Jackson: Detroit march to 'provide hope'

Aug. 26, 2010 at 3:11 PM
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DETROIT, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- A Detroit march seeking to echo the 1963 March on Washington will "provide hope" to laid-off autoworkers, civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson said.

"Mass marches give visibility to a challenge, and they provide hope," Jackson said of the Saturday march through downtown Detroit set to start at the United Auto Workers-Ford National Programs Center near the Detroit River.

The march is to take place on the 47th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, famous for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial calling for racial equality and an end to discrimination.

Saturday's march will have the theme "Rebuild America: Jobs, Justice and Peace," Jackson's Chicago-based Rainbow PUSH Coalition said.

The jobs portion of the theme will focus on "economic reconstruction driven by targeted stimulus, reindustrialization and trade policy that will create jobs, support manufacturing in America, and put workers first," the coalition said.

The justice part will address "enforcement of the law regarding workers rights, civil rights, industrial regulation and creation of strong urban policy" along with "fair and just education, economic and health policy."

The peace plank will seek to end "the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, saving lives and redirecting the war budget to rebuilding America."

Jackson and his team have traveled across southern and central Michigan by bus since Sunday, stopping at auto plants, universities, churches and UAW labor union offices to mobilize people for the march, The Detroit News said.

He was at Detroit's Wayne State University Thursday, Rainbow PUSH said.

"Each of these areas has their own sense of preoccupation with the plant they lost or the job they lost, so the march creates a connection," the News quoted Jackson as saying.

Rainbow PUSH officials would not say how many marchers they expected.

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