Rev. Al Sharpton hosts rally at Md. church ahead of pre-inauguration march in DC
TEMPLE HILLS, Md. - Thousands of people are expected to pour into Washington D.C. next month for the "We Shall Not Be Moved" march commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The march is scheduled to take place on Jan. 14, six days before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.
On Monday night, civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton came to Southern Friendship Baptist Church in Temple Hills, Maryland to galvanize the faith-based community ahead of the march.
Sharpton said his goal is to ensure civil rights and liberties are at the top of Trump's agenda. He told FOX 5 that "voter rights, economic disparity and criminal justice reform, including police reform" as the top items he would like addressed under Trump's administration.
Politics filled the pulpit Monday night and the sermon was not only aimed at the president-elect.
"Particularly the Democrats, they must stand up and they must fight back during the confirmation hearings and during all the proceedings," said Sharpton.
He said Trump called him last week.
"He called me last Thursday and he and I have debated, argued," the reverend said. "I have marched on for 30 years and we know that will continue. But again, this is not about convincing him. His selections of [Sen. Jeff] Sessions and others show what direction he is going. It is about telling Democrats it's time to stand up."
Even though the two spoken to each other, Sharpton said there is no need to meet with Trump in person.
"We are not looking for photo op meetings, we are looking for real change," Sharpton said. "Like I've said, I've talked to him. Talking to him is one thing. I'm not lonely. I'm not looking for somebody to talk to. I'm looking for us to continue to enforce what President [Barack] Obama has started in the tradition of Dr. King."
Many of the people said they took away a positive message from this kickoff event for the march and it was very informative on how any could be proactive - by pushing, pressuring and contacting their respective lawmakers.
An organizer here said a Trump staffer attended Monday night's event.