On August 26, APWU members and officers from across the country participated in the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington in the Nation’s Capital with thousands of labor rights and civil rights activists and organizations.
The event, billed “not a commemoration, but a continuation,” was held in remembrance of the 250,000 people who, on Aug. 28, 1963, gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC to hear Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which advocated for the civil and economic rights of African Americans.
Many of the guest speakers for Saturday’s event highlighted many of the same issues that still plague or society today, such as civil rights abuses, racism, poverty, and the rollback of voting rights protections.
“We are here to liberate the soul of the nation, the soul of democracy from those forces who would have us all go backwards and perish rather than go forward as sisters and brothers,” said Arndrea Waters King, the daughter-in-law of Martin Luther King, Jr., who was one of several relatives who spoke at the event, including Martin Luther King, III.
The program consisted of a diverse group high-profile speakers from the media and entertainment, as well as community and faith-based organizations, who called for an end to racism, antisemitism, sexism, poverty, and gun-violence, and called for labor and civil rights, including voting rights.
“I had the pleasure of organizing the APWU’s participation at the March on Washington anniversary,” said Human Relations Director Daleo Freeman. “The Human Relations Department is tasked with various matters that preserve and promote social and economic justice. The march, and the reason for it, coincides with those objectives. The march gave us an opportunity to re-center and engage the movement following a disastrous term on the Supreme Court and the continued erosion of our rights by legislators and courts across the country. The APWU affirms the need to act on these threats to our common good. We stand in unity with the AFL-CIO, the civil rights movement, and the labor movement in supporting the march. I’d like to thank our APWU family that attended and joined with us at the march to continue the fight for our rights.”