A rally saturday commemorated the 1963 rally at which baptist preacher martin luther king delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech.
At the same time, participants pointed out that despite much progress, discrimination against ethnic minorities still exists in the U.S. Today. "The struggle must go on," was the message of many speakers. Protests were also held against gun violence, poverty and unemployment. Numerous citizens’ rights initiatives had called for saturday’s demonstration.
Recently, the violent death of black teenager trayvon martin reignited a debate about racism in the country. The unarmed martin was shot and killed last year in florida by a member of a vigilante group. The gunman was acquitted in the trial. A ruling by the supreme court also sparked recent criticism. With it, procedures to monitor unimpeded voting access for all were abolished in several southern states.
Many speakers at the event echoed the words of martin luther king, which became a symbol of the fight against segregation of blacks and women. This included civil rights activist jesse jackson. "Dream on," he shouted to the crowd in front of the lincoln memorial. Martin luther king, who was then assassinated by a racist in 1968, had also spoken there.
Attorney general eric holder, who is african american, called for kings work to continue in the name of justice. "Those who marched in 1963 took a long and difficult road," said holder. "Now, 50 years later, their march is our march, and it has to go on."
Martin luther king III made a similar statement., the son of the famous civil rights leader. Trayvon martin’s parents’ trannies reminded that skin color is still too often "a license" for harassment, arrest and even murder.
Highlight of the ceremony will be speeches by president barack obama and ex-presidents jimmy carter and bill clinton on 28th. August, the actual anniversary.