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Cosecha GR continues the legacy of Dr. King with campaign of non-violent Direct Action

April 5, 2018

Yesterday, members of Movimiento Cosecha GR, held a press conference in downtown Grand Rapids, right in front of the statue of civil rights organizer Rosa Parks.

Cosecha GR members Lorena Aguayo-Marquez and Karla Barberi, read a statement (in English and Spanish) about why they were holding a press conference on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination.

On April 3rd, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said his last speech in Memphis, Tennessee as he and other members of the Civil Rights community were there to support sanitation workers who were on strike, demanding better wages and working conditions. 

The sanitation workers were paid substandard wages and were not permitted to organize a union. On top of that, the work conditions were horrid, with white supervisors constantly harassing black employees. On that day he said,  Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis.  We’ve got to see it through.  When we have our march you need to be there. If it means leaving work, if it means leaving school, be there. We’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end.” 

This year today, on April 4, marks the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Movimiento Cosecha GR wants to honor the legacy of Dr. King, by continuing to promote social justice and non-violent direct action.”

Cosecha GR members also used the press conference to talk about their upcoming campaign to get driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, what they are calling Driver’s Licenses for All. Here is what the Cosecha GR members had to say about the Driver’s License campaign:

Driver license increases state revenue through vehicle registration, car insurance,  and sales tax. Movimiento Cosecha GR is fighting for driver’s licenses for all in the State of Michigan.  Immigrant families are being excluded from access to medical care, work, continued education, places of worship, consumption, and financial security.  Not having a driver’s license limits the ability to be an active member of the community, donate organs, and donate blood. Driver’s license for all would provide people with the ability to support themselves and their families.  It would promote public safety by ensuring that all drivers are trained and screened.  It would increase state revenue through vehicle registration, car insurance and sales tax.  Movimiento Cosecha GR is calling for an end to the fear and the oppression that families  are being forced to live under that a simple traffic stop by the police could lead to detention, deportation and family separation.

We invite you to participate in the following activities as part of the resistance to the attacks that our immigrant community has been receiving by eliminating DACA, TPS and for many years here in Michigan the Secretary of State has denied DRIVER’S LICENSES to under-documented immigrants.

The activities that Cosecha GR has invited the community to participate in is a four day strike, with activities on each day. For details go to this link.

There were also other people from the community who spoke briefly at the Cosecha GR press conference, including RayLiberator, an immigrant student who talked about the importance of people getting involved in making change, and Rev. Justo Gonzalez, pastor of Ministerios Rios de Agua Viva/Joy Like a River UCCwhich announced a few weeks ago that they would be a sanctuary church for undocumented immigrants being targeted by ICE agents. Here is what Rev. Gonzalez had to say at the Press Conference.

The Cosecha GR Press Conference concluded after Lorena Aguayo-Marquez read one more quote from Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

You are demonstrating that we can stick together. You are demonstrating that we are all tied in a single garment of destiny, and that if one black person suffers, if one black person is down, we are all down.”

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