Central Coast residents march on 50th anniversary of MLK assassination

SEASIDE, Calif. - Central Coast residents marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a march in Seaside.

The event kicked off at a church Dr. King himself visited several times.

The March drew people from all parts of the Central Coast.

The local NAACP says the "Poor People's campaign," inspired by Dr. King, is one they hope will shine a light on local poverty.

The march started at Friendship Baptist Church in Seaside.

"The reason this spot is significant is because Dr. King came to this spot on several occasions when he would come through town," said Regina Mason, branch president of the Monterey County NAACP.

"I remember when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, I thought that was one of the saddest days of my life and the life of the United States at that time," said Carmel resident Jeanne Gavrin, who came to the march. 

King's spirit was still alive in Seaside as people of all colors, nationalities and religions marched to remember him and his message.

"We are launching something called the Poor People's Campaign for Economic Justice and Reciprocity," Mason said.

"Maybe among our young folks, they can see that we're trying to do something, maybe we can keep hope alive," Salinas resident Greg Daniels said.

It's a message they say has no religious boundaries.

"Until all people can live comfortably or at least in a way that they aren't suffering that there can't be peace or rest in the world and we have to work together to create this justice," said Rabbi Bruce Greenbaum of the Congregation Beth Israel.

Though organizers of the march say there's still work to be done, they hope coming together and marching is a good start.

"The power is in the hands of the people," said Mason.

Whites for Racial Equity and League of United Latin American Citizens also spoke at the march.

State NAACP representatives were also there saying they're keeping a close eye on Seaside and the issues being faced there.

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