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Photo: James L. Amos/Corbis via Getty Images

The largest civil disobedience campaign of the 21st century is happening now in 38 states across the nation.

What's new: 50 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, faith leaders are reviving his Poor People's Campaign (PPC). They have held protests every Monday for the past five weeks to spark a national "moral revival." Today marks the beginning of the last week of the 40 Days of Action campaign, which will culminate in a march on Washington on June 23rd.

How it happened: Organizers started the project three years ago and collected testimonials from struggling Americans to shape their demands. They came out of the project with six general themes, ranging from raising teacher salaries to voter disenfranchisement. Protestors have presented the demands at their state capitols.

Why it matters: According to the AP, 13% of Americans lived in poverty in 1968. Despite consistent economic development, wealth inequality and cost of living have grown and the poverty rate is back at 13%.

  • In an interview with Axios, PPC co-chair Rev. Liz Theoharis argued that politicians have forgotten the issues of America's poor.
In the 25-26 debates before the 2016 election... not one focused on the issues facing poor people.
— Rev. Liz Theoharis

Drawing attention: According to Theoharis, the PPC has trended nationally on Twitter on every one of the last five days of action, and protestors have gotten creative in expressing their demands — with many seeking arrest.

  • Nearly 100 protestors and faith leaders were arrested in front of the Supreme Court last week for blocking the street. Nine faith leaders were held overnight in jail.
  • On Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) called for a hearing on Capitol Hill to hear from protestors. Three other senators and four other representatives attended.
  • On June 4, protestors in Alabama acknowledged the birthday of Jefferson Davis by covering up a statue with a banner and were promptly arrested. On the same day, demonstrators in California covered a statue of Christopher Columbus inside the state capitol with a multi-colored parachute.

What's next: After the march on Washington, the campaign plans to train their attention on voter registration and for each state to continue to carry their demands forward. Sen. Warren urged that "[w]e are going to make change from this," at her congressional hearing, but concrete results remain to be seen.

Go deeper

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

Exclusive: Hundreds of kids held in Border Patrol stations

Migrants cross the Rio Bravo to get to El Paso, Texas. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP via Getty Images

More than 700 children who crossed from Mexico into the United States without their parents were in Border Patrol custody as of Sunday, according to an internal Customs and Border Protection document obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The current backup is yet another sign of a brewing crisis for President Biden — and a worsening dilemma for these vulnerable children. Biden is finding it's easier to talk about preventing warehousing kids at the southern border than solving the problem.

Pompeo plots 2024 power play

Mike Pompeo in Washington on Feb. 12. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Mike Pompeo has quickly reentered the political fray, raising money for Republicans, addressing key political gatherings and joining an advocacy group run by Donald Trump's former lawyer.

Why it matters: The former secretary of state is widely considered a potential 2024 presidential contender. His professional moves this week indicate he's working to keep his name in the headlines and bolster a political brand built largely on foreign policies easily contrasted with the Biden White House.

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