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Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy issued this statement in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

“If you were a sentient human being on this day in 1968, the first thing you likely felt on hearing of Martin Luther King’s death was anger. Fifty years later, much remains to be angry about: attacks on immigrants, on voting rights, on the LGBTQ community and, sadly still, on people of color. The ‘Poor Peoples’ Campaign,’ from which ‘I AM 2018’ derives, is as relevant now as it was in 1968.”

“But the legacy of Dr. King is not anger. The legacy is the dream. The legacy is hope. The legacy is the ‘arc of the moral universe bending toward justice.’”

“The life and death of Martin Luther King Jr. was inextricably tied to the labor movement. Dr. King died while using all his eloquent and mighty power to fight for the rights of sanitation workers in Memphis who were treated as throwaways not worth the bother of providing a livelihood. In fighting for sanitation workers, Dr. King fought for all working people, asserting through word and deed that labor rights are human rights and are essential to the civil rights movement. That legacy brings us joy and hope, even on this melancholy day of remembrance.”

“The Texas labor movement stands in proud solidarity today with all who are carrying out Dr. King’s legacy in ‘I AM 2018’ and other civil rights activities in Memphis and beyond.”