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Washington marchers demand help for poor

China Daily | Updated: 2022-06-20 09:38

Demonstrators at a rally in Washington on Saturday call for measures to reduce income inequality. JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AP

WASHINGTON-Thousands of people from across the United States gathered in Washington on Saturday for a rally decrying the living conditions of low-income households and urging policymakers to address their needs.

The Mass Poor People's and Low-Wage Workers' Assembly and Moral March on Washington took place near Capitol Hill, with protesters holding signs with messages such as "Money for the poor, not for war", "Lift from the bottom, everybody rises" and "Stop racism now".

Adrienne Gaymon, who came from Columbia, South Carolina, to join the packed crowd, said that she thinks the income gap in the country has been widening in recent years.

"It seems like there's all tax breaks for the rich and everything is more expensive and nothing's being done to help those that are struggling," Gaymon said.

"I just think that the country is going backward."

According to the website of the Poor People's Campaign, the US economy has grown by a multiple of 18 times in the past 50 years, yet wealth inequality has increased along with living costs, and social programs have been restructured and cut dramatically.

"The truth is that the millions of poor people in the US today are poor because the wealth and resources of our country have been flowing to a small number of people, and federal programs are not meeting the growing needs of the poor," the campaign said.

Bernice King, the youngest child of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, told the rally: "For those who say we have a deficit of resources, I say absolutely not. The deficit is in the human will."

By 2018, the top 1 percent of US households held 16.4 percent of the nation's income, up from 8.9 percent in 1979, according to a recent research by the Economic Policy Institute. The rise in income inequality over the past few decades was reducing growth in aggregate demand by about 1.5 percent of GDP, the research added.


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