YOUR LETTERS: America’s unions continue the march toward justice

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The historic August, 1963 people’s March on Washington – the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom – saw 250,000 people rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. It was the occasion of the famous “I have a Dream” speech of Dr. Martin Luther King. The following is a statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond commemorating the 60th anniversary of the March which took place in Washington last week on Aug. 26.)

As we mark the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, it is a moment to reflect on the sacrifice and contributions of Black workers, activists, organizers and leaders who fought to ensure that America lived up to its democratic ideals. Icons like A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, Ella Baker and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who worked to bring the Labor and civil rights movements together, issued a call for change so powerful, it could not be ignored. 

But the work that began six decades ago is far from finished. Today, our democracy is under attack, and we have witnessed the deterioration of our hard-earned gains on civil, human and workers’ rights. Corporations and extremist politicians and judges are bent on dividing us and erasing the progress we’ve made on racial justice, voting rights, collective bargaining, access to reproductive healthcare, education and so much more. Now is the time for working people to come together and take bold action. 

As thousands of working people mobilize and organize at unprecedented rates nationwide, it is clear we are ready for change that can only be won by stepping off the sidelines and raising our collective voice.

We are demanding our rightful seat at the table; together with our friends and allies in the civil rights movement, we are working to preserve our democracy for generations to come.

As we prepare to come together once again at the Lincoln Memorial, we will recommit to the fight for racial and economic justice and continue working to achieve the goals of Randolph, Rustin, Baker, King and countless others who gathered on that historic day in 1963 to create a brighter future for America.

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