imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

San Diego Hosts Alternative King Day Event

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008 at 10:47 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P.O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Though only 30 people attended San Diego's alternative Martin Luther King, Jr. commemorative cvelebration January 21, it represented an important challenge to the way King's "official" celebrations have been co-opted by his enemies: the police, the military and the poltiical establishment.

San Diego Hosts Alte...
morones.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x846

King’s Words Highlight of Alternative Holiday Celebration

Answer to Military, Law Enforcement Presence at Official Parade

by MARK GABRISH CONLAN

Copyright © 2008 by Mark Gabrish Conlan for Zenger’s Newsmagazine • All rights reserved

While the official parade and “all-people’s breakfast” commemorating the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday January 21 featured politicians, the military, immigration agents and other arms of U.S. law enforcement, the San Diego branch of the International Action Center (IAC) sponsored a small but lively alternative celebration of King’s legacy in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park on Skyline Drive that featured King himself as its most powerful and significant speaker. King’s words, from a recording of the “Beyond Viet Nam” talk he gave at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 — one year to the day before he was killed — seemed eerily prescient as he warned of what the enormous waste of lives and resources in a pointless war was doing to the prospects for freedom and equality here in the U.S.

“No one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war,” King said in 1967. “If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Viet Nam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. … We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.”

In the same speech, King noted that he had traveled to African-American communities in America’s inner cities and tried to talk younger Blacks out of rioting and using violence to pursue racial equality, but that the war had got in the way of that task. “As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems,” he said. “I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked — and rightly so — what about Viet Nam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.”

The event, which drew about 30 people, also heard from another recorded speaker: Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981 in what the IAC and other advocates consider a politically motivated frame-up. A journalist before his incarceration, Abu-Jamal has written a book called Live from Death Row and continues to write, record and release political commentaries. The one played at the January 21 event was taped 10 days earlier. Called “America’s Martin and Martin’s America,” it made the point that the “official” commemorations of King’s legacy had turned him into a harmless African-American icon and ignored the radical implications of King’s actual words and ideas.

“What distinguishes the life and work of King towards his latter days, was his dedication to Black poor folks, a group that seems to be all but forgotten in the years since his passing,” Abu-Jamal said. “While today’s America seems to be on the brink of electing a Black person [as President] (or at least possibly nominating one), the plight of the Black poor could hardly be more perilous. … For them is reserved: the worst of public education the worst housing; brutal treatment by cops; ignored by political leaders (at least until election time rolls around), highest rates of joblessness; the highest incarceration rates — we know this list can go on and on. King Day may be remembered, but the man behind the name is fast disappearing.”

The speakers who appeared “live” at the event expressed similar sentiments. IAC activist Gloria Verdieu said that her group had helped organize a “Martin Luther King/Cesar Chavez Coalition for Justice and Unity” two years earlier “when we documented the militarization of the King and Chavez Day parades.” Calling for a united front of African-American, Latino, Asian-American and indigenous people, Verdieu said, “There’s a time for celebration and festivities, but this Martin Luther King Day is a time for resistance … to unite against racism and imperialism, and for immigrants.”

Verdieu then introduced Border Angels founder Enrique Morones, who opened with a line he’s used in many of his speeches — “We’re all the same race: the human race” — and then talked about his ongoing campaign for immigrants’ rights. “We all need to treat our neighbors as brothers and sisters,” he said. “There’s persecution every day, and we need to stand up for the people who cannot stand up for themselves. Between 4,500 and 10,000 people have died attempting to cross the border since ‘Operation Gatekeeper’ started in 1994. There are 260 million people worldwide without documents. The United States has only 12 million of them.”

Morones said that “Operation Gatekeeper,” the border fence and all the other anti-immigrant measures being put into effect to prevent immigration from Mexico to the U.S. are violations of U.S. treaty obligations. He claimed that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, under which Mexico gave up almost half of its territory to the U.S. (including what is now California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico), guaranteed people on both sides of the border a permanent right “to go back and forth” between the two countries. He announced that on February 2, the anniversary of the signing of this treaty, he is launching his third annual “March for Migrants,” a caravan of cars from San Ysidro to Brownsville, Texas. “To me, Martin Luther King was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things,” Morones said. “All of us can do extraordinary things.”

