By Cherri Gregg

by Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Reverend Al Sharpton met with more than two dozen labor, church, and African-American community leaders on Thursday in an effort to mobilize Philadelphia for a pre-Trump Inauguration March on Washington.

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On January 14th, Reverend Al Sharpton and the National Action Network are hoping to convene thousands outside the King Memorial in Washington D.C.

“We want to set the tone going in– we want the Democrats to have some backbone,” says Sharpton, “we are marching to say there are four areas that cannot be compromised.”

The areas are voting rights, healthcare, criminal justice reform, and economic fairness.

Sharpton says they are borrowing from the Tea Party playbook so their message isn’t to President-elect Donald Trump, instead it’s to federal lawmakers.

“We will put people out that do not maintain a strong civil rights agenda,” he says.

“We will not go backward,” says Pennsylvania Senator Vincent Hughes, said at a press conference following the private meeting between Sharpton and community leaders.

Senator Vincent Hughes speaks. (credit: Cherri Gregg)

Senator Vincent Hughes speaks.
(credit: Cherri Gregg)

He organized the gathering, which including the heads of organizations like the Philadelphia NAACP, Pennsylvania’s National Action Network, union leaders, church pastors, and many other grassroots groups.

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Hughes handed out information on recent Trump administration appointments, saying the Black community can not longer stay silent.

“It is important that we stake our claim,” he says.

“The entire labor movement is under attack,” says Henry Nicholas, leader of the 1199C healthcare workers labor union.

Born in Mississippi, the 80-year-old activist says he was subject to poll taxes, fought with Dr. King, and has remained on the front lines of the civil rights movement from the beginning.

“We cannot go back,” he says, we must keep marching forward.”

Nicholas says working people remained silent on Election Day, but no more.

“It’s not too late,” he says, “it is too late if we do not heed the call of today.”

Buses reserved by the Pennsylvania National Action Network are planning to leave Philadelphia’s Progress Plaza at Broad and Jefferson on January 14, 2017 at 6:30. Round trip tickets are $40. For more, call 215-765-6181.

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Other marches and rallies in advance of the Inauguration of Donald Trump include a nationwide day of demonstration set for January 15th, a Philadelphia March For Justice in the plan for January 16th (MLK Day), and a Woman’s March on Washington set for January 21, 2016.