By Hazel Trice Edney
The march announced by the Rev. Al Sharpton shortly after Donald Trump was elected president is now taking shape for January 14 and will aim to send a clear message to the President-elect in the “spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said a statement from Sharpton this week.
“The 2017 march will bring all people together to insist on change and accountability,” said Sharpton. “Martin Luther King Jr.’s struggle for civil rights didn’t end with his death, it’s a fight we take on each day. The political players may change but our goals stay the same. Donald Trump and his administration need to hear our voice and our concerns.”
He continues, “Participants will demand accountability not just from President-elect Trump but from Senate and Congress members who are charged with overseeing the Criminal Justice Reform Act, the Voting Rights Bill, Supreme Court nominations and other Trump political appointments. Our movement, #WeShallNotBeMoved, will send a clear message to those in power that the fight for equal rights and justice for all continues,” he states.
The four top concerns outlined involve police reform, mass incarceration, stop and frisk, the Affordable Care Act, voting rights, education, and climate change.
Sharpton first announced the march on a mid-November teleconference during which he told reporters that he was not fazed by Trump’s apparent change of demeanor toward President Barack Obama. Despite his less vitriolic demeanor, Trump has since surrounded himself with an almost lily White cabinet and advisors, including Steve Bannon, a founder of Breitbart news, the voice of the so-called “alt-right” – White supremacists and racists.
“Whether one whispers or whether one shouts, if the message is the same what does it matter?” Sharpton told reporters on that call. “I think we are mistaking his change in tone with change in content.”
That said, Sharpton has organized a march and rally that will include civil rights groups, activists, unions and clergy outside the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in D.C. The following is the detailed route, according to NationalActionNetwork.net:
WHEN: Sat., Jan. 14
ASSEMBLY: Marchers will assemble at 9 a.m. at the National Sylvan Theater, Independence Avenue Southwest & 15th Street NW.
MARCH STARTING TIME: 11 a.m.
MARCH ROUTE: March will travel along Independence Ave. SW to West Potomac Park at 1964 Independence Ave. SW
RALLY: 12 Noon in West Potomac Park, directly across from Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
MORE INFORMATION: NationActionNetwork.net
Sharpton said the march will include “Americans from every state, race, religion and ethnicity,” who will “warn President Trump and Congress that the fight for criminal justice, voting rights, affordable health care, improvements in education and other issues around equality and justice continues.”