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More than 100 protestors rally at Capitol, block traffic

The Michigan State Capitol
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Michigan Capitol in Lansing

Activists from across the state shut down streets in Lansing Monday. The Michigan Poor People’s Campaign launched at the state Capitol.

The campaign wants a massive overhaul of voting rights laws, new programs to get people out of poverty, and measures to boost the economy in favor of working people.

Jerry Goldberg is with a coalition to stop foreclosures, which is part of the campaign. He said all the struggles they’re fighting against – from racism to worker’s rights – are similar.

“They’re a common struggle against a system where corporations and profits are everything and people mean nothing,” he said. “And we’re going to come together and take back what’s rightfully ours.”

The campaign plans to keep coming back to the Capitol every Monday. Goldberg said each week the rally will have a specific focus, like immigrant rights and water rights.

Sylvia Orduno is with the campaign and the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization. She said lawmakers in Lansing are on notice.

“We will not stand for any more of the injustices you continue to put on our people,” she said during a speech at the rally. After the rally, participants blocked off an intersection in front of the Capitol. They sang and chanted while holding up signs.

The rally in Lansing was part of a national launch of the Poor People’s Campaign. Similar rallies were held in states across the U.S.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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