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(8.8.4/8.7.3) with ESMTP id MAA08664 for <a-infos@tao.ca>; Thu, 23 Jan 1997 12:22:04 GMT Received: from Pewald.ctaz.com (ppp101-lhc.ctaz.com [206.85.162.134]) by ctaz.com (8.7.5/8.7.5) with SMTP id FAA15483 for <a-infos@tao.ca>; Thu, 23 Jan 1997 05:22:53 -0700 (MST) Message-Id: <1.5.4.32.19970123122256.00697b7c@ctaz.com> X-Sender: ewald@ctaz.com X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Light Version 1.5.4 (32) Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 05:22:56 -0700 To: a-infos@tao.ca From: Ewald <ewald@ctaz.com> Subject: Celebration of Martin Luther King's Birth Sender: a-infos-request@tao.ca Precedence: bulk Reply-To: a-infos-d@tao.ca

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Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 21:52:13 -0800 (PST) From: rosetree@popmail.mcs.net (Lew Rosenbaum) Subject: Celebration of Martin Luther King's Birth

That the actual celebration takes place on a presidential innauguration day this year, rather than his actual date of birth, January 15, shouldn't dampen our commemorating the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. The following article, reprinted from the on-line edition of the _People's Tribune_, raises some very important issues to understand the importance and the context of this year's celebration. (The _People's Tribune_ can be visited at http://www.mcs.com/~jdav/league.html). ___________________________________________________________________________ Let's honor Martin Luther King by carrying on the fight for political independence ___________________________________________________________________________ 'Let us march on poverty ... until no starved man walks the streets of our cities and towns in search of jobs that do not exist.'

-- Martin Luther King, in front of the Alabama state Capitol, Montgomery, Alabama, March 25, 1965 ________________________________________________________________________

January 15, 1997 marks 68 years since the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This year, the national holiday to honor Dr. King will be observed on Monday, January 20. That's also Inauguration Day, when President Bill Clinton will be sworn in for his second term in office.

There is a terrible irony in that coincidence. As we go to press before Inauguration Day, it appears likely that Clinton -- always eager to please -- will work some reference to Dr. King into his second inaugural address. But no token gesture can hide the fact that Clinton rode to re-election by attacking everything Dr. King stood for.

Martin Luther King urged America to live out the true meaning of its creed. He spoke passionately about a beloved community, about hewing a stone of hope out of the mountain of despair which existed in the country he loved. In his most famous oration, the unforgettable speech at the 1963 March on Washington, King spoke eloquently of his dream that his four little children -- and all children -- might someday be able to join hands and live in a world without the hatred his generation experienced.

Given this, there will be something obscene about the president who signed the bill removing 1.1 million needy children from the welfare rolls invoking the name of Martin Luther King on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on January 20. Just weeks before Inauguration Day, the Clinton administration showed what it really thinks of Dr. King's dream. It mailed letters to the parents of 260,000 disabled children notifying them that their children may lose benefits because of the new welfare law.

These are children with severe physical or mental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, epilepsy and mental retardation. So much for the beloved community!

The ending of welfare shows how much things have changed since the earlier years of Dr. King's work. During King's lifetime, the heart of the struggle was the fight against legal segregation. Today, it's a fight for economic justice. At the 1963 March on Washington, King declared that "the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity." Today, that "island" is neither small or lonely; it is filled with millions of people of all ethnic backgrounds who've become the victims of corporate downsizing.

In the last weeks of his life, Dr. King was organizing the Poor People's Campaign, an effort to bring thousands of poor people of all ethnic groups to Washington, D.C. to protest. We should heed the words he used to explain that course of action:

"There are millions of poor people in this country who have very little, or even nothing, to lose. If they can be helped to take action together, they will do so with a freedom and a power that will be a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life."

That was good advice when Dr. King wrote it -- and it's even better advice now. It shows how we should honor Dr. King. We are confident that the man who wrote those words, the man who died in Memphis while helping striking sanitation workers, would welcome the development of the Labor Party -- and every other blow now being struck for the political independence of the working class. We will honor all that Martin Luther King Jr. represents in history by continuing that struggle for political independence.

And like Dr. King, we will not be satisfied "until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."

-- The People's Tribune Editorial Board

_____________________ __________________________________________________________________________ "Political rights do not originate in parliaments; they are rather forced upon them from without. And even their enactment into law has for a long time been no guarantee of their security. They do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace."

--Rudolf Rocker "Anarcho-Syndicalism", 1938 (Pluto Press, London, 1989) __________________________________________________________________________

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