It is 3 obscenity cold in the Twin Cities today but that did not stop us from carrying on Dr. King's legacy and marching for social justice.
MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change brought together many organizations, I would fail if I tried to list them all, but there were labor unions, advocates for affordable housing, welfare rights and immigration reform, and Idle No More. I consider myself part of a couple of those, so I put on the silk under layer, wool socks and sweater, furry hat and ventured out. More photos below the orange squiggle.
Hand warmers were passed out, and a couple kids had some of the old fashioned kind-baked potatoes! Even so, the organizers wisely did not keep us out in the minus 20 windchill, after a short march on Hennepin we took to the skyways.
from the event's Facebook page:
The MLK birthday too often celebrates the MLK of the “I have a dream” speech. But Dr. King became more than a civil rights leader and was at the time of his death, a staunch supporter of human rights as well. In fact, at the time of his assassination he was standing up for the sanitation workers of Memphis who had been denied fair wages working conditions and dignity.We think we had between 100-200 people, and we were loud! "No justice, no peace" and other chants rang out in the skyway.
This march seeks to honor that legacy of Dr. King. The MLK of the “Vietnam and Beyond” speech in which he condemns the militarism, materialism and racism in US society and proclaims that: “ A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death… Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Therefore like last year the march will be in the spirit of Dr. Kings desire for justice for all.
This year we seek to rally in support of ongoing struggles for human rights in the Twin Cities. We will march to support the SEIU Local 26 workers seeking a fair contract, to support the efforts of janitors and office cleaners to organize a union. We march to support the efforts of those who are struggling against bank misconduct and unfair foreclosures, and calling banks for dual tracking and we will support an end to foreclosures.
We march to support the efforts of those seeking to address the unfair hiring practices of companies that refuse to hire minorities or workers with criminal records no matter how minor.
We will rally for; jobs for all, the right of labor to organize, the right to collectively bargain, livable wage jobs, an end to police brutality, an end to racism and discrimination in all its forms, an end to unjust mass incarceration, housing as a right, in opposition to cuts to entitlement (social security, medicare) programs, an end to interventionist wars, rights of immigrants, quality public education for all, and a single payer universal health care program.
I am not a skyway expert and as we wound our way through downtown Minneapolis this way, I began to wonder if I would find my way back!
Our destination was the Government Center. The plaza outside is where Occupy began here. A nostalgic moment for me, but kind of glad no one was camped out there today.
At the foot of the stairs in the Government Center, we paused for many inspiring speakers. Again, I would fail if I tried to list them, preachers, teachers, students, organizers, but I do know Rose McGee because she is one of my fellow homeowners fighting for justice from her mortgage company. She also got us singing "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round"
I very much wanted to see Idle No More's Round Dance which came next, but nature called. If I can get photos or video from someone else later, I'll post in the comments And I did manage to find my way back to my car with no wrong turns!