Thousands of people, varying in race and creed, recently faced the bitter cold to march in the Nation’s Capitol for equal justice, civil rights and economic justice.
Thousands of people gathered in Washington D.C. Jan. 14 with the Rev. Al Sharpton for the “We Shall Not Be Moved” March on Washington demonstration. (AFRO/Photo by Rob Roberts)
The “We Shall Not Be Moved” March on Washington, hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network, advocated for justice for all Jan. 14. Citizens from across the United States gathered at the National Sylvan Theater in Northwest D.C. and marched to West Potomac Park, located across from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s memorial.
“We want this nation to understand that what has been fought for and gained that you’re going to need more than one election to turn it around,” Sharpton told marchers.
According to Sharpton, the march specifically addressed four issues: voting rights, criminal justice and police reform, equal and fair economic justice and the Affordable Care Act. Issues Sharpton said were non-negotiable.
Even though Sharpton proclaimed that the issues were non-negotiable, the House on Jan. 13 followed the Senate’s lead by approving a budget reconciliation that began the process of dismantling Obamacare.
“We come not to appeal to Donald Trump,” he said. “We come to say to the Democrats in the Senate and in the House and to the moderate Republicans to get some backbone, get some guts. We didn’t send you down here to be weak-kneed and get in the room and try to make friends. We sent you down here to stand up for senior citizens, to stand up for students who can’t pay their loans, to stand up for victims of police abuse. If you can’t do the job then we’ll come here and bring you back home. We are not going to compromise on those things.”
Several demonstrators throughout the march also highlighted the fact that millennials and younger generations were taking the front seat to advocate for rights.
“When people talk about movement, you have to be in the movement rain, shine, sleet or snow,” Melanie Campbell, president and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, told the AFRO. “So many young people I saw; you have new leadership here as well as seasoned leadership.”
As marches moved down the national mall, they sang the civil rights movement anthem “We Shall Overcome” and chanted “we won’t go back” and “no justice, no peace.”
“Well the march has always been important. This is all about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and other sheroes and heroes that have struggled and fought for us,”Nina Turner, State Senator of Ohio, told the AFRO. She said that she hopes Trump will do the right thing for Black and urban communities.
The march symbolized an outcry to stop the pending Republican administration, House and Senate from enforcing civil and economic injustices against citizens.
“We are here to reaffirm our commitment to the principles that Dr. King and many others fought for over 50 years ago,” National Urban League President Marc Morial told the AFRO. “We will resist any effort to turn back the Affordable Care Act. We will resist any effort to introduce voter suppression even further. We will resist any effort to stop our momentum on criminal justice reform. We will resist any effort that take away jobs in our community through budget cuts that disable human services programs. So, we shall not be moved and we are here to reaffirm our commitment to fight to protect our progress.”
To see videos of the march, visit the AFRO’s Facebook fan page.