Eric Douglas Published

‘Moral Motorcade’ Aimed At Manchin Makes Demands For Living Wage

About 40 people stood in the hot sun at the state capitol as part of the “Mass Moral Motorcade on Manchin.” They began their journey in Madison as a tip of the hat to the March on Blair Mountain — a violent labor uprising that saw West Virginians demand better.

The motorcade was sponsored by the state and national chapters of the Poor People’s Campaign, led by Rev. Dr. William Barber and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis.

Jean Evansmore, a state representative for the campaign, says low wages keep even working people poor.

“That is poverty. You didn’t cause it. The system caused it. Get involved with us and fight the system,” she said.

The protest was the latest effort by the groups to sway Manchin. Speakers called for Manchin to end Congress’ filibuster, pass all provisions of the For the People Act, fully restore the 1965 Voting Rights Act and pass a $15 an hour federal minimum wage.

Another speaker at the event, June Spence, an organizer from Common Defense, explained that it is the nation’s largest grassroots veteran organization.

“We want our concerns to be known to Sen. Manchin. One hundred years ago, our ancestors in these hills fought for the right of labor, of a dignified work area, to get paid an actual living wage and not work under company scrip,” she said. “We are here demanding a livable wage. Again.”

Manchin was not in attendance and there was no direct response from his staff.