted morality.
 
In May and June, 2018, the NJPPC held a series of six weekly demonstrations in Trenton, each of which drew more than a hundred participants.  Five of these took place in the courtyard in front of the entrance to the Statehouse Annex. Following three of these demonstrations, on May 29, June 4, and June 18, some of the demonstrators sought to enter the Statehouse Annex in order to speak with Senate President Sweeney.  The State Police denied them entry, and these 30 arrests followed.
 
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