More arrests are anticipated after an event Tuesday at the state Capitol.
The Arkansas arm of the Poor People’s Campaign has organized a third week of protests, which will end in acts of civil disobedience. Organizer Toney Orr says the rally and arrests have been coordinated with Little Rock police.
“We always anticipate a number of people being arrested. To be honest with you, we really encourage it in a nonviolent way just to let people know that we’re willing to take that extra step to ensure that the message of the Poor People’s Campaign gets across,” Orr said.
The campaign is part of a national movement based on the work of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Once a week, every week until the end of June, the campaign plans to highlight different issues they believe unfairly target the poor.
Tuesday’s event will focusing on military spending and issues related to the treatment of veterans. Shawn Ricks, a 68-year old veteran of the Vietnam War and retired school teacher said he’s prepared to get arrested after the rally in Little Rock.
“I’m not being compensated for some of the things I witnessed and participated in when I was in Vietnam, and they just turn a blind eye, especially in Arkansas,” said Ricks.
The first event in the campaign took place on Monday, May 14 and focused on issues related to women, children, and people with disabilities. At that event nearly 20 protestors were arrested after blocking traffic at an intersection in Little Rock. According to organizers, similar events took place in at least 30 other states.
Tuesday’s rally will begin at the Capitol in Little Rock at 2 p.m.