The Rev. Joseph Darby, the Presiding Elder of the Beaufort District of the AME Church called for the adoption of a moral agenda that would include a living wage for all workers, an end to racist discrimination, and quality education as a basic right.
Other press conference speakers discussed the ways in which bad policies have hurt them and their families.
Advocating a $15 an hour minimum wage, a Charleston area food and beverage workers Jonathan Stanley said “I work hard every day and stress over whether I can feed my family,” Christine Jennings, “mom” to both black and white children, described the unwarranted attention her black son receives from law officials. A night-shift employee, he has been subject to numerous stops and searches while her white children have encountered few problems driving the same car. “I’m angry that I no longer trust law enforcement to treat all of my family equally,” said Jennings.
The demonstration–which included a press conference in the lobby and march around the capitol–was one of thirty protests nationwide coordinated by Repairers of the Breach–a faith-based initiative led by Rev William Barber II–who recently gained national attention with his stunning oration at the Democratic National Convention. Barber will be holding a mass “revival” in Charleston on October 23 at the Mt. Zion AME Church.