GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)- This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, many people across Eastern North Carolina are still calling for drastic changes as one group marched through Greenville demanding justice.
Sponsored by the Coalition Against Racism, the rally on Monday began at Thomas Foreman Park and ended at the Pitt County Courthouse, where after a mile of marching and chanting, speakers stood up with the demand to free political prisoners. Several local figures stood on the steps as they expressed the changes they want to see here in Greenville.
“In Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander argues quote, ‘mass incarceration is a form of social control of blacks,” said Don Cavellini, co-chair of the Coalition Against Racism.
Organizers explained the goal of this year’s rally was justice for individuals who have been imprisoned during their fight against racial inequity.
“We still have a plethora of political prisoners, who are in prison, who have done nothing but fight against the liberation of black and brown people,” said organizer with the Coalition Against Racism, Dedan Waciuir.
Wacriuri has been at the forefront of debate in Greenville after being charged with “inciting a riot,” and “injury to property,” in a protest last summer.
“It’s definitely worth it, you know, people have died for this fight for justice, so as somebody that belongs to the same nation that they belonged to … like MLK, like Malcolm X, these people have sacrificed their life just to get to this point where we are at today. So it’s only right that I follow in their footsteps and continue to fight,” said Waciuri.
Others spoke on injustices such as housing, voting and job discrimination in black and brown communities.
When asked if Dr. King would be proud today, he said “I wouldn’t say that he would be proud, I would say he would still be actively engaged in the fight for the liberation of black and brown people.”
Organizers added they were pleased with the turnout, especially in the cold weather, and many participants said, they would not let anything stop them from standing up.