Comparisons to the Civil Rights Movement:
As the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington approaches, organizers ponder ways the Trayvon Martin-inspired movement can honor the legacy of civil rights leaders.
Professor Warren described the parallels between the Dream Defenders and previous civil rights actions.
“Without the Freedom Rides, sit-ins, or even Black Power later on, Martin Luther King, Jr. and more mainstream civil rights leaders wouldn’t have had a left flank that made them appear more moderate to the folks in power with whom they were negotiating and bargaining with around national legislative action,” he said, alluding to the value of the Dream Defenders as an agitating force.
In an interview with MSNBC host Chris Hayes on his show All In, Belafonte said of Agnew, “in the course of our conversations I got the very strong sense that there was a resolve and a point of view politically that was solidly rooted in the traditions of our non-violence as well as in the traditions of our taking on the challenges of the system.”
Agnew felt humbled that the Dream Defenders have been compared to the iconic heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.
“I would never compare us to them,” Agnew said. “Those folks have been spit on, had pipes thrown at them, and dogs attack them. We use them as a blueprint, moral compass, and inspiration for everything we do.”