As many prepare for service, thousands expected to take to the streets
As thousands prepare for a day of service and volunteering in commemoration of Martin Luther King Day, many more are expected to take to the streets as part of the MLK Day march organized by the D.A.R.E coalition.
Under the slogan “Justice requires action” #ReclaimMLK, the coalition is inviting residents to join and rally at 440 N. Broad Street at 1:30 p.m.
Organizers believe the demonstration will gather 10,000 people to “support the end of stop and frisk; $15 minimum wage; the right to form unions and fairly funded democratically controlled schools.”
Airport workers and elected officials will march through the Philadelphia International Airport to highlight the plight of low-wage airport workers.
"MLK Jr. died supporting Memphis sanitation workers who were working under deplorable conditions and making poverty wages not unlike Philly airport workers today. These sanitation workers would be earning $11.41 per hour by today's standards,” said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown. “Shamefully, that is nearly $4 more than the average PHL airport worker makes today. Hard-working Philadelphians deserve better. As MLK Jr. said ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’”
According to 32BJ SEIU, poor working conditions and low pay are creating a crisis at the airport for workers and passengers alike. “The crisis is caused by low-bid subcontracting by airlines to private contractors who pay poverty wages — significantly less than those directly employed by the airlines and the airport. According to a study by the National Employment Law Project, the average subcontracted PHL airport worker makes just $7.85 an hour,” stated the organization.
MLK D.A.R.E — short for "MLK Day of Action, Resistance, and Empowerment" — originated from the "Black Lives Matter" protests in Philadelphia and includes religious leaders, labor unions, parent groups, and students.