45th Annual Mississippi Civil Rights Martyrs Memorial Service and Conference and March for Justice

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All people of goodwill are invited to attend the 45th Annual Mississippi Civil Rights Martyrs Memorial Service and Conference and March for Justice. We will remember and honor slain civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and all other Mississippi civil rights martyrs. Over fifty victims have been identified thus far.

The weekend’s events begin on Saturday, June 20, with a March for Justice commemorating the march that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led in Philadelphia, Mississippi on the second anniversary of the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. The 2009 March for Justice will follow the route taken by Dr. King and the marchers for justice in 1966. The 2009 March for Justice will include a rally at the Neshoba County courthouse as it did in 1966 where, as Dr. King spoke, some of those involved in the murders stood behind him and harassed him.

Assembling for the March for Justice will begin at 9:15 a.m. at Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church, 257 Carver Avenue, Philadelphia, MS. After welcoming ceremonies and orientation, the march will commence at 10 a.m. and we will march the approximately one mile to the Neshoba County courthouse. At the courthouse, a rally calling for a full measure of justice in all Mississippi civil rights murder cases will be held. Civil rights movement veterans and pioneers and martyrs' family members will speak at the rally.

Following the rally for justice at the courthouse, the marchers and others will travel to the Longdale Community Center site for the remaining memorial service and conference activities, beginning with dinner on the grounds. The activities on Saturday will conclude at approximately 6 pm.

On Sunday, June 21, there will be a number of activities available. More details on those will be provided in the near future.

The memorial service weekend will be for remembering and honoring those whose lives were taken in the struggle, calling on officials to vigorously prosecute all known perpetrators who murdered or conspired to murder civil rights workers and others in an efforts to suppress and deny civil rights for all. It will also be a time for exchanging thoughts and ideas, strategizing, and developing plans to continue the struggle against racial, economic, legal, and social oppression in Mississippi and other states.

The memorial service and conference, including the March for Justice, is open to all people who share our values and concerns.

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