Last ‘Freedom Train’ to make its final trip in California

19 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bay Area Freedom Train to take final trip on Martin Luther KingSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The last of the nation’s “Freedom Train” rides to pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. is set to make its final trip in California after 30 years of operation.

Caltrain, a commuter rail service along the San Francisco Peninsula, says the last “Freedom Train” ride is scheduled to depart from San Jose to San Francisco Monday morning. The train service was among more than two dozen “Freedom Trains” launched nationwide by Coretta Scott King to commemorate the march her husband led from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama nearly 50 years ago. Rick Snyder noted that King’s dream included a world “where every person is treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.” He said the holiday is an important time to remember King’s legacy. “Dr. Anger over the tragedies in Ferguson and Staten Island were on the minds of middle and high school students as they pondered King’s strategy of linking arms, sitting in, boycotting buses and otherwise resisting injustice without throwing any projectiles.

Scott chose the San Jose-to-San Francisco route because the distance between the two cities is roughly equivalent to the 54 miles traveled by King and his fellow protesters. He fought for justice and opportunity for every American,” Snyder said in a statement. “He demonstrated the value of peace, honesty, freedom, equality and community service. King’s vision of a more perfect union encourages and guides us in addressing the challenges of our communities.” In Muskegon, more than 100 people turned out Sunday for a gathering. It’s opportunities that were denied to us.” Back in the 1960’s, Tinsley experienced segregation when he was denied a seat at a lunch counter in Kansas City, Missouri. But there are a lot of people who think nonviolence is weakness.’’ Aaries and David were two of 500 King students who spent Friday morning on the school’s annual tribute march down San Bruno Avenue.

Peaceful protest can be an inconvenience, and the drivers of two cabs and a 9-San Bruno bus who were stuck behind the kids did a fair amount of honking. In suburban Detroit, Jurnee Smollett-Bell plans to speak during Oakland University’s annual Keeper of the Dream Awards celebration about her work as an actress and activist. But a little inconvenience is one way things get noticed and changed, David said. “King’s message is lost when we don’t teach what he stood for,” Essien said, giving a friendly wave to stalled motorists, only some of whom waved back. “Anybody can get angry, but throwing rocks doesn’t help. You have to take control and change the circumstances.’’ Leaders from coast to coast will take to podiums Monday and declare, as they have for 52 years, that King’s 52-year-old dream has not yet come true.

They will say that last year’s deaths of young black men in Missouri and New York at the hands of white policemen are an indictment, even if the officers themselves were not indicted. At Lakeshore Elementary School, 6-year-old Jacob Anderson, as thoughtful a kindergartner as there is, looked at the signs in his King picture book that said “whites only” and said that was wrong. His teacher, Tyler Dickie, told the class at rug time that King “lived a long time ago when people didn’t share things.” She said he had a “big, powerful voice, just like Mr. She told her students that when King went to kindergarten, his class didn’t look like theirs does — where the kids sitting next to each other on the rug are white, black, Asian and Latino.

Fourth-grade teacher Rich Mertes led his class in the “MLK Rock” song, which he composed. “He said put down your guns, you should let go, won’t ever get too far with that, only then can you hold your neighbor’s hand, hold his hand,” the kids sang, while Mertes strummed. He would have been at the front of recent marches in downtown Oakland, the students said, but he would have been urging fellow marchers to put down their projectiles and take off their masks. “Nonviolence takes effort,” said Hatim Mansori, president of the union. “It’s not easy.

In the Mission High hallways, students posted essays about the deaths last year of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y. But there was not any reason to shoot him until he died,” wrote student Laura Presentacion. “I saw on TV Brown did not have any weapon and the officer shot Brown 12 times.

At Sunday services at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, legendary founder Cecil Williams, who marched in 1965 with King in Selma, Ala., told the congregation he was among hundreds arrested that day. “The police, they had their guns and billy clubs,” Williams said. “They had the force, and, in America, that counts. Traditionally, the train carries King marchers to the Caltrain station at Fourth and King streets, the start of the 11 a.m. march to Yerba Buena Center for the 1 p.m. The train is operating this year only because police unions in the South Bay kicked in. “People don’t care,” Flynn said. “They don’t know who King is.

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