Rev. Al Sharpton announced Tuesday he will be leading a march in Washington, D.C. less than a week from President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration to highlight his concerns the Trump administration will reverse the “advancements” made under President Obama.
The march will take place Jan. 14 during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend. Sharpton hopes to have thousands of participants make the short walk from the Washington Monument to the MLK memorial, where a rally will be held.
The activist said he and other organizers will lay out an agenda called, “That we cannot be moved.”
Sharpton listed advancements made under Obama that he believes could be reversed or at least stymied under Trump, including voting rights, income inequality, the racial disparity in employment and access to capital, healthcare, criminal justice, and police reform.
The liberal noted Obama “has commuted more sentences for low-level, non-violent drug offenders than the last 11 presidents combined.”
“Our focus is not President Trump, who we don’t think we can turn around,” Sharpton told The Hill regarding the march and rally. “Our focus is that the Democrats should not weaken, and so weaken everything that Dr. King achieved and everything that President Obama has achieved.”
In a speech last month at his National Action Network in Harlem, Sharpton excoriated Trump’s picks of campaign CEO Steve Bannon to be part of his White House staff and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., to be his attorney general.
“The appointment of Bannon, who ran the Breitbart, and the appointment of this man to be attorney general, Mr. Sessions, shows that there is a clear path to the far-right and the suspension of rights,” Sharpton warned. “Whatever trick you playing, we’re going to fight every step of the way.”
“We cannot sit by and allow what we have built under (Attorneys General Eric) Holder and (Loretta) Lynch to just end without a fight,” the New Yorker said. “I might not win every fight, but you gonna know you was in a fight if you mess with me.”
Sharpton called on Democrats to run Sessions and every other Trump nominee “over every grill they can.”
As reported by Western Journalism, William Smith, the first African-American chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, whom Sessions hired and who worked with him for nearly a decade, came to the defense of his former boss against allegations of racism.
After Trump named Sessions as his choice for the next attorney general, detractors pointed to the Alabama senator’s failure to win Senate approval after being nominated by Ronald Reagan to serve as a U.S. district court judge in 1986.
Jeff #Sessions marching w/ civil rights icon John Lewis for Selma anniversary, because “he’s a racist”
— Matt 2AFight (@2AFight) November 19, 2016
“The people who are making these allegations don’t know Jeff Sessions,” Smith said during an interview on Fox and Friends last month.
“If you look at these allegations from 1986, they come from a witness who has been really discredited over time,” he said. “If you look at 1996, if you look at 2006, if you look at 2016, no allegations against Jeff Sessions. These people are just bringing up false rumors just because they don’t like the policies Jeff Sessions is going to bring.”
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