The Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights activist and head of the National Action Network, recently announced a coalition of civil rights and advocacy organizations that will lead a march the week before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.
Under the theme “We Will Not be Moved,” the Jan. 14 march is scheduled to go from the Washington Monument to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
“There’s no more appropriate time for civil rights leaders, faith leaders and others to raise to this nation that we cannot have the dream and principles of Dr. King violated as we go into a new administration,” Sharpton said at a Dec. 5 news conference at the National Press Club in D.C. “On the areas of voting rights, income inequality including racial disparities in employment and access to capital, in areas of health care, criminal justice and police reform, we will not stand by and watch a change in the presidency and the makeup of Congress destroy gains made by President Obama.
“We will act to protect the gains and to keep moving forward,” he said.
Sharpton floated the idea of the march during a post-election phone conference in late November with over 413 ministers and officials.
“Some things you can’t vote out with an election,” he said. “And some things will not change because a president has changed.”
Organizations that joined in on the conference call included the National Urban League, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the national NAACP and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
“We are not being alarmists,” Sharpton said. “We are being realists about the record of the president-elect and what he has said. If people are saying we’re not giving him a chance, we are willing to give him a chance. The problem is we are listening to what he has said.”
Undeterred by potential backlash, all parties involved are seemingly refusing to back down.
“We are unified today and prepared to move forward,” Marc H. Morial, president of the National Urban League said in a statement. “And we do this today in the spirit of understanding that this close election certainly yielded a new president-elect.”