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This Peaceful Army Can Wage a 'Revolution of Values'

Michael Nigro | United States

Tired? Poor? Huddled masses? America has plenty. As in 140 million living on or below the poverty line.

On May 13, 2018, thousands of activists gathered at the U.S. Capitol and in 39 cities across the nation to kick off the revival of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival.

The group, inspired by a 1968 initiative organized by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., had planned 40-days of radical civil disobedience that confronted poverty, racism, ecological devastation, the war economy and the United States' distorted moral narrative.

The movement’s organizers created one of the largest waves of nonviolent protest and direct action in national history, largely motivated by the plight of 140 million American's living on or below the poverty line.

I traveled to 6 different cities during the campaign, where I documented various actions and many of the 3000 arrests (including my own while covering an action in Missouri).

This series documents the launch of a movement, which has nothing to do with left or right, Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal. It’s a simple matter of right and wrong.

We are all complicit in the inequalities and injustices in this world. Complicit because we're either ill-informed or because it's willful or because we'd rather "check out" and not engage.

But that's what the camera is for; it's to make us recognize that we're responsible and have a social contract with each other. By covering these often under-reported and sometimes dangerous actions, my hope is that people will witness what they otherwise may not know is happening and then, hopefully, inspire them to consider creating a more fair and just world.

I began shooting protests during the beginning weeks of the Occupy Wall Street movement in September of 2011, and have continued to do so ever since, covering everything from individual acts of civil disobedience to marches of 400,000-plus. And while the protest issues are vast and varied, the tether is simple: people's voices have been stripped away, rendered powerless and made politically impotent. I hit the streets because the corporate lens largely ignores this growing frustration. I shoot to give 'voice' to those who feel they have no other recourse but to take to the streets and shout and scream and protest because, really, at this point, we've got nothing better to do..." - Michael Nigro

Michael Nigro

Email: Michael@partiallysubmerged.com

Website: Nigrotime

Instagram: @Nigrotime

Twitter: @Nigrtime

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