Anniversary of March on Washington, activists rally

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Updated: 8/28 4:51 pm

ALBANY, N.Y.  – On the 51st anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King's “I Have a Dream” speech, more than 100 people gathered at the steps of the state Capitol.

The event was organized as part of a national Moral Week of Action. The rally in Albany met at the same time rallies were held at 12 other state Capitols.

One of the many attending the event said he is concerned for his children's future. 

“This isn't a luxury, or somehow this is about everybody's future, including my kids. And I'm really worried cause we as people are struggling more and more,” John Wessel-McCoy said. “Poverty is getting worse, and you know, we struggle ourselves.”

A speaker at Thursday's rally had the opportunity to go to Washington for the march 51 years ago when she was only 14-years-old. After being inspired from that day, she never thought she would end up in the situation she is now.

“I am a voter, presently homeless, and I'm living in the shelter system,” Arvernetta Henry said.

Henry was a teacher in New York City for 20 years, but certain circumstances led her to homelessness. She spoke from the steps in Albany, urging legislators to do something, saying the homeless population has increased three times since she went into system. 

“I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Martin Luther King and all of them,” she said. “I was at that march, and here it is 51 years later, I am a product of the education system and knowing that it could work. But then when you have inequality happening all over again.” 

Speakers at the rally included religious, labor and community organizations. They spoke out against voter apathy and encouraged people to vote in upcoming primaries.

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