Reporting Pat Sweeting
DETROIT (WWJ) - On the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, dozens of people marched and rallied in downtown Detroit, calling on the government to remember the ideals for which Dr. King stood.
Among those taking part in Thursday’s event was Rev. Maurice Rudds who said he wanted to honor King’s life and legacy.
“And with the EFM [Emergency Financial Manager] and other things like that happening in Detroit, it’s just a travesty … that the powers that be would try to usurp our democratic rights; our political vote,” Rudds said, as fellow demonstrators chanted, “This is what democracy looks like!”
March organizer David Bullock said, with a state-appointed manager now in charge in the city, Detroiters are facing struggles today similar to those of 50 years ago.
“The Montgomery bus boycott helped to bring justice in Montgomery, [and] we’re talking now to see how we can look back at our history and maybe find an economic sanction that we can bring so we can vote with our dollars and say that we do not appreciate democracy being destroyed – the will of the people being ignored…”
Rallies were held Thursday in front of the Spirit of Detroit, Chase Bank and Quicken Loans.
Under Michigan law, emergency managers have the power to develop financial plans, renegotiate labor contracts, revise and approve budgets to help control spending, sell off some city assets and suspend elected officials’ salaries. Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr began work last month.