The killing of Valentina Orellana-Peralta, a 14-yr-old struck down by a stray bullet from an LAPD assault rifle, has further steeled the determination of a coalition of community and grassroots organizations to ensure that Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy is not tarnished by the inclusion of police, ICE or military contingents in their Monday, Jan. 17 commemoration.

“That LAPD bullet that murdered Valentina is a bitter reminder of what the LAPD represents and the daily fear and terror they create in Black and Brown communities,” said 23-year-old Sekou Parker, a member of the Harvard Boulevard Block Club, one of the 13 organizations making up the ad hoc coalition sponsoring Monday’s MLK March for Social Justice.

The Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice, another organization in the coalition, was the first to file for the permit application for the upcoming holiday last July and their march will be the first time in years that the LAPD is not invited to the commemoration day. The regular Kingdom Day parade, sponsored by CORE-CA has been canceled for a second year, due to the COVID-19 surge.

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