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Honoring Cole, Walker and the Sanitation Workers’ Strike

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Across the country, working people honored two Memphis, Tennessee, sanitation workers whose deaths triggered the historic 1968 sanitation workers’ strike. Echol Cole and Robert Walker were crushed to death in the compactor of a malfunctioning garbage truck – after their warnings about equipment safety went unheeded. Today, at the start of Black History Month, Americans paused in silence to honor the two men. The strike that ensued was characterized by the powerful signs the sanitation workers carried, “I AM A MAN.” Today’s Moment of Silence is part of a greater commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Memphis strike called I AM 2018.