SALT LAKE CITY — Friday is the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic march on Washington, DC.
In Salt Lake City, hundreds of people observed the occasion by marching from the Utah State Capitol to the Salt Lake City-County building and demanding social justice.
It was largely an assembly of young people who say everyone needs to remember that event in 1963, when a quarter million people gathered near the Lincoln Monument, and to remind everyone there is a long way to go to achieve Dr. King’s dream of racial equality.
As King embraced peaceful protests, so did the demonstrators in Salt Lake City.
“So, If you’re agitated or aggravated this isn’t the place for you today, our lives matter from both sides, so if you feel like you’re angry and you want to break something, please leave,” said Emanuel Vasquez with Black Lives Matter for Humanity. “In my opinion having a peaceful demonstration, staying true to your message will always, it will be more productive.”
Displaying Black Lives Matter signs and chanting slogans like “No Justice, No Peace,” those involved in this march and demonstration want everyone to know this is not just a moment in time, it is a movement.
“Patriotism is like, ‘how can I make this place better?” Vasquez said. “Because I do love this country, right? And I just want to just make it better.”
Vasquez is a college student and he says this sentiment is spreading pretty rapidly among other young adults he knows.
He says they realize that no nation, no society is perfect, but that one of the things that makes this country great is that you can peacefully protest and engage in dialogue.
“Individually we are strong, individually everybody is talented but together we are just going to go a lot further and a lot faster,” Vasquez said, with the goal being to strive to make this a more perfect union.