#WeShallNotBeMoved: Civil Rights Groups March on Washington*
This year’s Martin Luther King Jr Day march takes on added significance in the face of Trump’s looming attacks on civil rights.
Thousands are expected to march on Washington on Saturday as part the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day march organized under the umbrella of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.
Dubbed the #WeWillNotBeMoved March, the action looks to put Trump and the rest of the U.S. on notice that civil rights are non-negotiable.
“We will rally and put the next Administration (and the nation) on notice that there are some things that will not be changed no matter who is president and what party dominates the House and Senate,” organizers said in a statement.
Endorsed by a broad coalition of civil rights groups- including Planned Parenthood, National Council of La Raza, the NAACP, the Hip Hop Caucus and the National Council of Black Women- the march comes less than a week before the inauguration of a President celebrated by white nationalists, and days after the Republican-controlled Congress began rolling back the Affordable Care Act.
“Protecting the civil rights of citizens and the voting rights of people that have been excluded, providing healthcare for all Americans and equal opportunity should supersede any of the beltway partisan fights that we are inevitably headed into. Groups come and go, elections come and go, but some things must remain constant and non-negotiable,” wrote march organizers in their call out.
While this is the first of many major anti-Tump marches and actions in the days surrounding the inauguration, organizers are also putting Democrats on notice.
“The Democrats have said that they want to work with incoming President Trump where they can and not in other areas,” Rev. Al Sharpton told .Mic.
“We’re saying voting rights, criminal justice reform — that includes police misconduct — health care, jobs and economic justice should be off the table.”
Sharpton and his organization have come under criticism in the past for not making room for a younger generation of activists, and the march is notably lacking official endorsements by the Movement for Black Lives or prominent LGBTQ organizations.
Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Sharpton says the National Action Network has explicitly turned to millennial organizers to set strategy and mobilize other activists.
“All of what we’re saying has more to do with the interests of millennials than it does the older crowd,” Sharpton claimed.
Monday is the national Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday which marks the birthday of the iconic civil rights leader. While a largely sanitized version of King is widely celebrated, in the year before his assassination King was viciously attacked by liberals for his forceful denunciation of U.S. imperialism and the Vietnam War.
Black Lives Matter D.C. is also organizing a series of events over the holiday weekend under the banner #Reclaim MLK.