Rev. Jackson leads rally at Capitol - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Rev. Jackson leads rally at Capitol

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Reverend Jesse Jackson was back in Madison on Monday, heading up a rally at the Capitol to support workers' rights and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the anniversary of his death.     

"From Memphis to Madison"—that was the theme of the rally.

Reverend Jackson tied Wisconsin union workers' fight for collective bargaining today to a similar struggle in Memphis more than 40 years ago.

Marching, singing and a moment of silence--thousands crowded the Capitol steps.

Reverend Jackson honored Dr. King on the anniversary of his 1968 assassination.

"Today, we commemorate the life and crucifixion. Tomorrow, we vote and realize the resurrection," Jackson said.

Jackson brought two sanitation workers from Memphis on stage with him, alluding to Dr. King's fight alongside sanitation workers for union recognition.

"Here we are 43 years later from the death of Martin Luther King having the same kind of thing the workers in Memphis went through put upon us by this Governor who is trying to take away the collective bargaining rights of public sector workers," said John Matthews, Executive Director of Madison Teachers Inc.

With the collective bargaining bill all but law, union workers are turning their focus to the election.

Instead of signs against Governor Scott Walker, most showed support for a candidate.

"Vote for JoAnne Kloppenburg for Supreme Court to return the court back to the people," Matthews said.

"We're just trying to continue the movement so people understand this thing hasn't been published yet and not to give up hope and we're going to fight this thing all the way to the end," said Tim Healy on the Retired Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin Executive Board.

This was just one of many events today.

Rallies were also scheduled in Green Bay, Janesville and Milwaukee.

People at the rally said they're fighting for the same rights Dr. King died for.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Today marks a very important day in our history, albeit a tragic one. On this day, April 4, back in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Thousands of people throughout the country will be holding various vigils and remembrances of Dr. King today, as is the case in Madison.

Today, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and two of the sanitation workers from Memphis will join together in Madison to rally and show solidarity for workers rights. 

On April 4, 2011, people across the United States will stand in solidarity together to defend workers rights. Following the 5:00 p.m. AFL-CIO rally at the State Capitol in Madison, the Autonomous Solidarity Organization is holding a candlelight vigil with the Reverend Jesse Jackson and two of the sanitation workers who went on strike in Memphis. At the conclusion of the AFL-CIO rally, they will march together around the Capitol square to the King Street exit for the vigil. 

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