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Booker denounces freeways: 1968 | by Washington Area Spark
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Booker denounces freeways: 1968

Reginald Booker, chair of the Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis (ECTC) speaks at a public hearing at Eastern High School April 14, 1968 against new freeway construction.

 

Booker was a lifelong rights activist and leader who led the fight against new freeways in D.C., against bus fare increases, for public takeover of the private transit system and for building the Metrorail system.

 

As an active duty serviceman, he refused orders to Vietnam and later was a prominent D.C. antiwar activist.

 

He marched in civil rights demonstrations as early as 1954 and marched in the early 1960s to desegregate D.C. department stores and hospitals. He was an organizer of a D.C. public school boycott in 1968 in an attempt to end the “track system” that was later voided by the courts.

 

He was a founding member of the D.C. Black United Front and a long-time member of its steering committee.

 

He fought to increase the number of black workers in the building trades and to upgrade and promote black workers in the federal and District governments.

 

He led fights against police brutality, Pepco rate increases, cutting off of welfare and a host of other rights issues.

 

He was the target of CIA, FBI and District of Columbia police spying and disruption campaigns.

 

He died in obscurity in 2015.

 

For a detailed account of Booker’s activism, victories and defeats, see washingtonareaspark.com/2020/01/28/the-d-c-black-liberati...

 

For more information and related images, see www.flickr.com/gp/washington_area_spark/A8b705

 

Photo by Rosemary Martufi. The image is courtesy of the D.C. Public Library Washington Star Collection © Washington Post.

 

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Taken on April 14, 1968