“We all have dreams,” said Ray Burrell of the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU), riffing off the title of King’s most famous speech. “It doesn’t matter what color you are. People come here to seek the things they didn’t have back home.” Burrell called upon the people at the event to “participate with local community leaders and activists, register new voters, make sure they know the differences between Democrats and Republicans, independents, Peace and Freedom Party members and whatever, and we must educate.”

A young man named Carlos identified himself as part of a San Diego organization affiliated with the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, Mexico. “I’m just here in solidarity,” he said. “We’re organizing with the people in Mexico. We hope to be part of the coalition.”

The first speaker after King’s recording was played was a young man named Jefferson, who introduced himself as a Los Angeles representative of two organizations with ties to the IAC, the Workers’ World Party and the Troops Out Now Coalition. “King knew he would be murdered,” Jefferson said, “and what turned the system against him was his opposition to the war in Viet Nam and his own government. It’s the same today.” He called the IAC’s event “the real Martin Luther King celebration,” as opposed to the “official” one that included representatives from the FBI and ROTC.

“There are many ways to oppress people, not just bombs and bullets,” Jefferson said. “One day before King was killed, he talked about the way slaveowners pitted slaves against one another. That’s still happening. The biggest threat working people can pose to the system is to united. We have to unite. That’s why King was killed. He knew he couldn’t stop the bombing or the aggressions. We have to speak out against the oppression of Palestine and the exploitation of Africa.”

Alan Woodson, an organizer with a prisoners’ rights organization called All of Us or None, said that when they were first brought to the U.S. as slaves, “Black people were told they couldn’t speak their language or practice their culture. We were given the worst of the meat and learned to like it.” After talking about diabetes and other health hazards that disproportionately affect African-Americans, and mentioning that 60 percent of U.S. food is now bioengineered, he said that there were still 300 African-American political prisoners in the U.S. from the Black liberation struggles of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

Linking America’s imperialist policies to its status as the nation with a greater percentage of its people in prison than any other in the world, Woodson said that the reason for all the “tough on crime” legislation putting people in prison for decades for relatively minor offenses is to get around the 13th Amendment and re-enslave African-Americans. “In prisons they are making high-tech and military equipment for 12 to 30 cents a day,” he said. “We’re only 17 percent of the population in this country, but we’re the majority of its prisoners.” (Actually more white people are held in U.S. jails and prisons than any other race, but African-Americans have a higher percentage of their population in prison than any other American racial or ethnic group.)

Tammy Harris and a man identified only as “Brother Kweiku” spoke on behalf of an African nationalist organization called the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (“Uhuru” means “freedom” in Swahili). Ironically, they showed up at the King Day commemoration and displayed their literature even though a book by their group’s founder, Omali Yeshitela, made clear that he disagreed strongly with King’s attempts in the 1960’s to discourage young African-Americans from staging race riots and preparing for violent resistance to racism.

“The only way we can change is if we get involved,” said Harris. “Everyone here today is here because they want to make a change. If we continue to allow the system to control what we do, we won’t get anywhere. Being part of the world and making a change means being bigger than yourself. We are a grass-roots organization led by the working-class African community. We unite with any organization that understands that self-determination is the highest experience of democracy. If you believe you have the ability to improve your situation, we unite with you. We’ve got to stop what’s happening in our communities.”

Amad Shauf, identified as a minister with the Nation of Islam, also said that “unity, regardless of where we come from,” was one of the two most important qualifications for bringing about social change. “The other important thing is to have your own self-identity. That’s equality. We should have discipline and have the freedom to represent ourselves. Equality is being able to be free to be you, and being able to respect your brither and sister is important. All the things I just talked about are within you.”

Verdieu ended the event with a call for people to join in an effort to build a larger King Day counter-event in 2009, including a march through San Diego’s historic communities of color. To help, please call her at (619) 255-4585.

To read the complete "Beyond Viet Nam" speech by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered at Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, go to the Black Radical Congress at http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/058.html

Report this post as:

Gloria Verdieu, Jonathan and Sylvia Talafaro (Top: Enrique Morones_

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008 at 10:47 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P.O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Gloria Verdieu, Jona...
jonathan___gloria.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x774

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy