California Newsreel, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and Campaign for America’s Future today announced that the legendary documentary “At the River I Stand,” which chronicles the 1968 AFSCME sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will be available for free, online streaming during the coming week. Schools, unions, religious organizations and community groups are encouraged to stream the video for We Are One events during the week of April 4. More than 900 events are now scheduled in all 50 states and several foreign countries.
“At the River I Stand” traces the tumultuous events that unfolded over two fateful months in 1968. It began as a local strike by AFSCME sanitation workers for human dignity and a living wage. The strike eventually captured national attention and drew Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis, along with the assassin who would kill him. It was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement and the national struggle for racial and economic justice.
The film was awarded the 1994 Erik Barnouw Award for Best Documentary by the Organization of American Historians. It was produced by David Appleby, Allison Graham and Steven Ross. California Newsreel has been a leading producer and distributor of social issue films since the 1960s.
“The struggle and triumph of dignity over injustice is the luminous tapestry of all great social movements,” said AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee. “‘At the River I Stand’ is an inspiring visual testament and a call to witness to every viewer.”
This 58-minute documentary brings into sharp relief issues that are urgent today as politicians across the country seek to eliminate the right of collective bargaining for public employees. “At the River I Stand” examines the connection between economic and civil rights, debates over strategies for change and the fight for dignity for public employees and all working people.