Local News

Ceremonies, Parades In Triangle Honor MLK's Life, Legacy

Posted January 17, 2005 3:51 a.m. EST

— Rallies, parades and ceremonies took place across the state Monday, marking the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Hundreds of marchers walked the streets of downtown Raleigh to remember the past and make sure King's message is passed on to future generations.

"All people, no matter of race, culture, color or gender, should be treated equally and given equal rights," said marcher Christy Flint.

For the 12th year in a row, Fayetteville residents came together for the annual Prayer Breakfast remembering the slain civil rights leader.

More than 1,000 people filled the Crown Coliseum to honor the civil rights leader, including Mayor Marshall Pitts Jr. Fayetteville State University Chancellor T.J. Bryan gave the keynote speech, urging people to reach across racial lines.

Hundreds gathered in Research Triangle Park for the 24th annual MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, held at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel. The Rev. Michael B. Curry, bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, was the keynote speaker.

Monday was also a day of protest as dozens of people stood in the cold to protest the death penalty outside Central Prison. The group picked MLK Day because of King's stance against violence.

For an hour, the group held signs on Western Boulevard and then ended their picketing with prayer. A spokesman for the group said the death penalty is racist because 60 percent of the inmates on death row are minorities. King was an outspoken critic of capital punishment.

"He said, 'I do not believe the death penalty is appropriate for any crime, rape and murder included,'" protester Scott Langley said. "Violence begets violence. You cannot overcome hate with hate. [You] can't overcome violence with violence. That was the message Dr. King brought and that's the message we're here to proclaim today."

The protesters came from Amnesty International and various Triangle churches.

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