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I want you to think back to April of 1968.  Many of America's cities burned, because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis.

Perhaps you even remember why Dr. King was in Memphis - to help African-American sanitation workers who were on strike after two of their brethren, who had sought shelter during a rain storm in a compactor, were crushed to death.

The words titling this post were those on the signs of the 1,300 sanitation workers.

The man who led them, and to whose assistance Dr. King had come, was Taylor Rodgers.

He passed away on November 12.  He spent many years after the strike in Memphis as an organizer for AFSCME -  the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.  

AFSCME has put up this blog post, titled simply "Remembering Taylor Rogers."  

Let me offer only two paragraphs:

During the 64-day struggle, Rogers and his fellow workers were beaten, gassed and jailed – along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was killed in Memphis while supporting the strike. But the workers persisted and prevailed. They won collective bargaining rights and recognition of their union, inspiring thousands of other workers across the nation to demand collective bargaining.

That struggle ignited a movement that uniquely merged the labor, civil rights and religious communities, and its legacy is seen today in a Main Street movement of workers across the country joining together to fight for workers’ rights.

Read the blog post to which I point you.  Share it with others.  Remember the difference made by people willing to stand up.

Remember that simple assertion -  "I am a Man."

Remembering Taylor Rogers.   That should be incumbent upon all of us, don't you think?

Originally posted to teacherken on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 04:14 PM PST.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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