Dream dashed for Florida Dream Defenders' March on Washington speech

3:55 PM, Aug 29, 2013   |    comments
Dream Defenders Executive Director Phillip Agnew's speech was cut at the last second from the March on Washington commemoration.
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Members of the Dream Defenders who recently staged a 31-day sit-in at the state Capitol experienced a very disappointing moment at Wednesday's commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington.

Their executive director, Phillip Agnew, was scheduled to speak for two minutes during the ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial.

But as he prepared to walk on stage as the next speaker, Agnew was tapped on the shoulder and told his speech was cut from the program. He would not get the chance to speak to the nation.

So he recorded his speech, posted it on YouTube, and vowed that a movement of young people will not be silenced on such issues as gun violence, school and immigration policies, sex trafficking and equality for all.

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"For those that doubt our energy and our resolve and our discipline, we're ready. For those that believe that future fingers may fail the torch, fear not. We're ready. For all those that believe in the power of nonviolence and love as unconquerable, we are ready."

Agnew said he and one other speaker, Sofia Campos of United We Dream, were cut from the program because it was running long. His speech as written repeats the phrase, "We're ready" and recalls the dream articulated by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963.

"Fifty years ago, a man told us of a promised land. And for 50 years we've wandered and wondered where are the youth, the constant whisper in our ears? And so we have come asking neither permission nor questions but to answer one and say that we are here."

Agnew is urging others to record their own two-minute video to describe their dream for America's future and post it to Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #OurMarch.

Dave Heller

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