The following is a May 9 national press release.
Baltimore, Md. — On Saturday, May 11, 2013, community, civil rights, union and student activists will reclaim the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by staging a two–day march entitled, “2013 Poor Peoples Campaign & March,” from the city of Baltimore to Washington, D.C. Groups will plan a national strategy to fight new austerity measures along with major social issues including police brutality and mass incarceration.
The demonstration will begin at 10 a.m. in Baltimore at Biddle Street and North Montford Avenue, the site where Anthony Anderson Sr. was killed by Baltimore police on Sept. 21, 2012. Anderson’s death, ruled a homicide by city medical examiners, is one of many cases of the growing epidemic of police brutality across the country.
“Our march will unite families fighting police terror from Baltimore to Oakland with low–wage workers fighting for justice and against sweatshop conditions like Wal-Mart and McDonald’s,” said the Rev. C.D. Witherspoon, president of the Baltimore chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. “They will march alongside the growing jobless, who will be the victims of cuts in unemployment benefits; students, who will be losing their ability to go to school because of sequestration cuts; trade unionists, whose rights are under attack from Michigan to South Carolina; and all those fighting for justice whether it’s for immigrant rights, LGTBQ and women’s rights, or voting rights.”
Supporters of the victims of police killings in Oakland, including friends and members of the Alan Blueford family and the Oscar Grant movement, will join with the Anthony Anderson Jr. family and hundreds more demanding social justice. (See below for a full schedule and list of endorsers)
“A bus is coming from Selma, Ala., organized by the National Coalition of Leaders to Save Section 5, who have taken on the urgent task of defending voting rights,” said Sharon Black, an organizer with the Baltimore People’s Power Assembly. “Local labor councils and ‘OUR Walmart’ workers are marching with us. A bus of poor people and school bus drivers from Boston will be coming as well. Youth and activists from the Occupy movement will join us. Additionally, caravans are coming from Detroit, New York City, Atlanta, North Carolina and elsewhere.”
Organizers have said that this is a historic year for the civil rights movement. This year marks the 50–year anniversary of the Aug. 28, 1963, Jobs and Freedom March, along with many other important milestones in civil rights history, including the 45th anniversary of the May 12, 1968, Poor People’s Campaign.
The 41–mile march will follow the path taken by Dr. King and the Poor People’s Campaign 45 years ago, going along Route 1 from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.
Upon arriving in D.C. on Sunday, activists will hold a People’s Power Assembly to deliberate on a national strategy to overturn new austerity measures and confront the many issues facing communities today.
There will be other events and activities on Monday, May 13, beginning at 10 a.m. in Freedom Plaza. These events will be announced Sunday, May 12. The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign and March was initiated by the Baltimore chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Baltimore People’s Power Assembly.
Saturday, May 11
10 a.m.: March gathers at Biddle Street and N. Montford Avenue, Baltimore, Md.
11 a.m.: March steps off, down Route 1
8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.: Gathering at the Pavillion adjacent to the Nyumburu Cultural Center on the campus of the University of Maryland for a rally and messages from various student groups
Sunday, May 12
10 a.m.: Mother’s Day March begins at 5331 Baltimore Ave., Hyattsville, Md.
2 p.m.: March will stop in front of the Justice Department on Pennsylvania Avenue to demand justice for the victims of police killings and brutality and to defend voting rights and Section 5
3 p.m.: Arrive at Freedom Plaza (14th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW)
4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.: People’s Power Assembly, music, teach-ins and discussion
Monday, May 13
10 a.m.: Convening at Freedom Plaza for other protests and activities throughout the day
Endorsers (partial, for full list, visit peoplespowerassemblies.org)
Metropolitan Baltimore Council AFL-CIO
Metropolitan Washington D.C. Council AFL-CIO
United Food and Commercial Workers Minority Coalition
Anthony Anderson Sr. family, Baltimore, Md.
Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition, Oakland, Calif.
Alan Blueford family, Oakland, Calif.
Oscar Grant Foundation, Oakland, Calif.
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400
National Lawyers Guild, Maryland
Northwestern High School Alumni Association, Baltimore, Md.
All Peoples Congress, Baltimore
Peace House, Washington D.C.
Southern Workers Assembly
Bailout the People Movement, Wisconsin
Teamsters Local 808, N.Y.
Community-Labor United for Postal Jobs & Services
Communications Workers of America Local 1180, New York, N.Y.
Moratorium Now! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shut-offs, Detroit, Mich.
Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI), Detroit, Mich.
Community Churches United, Baltimore
South Central Neighborhood Council, Los Angeles, Calif.
Community Postal Workers United