I participated today in a march in Philadelphia, honoring the real legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Taking part in the march were members of such groups as Philadelphia Democratic Socialists of America (DSA); Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and rebuild (POWER); SEIU Local 32 BJ; Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT); Philadelphia Unemployment Project (PUP); Veterans for Peace; Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way employees (IBT); American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME, my union); Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW); Jewish Labor Committee (JLC); Jobs with Justice; UNITE/HERE; Media Mobilizing Project (MMP); and the Transport Workers Union (TWU).
People assembled in front of the School District building, 400 North Broad Street, with banners protesting the underfunding of schools and abuse by police of minorities, among other issues. At 2:00 PM we marched from there down Broad Street, around City Hall, and east on Market Street to Independence Mall. I saw a LOT of twenty-ish faces in the group, along with old veterans, so the dream and drive towards a better world is still strong in this country.
We honor Dr. King as a man of nonviolent change; however, in spite of his nonviolence, the FBI and the rest of the federal apparatus was determined to destroy him-why? He definitely challenged forces in society that benefitted the wealthy and powerful and oppressed all others, no matter their race. Usually we honor Dr. King with a day of community service, which is great and has to be done; but is THAT all King was about? I think we should do as he did, question those forces arrayed against the people.