Hundreds March With Section 14 Survivors In Solidarity On MLK Day

Carmela Karcher

Just like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the survivors and descendants of Section 14 also have a dream: reparations from the city of Palm Springs. 

Monday, they made their voices heard as locals and visitors alike marched with them in solidarity.

This was the only tribute of its kind within the city on MLK Day.

“An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere,” Survivors and Descendants of Section 14 Lead Civil Rights Attorney Areva Martin said. “People in this community want justice, but this isn’t a fight of just the section 14 survivors and descendants. This is a fight of the people of Palm Springs.”

Over a hundred people began their morning at Frances Stevens Park in downtown Palm Spring and marched a mile to United Methodist Church for an interfaith service, all while joining together as a community.

“It’s really about getting behind the survivors,” Former United States Senator for California Barbara Boxer shared. “I hope more people learn about this and demand that there be justice because we shouldn’t have to go to Sacramento and try to get laws passed. We’re hoping the council  can come to a very targeted, tailored agreement and to make these people whole for what they went through.”

It’s been 60 years since Dr. King gave his famous speech and 60 years of Section 14 survivors fighting for justice.

“My father and his parents lived on the reservation of Section 14, so they were a part of that group that were removed,” Section 14 Descendant Shamoya Holland shared. “I never heard that tragic story. A lot of times people kind of normalize tragedy, to the point where they don’t even talk about it…I’m hoping that this is appropriately addressed.”

“I just hear the heartbeat of my mom and my father, who were here in this land, who lived here, who worked here, and who tried to have a voice, but it fell on deaf ears,” Palm Springs Section 14 Survivors President Pearl Devers said. “It means that now we’re being heard. It means that now we can do better and we hope that the outcome will be better.”

They’re encouraging the community to continue to sign their petition on their website. 

You can find that link here.

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