The 10 demands of the 1963 March on Washington (and how congress was invited)

A great online find: an organizing manual for the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The organizing committee was based on 130th Street in Harlem, New York City, and the committee had very specific instructions for marchers, including advice that they pack two box lunches, with a suggestion of PB&J sandwiches. Below is a page containing an explanation of why the march was taking place. And after the jump: the March’s 10 demands (still relevant today), and a page that should be of interest to Tim Scott…


Here’s page 4…

March on Washington Organizaing Manual

And here’s a page especially for Tim Scott … and Bill O’Reily …

March on Washington Organizaing Manual

Note that then, as now, every member of Congress was invited to the March — not to speak, or stand in the spotlight, but to listen. And on Friday, Senator Scott was invited too — along with every member of Congress. But his office declined, saying he would be busy in South Carolina.

The invitation, sent Aug. 8 from the Coalition for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, appears to have been a form letter to all members of Congress, with invitees listed as “Representative” rather than by name.

Within a day, Rachel Shelbourne, a staff assistant to Scott, had replied to the email with the following message:

“Thank you for extending to Senator Tim Scott the invitation to the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington on August 28th. Unfortunately, the Senator will be in South Carolina during this time, so he will be unable to attend the event. Please do, however, keep him in mind for future events you may be hosting.”

There were no Republicans on hand to speak at the event, which took place Wednesday at the Lincoln Memorial and featured a roster of high-profile Democrats that included President Barack Obama. Scott’s colleague, Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, also delivered remarks.

The GOP’s absence was lambasted in an MSNBC interview by the prominent civil rights activist Julian Bond, who said that organizers “asked a long list of Republicans to come, and to a man and woman they said ‘no.’

“That they would turn their backs on this event was telling of them, and the fact that they seem to want to get black votes, they’re not gonna get ‘em this way,” Bond continued.

Those who turned down speaking invitations included the House’s two top Republicans, Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.

(At least he wasn’t chilling with oil industry executives, like Eric Cantor.)

I’m thinking Senator Scott might want to start telling the truth about his non-attendance at the March, and stop letting your right wing blog and media friends make up stories with his name in them. He probably won’t, because he’s too busy participating. The lie about Republicans not being invited is now off and running, with a life of its own.

And the new meme? Scott should have received a super special invitation…. Mkay.

For a more uplifting experience, read the whole, remarkable March on Washington organizing document here.


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