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New park named after civil rights activist Jesse Jackson

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New park named after civil rights activist Jesse Jackson

Post  malena stool on Thu 5 Dec - 22:03

New park named after civil rights activist Jesse Jackson
By Leicester Mercury  |  Posted: December 05, 2013


Leicester has honoured the Reverend Jesse Jackson by opening a park named in tribute to the famous civil rights activist and friend of the city.

The great man was on hand to launch Jesse Jackson Park earlier this afternoon, during a visit to the city marking the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King’s march on Washington and famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.

He was joined by city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby and Leicester East MP Keith Vaz, who organised the visit, to plant the first trees on the revamped open space off Troon Way, Rushey Mead.

It is in honour of the 72-year-old Baptist minister and former US presidential candidate’s tireless campaigning for race equality and civil rights.

“I am pleased to be in a city as diverse as Leicester again.”

He added: “You are a fine example of people from different communities coming together and living in harmony. You are a beacon for the rest of the world.”

Mr Vaz, who invited Rev Jackson to visit Leicester as his guest, said: “I am delighted and honoured that the Reverend Jesse Jackson is visiting Leicester on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington.

“This is truly a historic day for our city.

“Rev Jackson is a global icon who has spent his whole life fighting against injustice and for equality, values that we in this city share.”

He added: “I want to thank Mayor Soulsby and Leicester City Council for agreeing to name the park in his honour.

“This is characteristic of the mayor who is so committed to equality.”

The park will include a walking trail featuring exerts from Martin Luther King’s iconic speech.

Councillor Piara Singh Clair, Leicester assistant city mayor for heritage, leisure and sport, said: “I am delighted to be able to welcome Rev Jesse Jackson to the area and be a part of this tribute to two men who have had such influence on the American civil rights movement.

“This is a lovely park but the addition of a new walking trail, benches, trees and planting have made it outstanding.

“I hope the trail proves to be a popular new attraction and I would encourage people to pay a visit and see what a wonderful park it is.”

Children from Rushey Mead Secondary School, Soar Valley College and Sandfield Close Primary joined Rev Jackson and dignitaries for the park’s opening ceremony.

Live music was performed for their esteemed guest by school choirs to mark the occasion.

Jesse Jackson Park joins Nelson Mandela Park, on Welford Road, and the Mahatma Gandhi statue, on Belgrave Road, in commemorating the lives and works of some of the key figures in the civil rights movement.

Reverend Jesse Jackson, who worked with Martin Luther King early on in his career, has a close relationship with Leicester, receiving an honorary degree from De Montfort University in 2011.

In the 1960s, he worked with the late Martin Luther King as the national director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He served as a shadow US Senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997.

On August 9, 2000, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Read more: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/New-park-named-civil-rights-activist-Jesse/story-20266324-detail/story.html#ixzz2mdd86cC1

Well done Peter Soulsby and Keith Vaz.

This pair, one a New Labour politician, the other the Mayor of one of the oldest municipalities in the country, neither of them with any historical ties with Leicester or the county have deemed themselves fit and suitable persons to present Leicester with a Public Park named after yet another foreigner. What is wrong with honouring one of the hundreds of Leicester folk who have offered and given far more to this city than the Rev Jackson who, despite his much to be applauded civil rights work, ever will.

David Attenborough.
Thomas Cook.
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester and founder of the English Parliament.
Engelbert Humperdinck.
Joe Orton.
C. P. Snow.
Sue Townsend.
Thomas Fielding Johnson.
Nathaniel Corah.

To name but a few.
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