All planned Martine Luther King, Jr Day activities in Palestine have been canceled, in support of the King family’s call for “no celebration” until voting rights legislation is passed.
Parade coordinator Diane Davis announced the parade had been canceled Tuesday, Jan. 11. Davis reported that the locally planned MLK Zoom presentation had also been canceled.
Davis said the committee had chose to cancel all local events in respect of the King family request.
In a December article, CNN reported that the family of Martin Luther King Jr. had called for “no celebration” of MLK Day without the passage of voting rights legislation, putting pressure on President Joe Biden and lawmakers to act on federal voting right bills that have stalled in Congress.
The CNN article reports that Martin Luther King III, his wife, Arndrea Waters King, and their daughter, Yolanda Renee King, plan to mobilize activist on MLK weekend to push for Biden and Congress to apply the same efforts to the federal voting rights bill they used to pass the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, sending the message “you delivered for bridges, now deliver for voting rights.
On Jan. 17, the King family and other activist plan to march across the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C. They also plan to march across the bridge in Phoenix, drawing comparison to the 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, for voting rights for Black Americans.
The King family has called on Biden and the Senate to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and “ensure the Jim Crow filibuster doesn’t stand in the way.”
In the article, Arndrea Waters King said that MLK Day is traditionally a national day of service and that there's "no better way to observe the King holiday" than to stand for democracy and the rights of others.
"If we're really talking about celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., voting rights was a cornerstone of his legacy," she told CNN, adding that "we cannot simply in good faith celebrate him or celebrate that legacy with this current attack on access to the ballot box."
In further support of the King family and their requests, Davis encourages everyone to contact at least five people to talk to them about voting.