Local Activists Look To Reclaim MLK’s Progressive Legacy On Wage Equality

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Progressive activists in Chicago honored Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday on Sunday by calling for economic equality, drawing a crowd of 2,000 to a church on the city’s South Side.

Rev. Dwight Gardner, a local grassroots organizer who helped coordinate the event, urged activists to go beyond the late civil rights activist’s calls for peace and tie his legacy to wage disparity and other economic issues plaguing the country today.

“If a man doesn’t have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness. He merely exists,” Gardner said during his keynote speech, according to the Chicago Tribune. “To paint him with only the hope that we can all just get along does his legacy a disservice and confuses Dr. King with Rodney King.”

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