The Latest: Hundreds call for equality during Memphis march

AP News
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Posted: Apr 04, 2017 8:46 PM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on rallies honoring the legacy of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (all times local):

6:55 p.m.

Supporters of the Black Lives Matter and Fight for $15 movements have marched through the streets of downtown Memphis, demanding higher wages and racial equality on the 49th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.

Several hundred people, including a 220-piece marching band from Talladega College in Alabama, marched more than a mile (1.6 kilometers), from City Hall to the National Civil Rights Museum on Tuesday. They chanted "This is what democracy looks like" and held signs saying "I Am A Man." Some wore T-shirts emblazoned with the words "Show Me $15. Real Change. No Pennies."

The Fight for $15 group wants a higher hourly minimum wage for low-pay workers, including fast food employees and home and child care workers.

The museum is at the site of the former Lorraine Motel. King was standing on the motel's balcony when he was shot down by a sniper's bullet on April 4, 1968. He was in Memphis supporting a sanitation workers strike.

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2:15 p.m.

More than 200 people have gathered at a Memphis church to hear guest speakers talk about the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on the 49th anniversary of his assassination.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. William Barber each talked about how King's fight for economic and racial equality and social justice is far from over. A vocalist belted out a religious hymn and another song, "The Impossible Dream," and attendees held hands in prayer.

The rally precedes a march scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in downtown Memphis. Supporters of Black Lives Matter and the Fight for $15 movement plan to gather at Memphis City Hall before marching to the National Civil Rights Museum.

The museum is located at the site of the former Lorraine Motel. King was standing on the motel's balcony when he was shot down by a sniper's bullet on April 4, 1968. He was in Memphis supporting a sanitation workers strike.

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9:25 a.m.

Activists claiming an imbalance in economic and social equality plan rallies across the United States on the 49th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Black Lives Matter and the Fight for $15 movement have scheduled rallies in Memphis, Tennessee - where King was shot while standing on a hotel balcony on April 4, 1968. Rallies also are expected in Florida, California, Illinois and Michigan.

The Fight for $15 group wants a higher minimum wage for low-pay workers, including fast food employees and home and child care workers. The Black Lives Matter movement developed after the deaths of unarmed black men during confrontations with white police officers and has waged protests throughout the country.

King had come to Memphis to support a sanitation workers strike.