Commentary, News

Remembering MLK on the 50 year anniversary of the Memphis garbage workers strike

Cross-posted from the good folks at the AFL-CIO of NC:

February 1 National Moment of Silence

On February 1, 1968, Memphis sanitation workers Echol Cole and Robert Walker huddled in the back of their truck to seek shelter from a storm. Suddenly, the truck’s compactor malfunctioned, trapping Cole and Walker and crushing them to death.

The tragedy triggered the strike of the city’s 1,300 sanitation workers. They had warned the city about dangerous equipment but were ignored. They were fed up with poverty wages and racial discrimination. They walked off the job and marched under the banner: I AM A MAN. On February 1, 2018, the 50th anniversary of the accident that killed Cole and Walker, we will observe a moment of silence to honor their memory and sacrifice, as we pick up the mantle from the 1968 strikers in the ongoing fight for racial and economic justice.

Pledge to join us on February 1, 2018 at 1 pm EST (or at a time of your choosing), for a national Moment of Silence.

Find or host a local event, or join us for the Facebook Live event on February 1.

Learn more at https://iam2018.org/.

February 4 event at International Civil Rights Center & Museum

The International Civil Rights Center & Museum (ICRCM) in Greensboro, North Carolina, will honor the role of the courageous Memphis City sanitation workers whose strike in 1968 fused the labor and civil rights struggles for social justice, featuring William “Bill” Lucy, the 2018 ICRCM Alston/Jones International Civil & Human Rights Award recipient and the retired International Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

What: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Memphis “I AM A MAN” Sanitation Workers Strike of 1968
Where: International Civil Rights Center and Museum, 134 S Elm St, Greensboro, NC 27401
When: Sun, February 4, 2018, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST
Free tickets: reserve your seats online

Bill Lucy stood alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in civil rights struggles and Nelson Mandela in opposition to apartheid. Come join the conversation as he discusses the Memphis sanitation workers strike and the power of labor unions.

North Carolina State AFL-CIO President MaryBe McMillan and Triad Central Labor Council President John Crawford will also speak.

This event is free and open to the public.

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