Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrated in Fresno

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The Martin Luther King Day event started at Fresno City Hall, with UFW co-Founder Dolores Huerta leading the call for social justice. (KFSN)

The Martin Luther King Day event started at Fresno City Hall, with UFW co-Founder Dolores Huerta leading the call for social justice.

From City Hall the crowd marched to Memorial Auditorium, singing. "Oh deep in my heart... I do believe... we shall overcome someday."

A rousing version of the civil rights anthem was delivered inside by the Component Choir. The performance was part of the ceremony commemorating King's life. Huerta's address was designed to motivate the crowd to keep working for justice. With chants of Si se puede, and People Power, Huerta told the crowd it was time to continue Dr. King's fight and urged action, by voting for candidates who want to deal with the issues.

Huerta said, "The real issues are income inequality the issues that we may not have a planet anymore if we don't stop this global warming."

Martin Luther King Day has been an official city celebration for decades, thanks in large part to former City Council Member Les Kimber, who passed away last week. His son Mark said it's a healthy show of unity.

Mark said, "We haven't run into the Ferguson situation here, these type of events are why."

But concern about police shootings in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere were aired by a group of protestors, who called for action against police violence in Fresno.

Dylan Donnelly lead a drumbeat chant of "fire Dwyer." Referring to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer. Donnelly noted that unlike Ferguson, Missouri, police shootings in Fresno usually go unnoticed.

Donnelly said, "The people of Fresno are complacent, and we are trying to change that wake them."

But Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer was warmly received by most of the crowd. He told Action News, "We really do have a united community here in Fresno and you can see and you can feel the love here."



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