In Washington, the two leaders of the campaign were among the protesters arrested outside the U.S. Capitol.
The state is taking the protests and the reason for them serious.
Police had no quick affirmation of arrests.
"We come with a moral agenda that cares for all people", Barber said at the D.C. rally on Tuesday.
The campaign cast the protests as a "reignition" of the Poor People's Campaign, the 1968 movement started by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others to challenge racism, poverty and militarism.
The Rev. Carolyn Foster of Greater Birmingham Ministries says the goal of the event is to "Draw attention to the fact that people are starving, children are hungry, [and] benefits are being cut back in the wealthiest country in the world". After Maryland Capitol Police gave three warnings to protesters that protestors in the street faced arrest, officers detained 11 people and issued citations for obstructing free passage and failure to obey a lawful order, said Nick Cavey, spokesman for the Maryland Department of General Services.
Barber is a North Carolina minister and former president of the state NAACP chapter. He said it's wrong for the fortunate to assume those who struggle have the power to change their lives on their own, that sometimes the system is "rigged" against the powerless and called on them to use their power to help.
Most of the people arrested will be charged with disorderly conduct, according to Hartford Police.
It remains to be seen what kind of impact the movement will have over the next 40 days, but organizers are very aware that the mass voter mobilization they dream of will take work and time.
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