Moment of Silence

Remembering Echol Cole and Robert Walker

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On February 1, 2018, workers across the country participated in a national Moment of Silence to remember Memphis sanitation workers Echol Cole and Robert Walker. Thousands joined together in an act of solidarity and remembrance that highlights the renewed fight for worker justice and racial equality.

A man stands for the Moment of Silence holding the rallying cry from the 1968 protest, “I AM A MAN.”

Here is their story.

On February 1, 1968, Memphis sanitation workers Echol Cole and Robert Walker huddled in the back of their truck to seek shelter from a storm. Suddenly, the truck’s compactor malfunctioned, trapping Cole and Walker and crushing them to death.

The tragedy triggered the strike of the city’s 1,300 sanitation workers. They had warned the city about dangerous equipment but were ignored. They were fed up with poverty wages and racial discrimination. They walked off the job and marched under the banner: I AM A MAN. On February 1, 2018, the 50th anniversary of the accident that killed Cole and Walker, we will observe a moment of silence to honor their memory and sacrifice, as we pick up the mantle from the 1968 strikers in the ongoing fight for racial and economic justice.

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  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image
  • Moment of Silence slideshow image