DENVER (CBS4)– Local civil rights leader Alvertis Simmons announced Tuesday he is organizing a March on Denver on the anniversary of the historic event lead by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington, D.C.
This Friday will be the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington where King delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech.
“We got to stop the violence whether it’s police violence, whether it’s Black-on-Black, brown-on-brown, or white-on-black,” Simmons said at a news conference inside City Park by the MLK statue.
In June, national leaders including Rev. Al Sharpton planned a new march in Washington for the anniversary but the ability for many to travel there during the pandemic is limited. Simmons says he was encouraged to have a local event because of the COVID-19 outbreak and believes this summer has only shown the greater need to gather together.
He says the event will be in the spirit of King’s original words calling for freedom and justice because that goal is still necessary and there is more work to be done. Simmons also says they are inspired by the late John Lewis, a U.S. congressman and civil rights icon, who spoke of “good trouble” in the name of reform. Simmons wants this event to be a form of “good trouble” that does not create chaos or destruction in the city.
The outrage over the death of Elijah McClain and others across the country has only added to the passion for such an event and Simmons hopes to see around 5,000 people participate on Friday. He says they are taking necessary precautions by requiring masks and taking temperature checks. He has also hired security teams to keep the march peaceful.
“They see us together, white allies, brown allies, Black allies, we’re all as one making a difference, keeping Dr. King’s dream of peace alive,” he said.
The event will also feature mothers who have lost children to violence. The march begins at 10 a.m. Friday in front of the MLK statue in City Park.