Rep. Pressley at March on Washington commemoration: 'We will meet the movement'

Rep. Pressley at March on Washington commemoration: 'We will meet the movement'
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Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyHolding back on defensive systems for Israel could have dangerous consequences Warren, Bush offer bill to give HHS power to impose eviction moratorium Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE (D-Mass.) touted achievements of Black Americans during a speech at Friday’s civil rights event on the National Mall, commemorating the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in the initial March on Washington.

Pressley, a member of the group of first-term progressive lawmakers in the House known as the "squad," used her brief remarks to evoke the memory of those who fought for equality during the civil rights movement.

"The truth of the matter is, we are, because of them," Pressley said. "We are Black with a capital 'B.' We are the manifestation of the movement. We are a symbol of social, political and cultural progress."

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"We are in unprecedented, uncertain times. We are challenged by the state of the nation and the crisis we face, but the state of our movement, it is strong," she continued. "It is possible to write budgets that actually value Black lives. If it feels unfamiliar it is because ... it has never been done in America."

Pressley was the first congressional lawmaker to make an appearance at the event, which was announced by the Rev. Al Sharpton in the wake of George Floyd, a Black man, being killed by Minneapolis police at the end of May.

Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to turn out for the event, formally titled “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks.” Sharpton is expected to speak at the event, as are members of Floyd’s family and King’s son, Martin Luther King III.