Greenville celebrates MLK Day with rally focused on human rights

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Residents and community leaders came together on Monday to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and to emphasize the importance of standing up for what’s right.

Citizens young and old flooded uptown streets chanting, ‘no justice, no peace.’

“We see so many things in Greenville and in Pitt County that are oppressing people, especially working people and people of color. That’s why we’re here today,” said Don Cavellini, Co-Chair of the Coalition Against Racism.

For the past 25 years, the Coalition Against Racism and other local human rights groups have marched and rallied, making their way to the Pitt County Courthouse in Dr. King’s memory.

“If Dr. King were alive today he would be demanding. He would be marching with us. He would be building a movement that would have affordable housing as a demand, an end to mass incarceration, an end to racial profiling,” said Cavellini.

Speakers at the rally demanded things like a citizen police review board and more affordable housing.

“There are certain parts of the city that are not on pace with other parts of the city, and I think inclusivity necessitates that be a reality we are all a part of,” said Thomas McKinney, a Greenville resident.

Some people in the march say education and speaking out are vital first steps.

“If we want to be free as a people, if we want to be treated better there are some things we’re going to have to do on an individual level to step out, get organized with other people, and join these type of movements,” said Dedan Waciuri, a Greenville resident.

Leaders also say it’s not enough for folks to come and participate in the march once a year, folks should start by taking a look at small differences they can make in their community every day.

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