Those who protested during the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday honored the late civil rights leader in the best way imaginable.
This year’s celebration of the holiday was marked by a series of protests around the nation. Protestors were upset over the deaths or Michael Brown, Eric Garner and others at the hands of police.
Activists were encouraged to use the day to participate in public service and peaceful demonstration of social issues, two of the things that King was known for in his lifetime.
One key point to remember is that MLK Day is a Federal holiday, meaning many Americans had the day off to observe it however they felt appropriate. What better time than a day off to spend the day participating in public service and mass demonstrations?
Activist groups like Ferguson Action and others helped to organize events during the holiday weekend through a campaign called #ReclaimMLK, which urged citizens to get out and act as a resistance to injustice.
Many of the protests were disruptive, as protests are meant to be. And there were some arrests, but for the most part, there were no major injuries or serious violent offenses reported according to CNN.
It’s a tradition in America to celebrate holidays in the spirit of what that holiday represents. For Thanksgiving, people get together and have a feast and give thanks for what they have. For Christmas, people pretend to be nice to each other and exchange gifts in the spirit of giving.
Thankfully, Americans don’t spend Columbus Day getting lost and taking property from their neighbors, but you get the idea.
People are perfectly justified spending MLK Day, or any day for that matter, exercising their constitutional right to free speech and peaceful protest.
The fight for civil rights and equality in this country and around the world isn’t something that should be left in the 1960s. The fight should be something that people strive for now and well into the future.