Thousands of marchers gathered on Washington’s national mall on Wednesday to commemorate civil rights leader Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech 50 years ago as activists said his goal of racial harmony remains elusive.
Marchers, many wearing T-shirts with King’s face on
them, began their walk near the US Capitol and carried signs such as “Stop the new Jim Crow” and “Every Texan deserves a vote.”
Fighting restrictive voting rights laws that Democrats say hurt minorities, combating joblessness and reducing gun violence among African Americans are among the issues that civil rights leaders put at the forefront of their efforts in 2013.
“This march was supposed to be about jobs, but it’s about a lot more,” said marcher Ash Mobley, 27, of Washington who said she was there to represent her grandmother, who had been at the 1963 event.
The marchers were led by a line of military veterans and people who had been at the 1963 march, their arms linked. People sang “We Shall Overcome” and other civil rights anthems.
Remarks from President Barack Obama, the first black US president, and bell ringing marked the moment that King ended his landmark address, which came to symbolise the struggle for equality among blacks and whites in America.