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News :: Education : Human Rights : Politics : Race : War and Militarism
Revive King’s Tradition of Solidarity and Struggle: March Against Racism on Dr. King's Birthday Holiday
21 Jan 2008
If the true legacy, the leadership and the courage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is to have any real meaning for today as we approach the 40th anniversary of his martyrdom next April 4, then the King birthday holiday on January 21, 2008 must be more than an exercise in platitudes and official declarations from the White House, the State House or City Hall.

There is a time for celebrations and there’s a time for fighting. Now is a time that we need to fight. And fight like hell. On this King Holiday we must organize and march against the forces of racism, reaction and war, not just the war abroad but the war raging here at home. To know what’s happening, is to know that nothing is more important than jump starting a multi-racial movement against racism.

LISTEN to King's speech against militarism:
· Remember Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo & all victims of police brutality Stop Police Brutality!
· Stop the war against Black youth. Stop police invasions of Black youth's homes
· From Imus to Lou Dobbs to WTKK to WEEI, racists off the air!
· New Orleans to Roxbury: Stop pushing people out of their homes
· Troops out of Iraq, Recruiters out of our schools

We urge you to sign on to this call for A Martin Luther King Day March Against Racism on the Boston Common's on January 21, which is the federal holiday that honor’s Dr. King’s birthday. We urge activists in other localities to initiate MLK Day marches against racism as well.

One need only open their eyes to see that we are in the midst of a rising storm of racism, xenophobia and bigotry including neo-fascist appeals, unprecedented in many decades. The racism is not just coming from the fringes; it’s been deemed respectable and popular and it’s being pushed by the mainstream corporate media.

What’s more the storm is gaining strength at a time when the economy is heading into a crises that is bound to make economic survival for those who are already impoverished more difficult, while tossing millions more who thought they were getting along okay, out of their homes and jobs.

It’s an old game but the game is as toxic and deadly as ever. The system is setting up its scapegoats for the hard times by gearing up for racist hate. Lou Dobbs has suddenly become very important. Why? Because in times like these, the system’s biggest worry is that poor and working people will come together and demand social and economic justice. If we fail to unite and fight racism we should only expect much more of the same.

Reports of nooses hanging in locker rooms across the country are up a 1000 percent.
Mychal Bell, one of the Jena 6, will have to stay in prison for almost another year, but “shock jock” Don Imus is back on the air with presidential candidates and VIP’s tripping over each other to get on his show.

Immigrants have been turned in to the “Willie Hortons” of the 2008 presidential elections as candidates compete with each other over who can sound the toughest against undocumented workers.

From New Orleans to Harlem and in every other part of the country, Black people are being pushed out of their homes as the drive by the wealthy to gentrify, helped by hurricanes and mortgage foreclosures, is barreling full steam ahead. The wholesale incarceration of a generation of young Black people is not slowing down; it’s accelerating. The police war against Black youth is not easing; it’s growing. Racial profiling Black and Brown skinned people has never been more widespread.

More immigrant workers have been arrested in raids, denied housing and healthcare, locked up in concentration camp-type detention centers, deported, harassed, beaten up, or murdered, than at any time since the infamous anti-immigrant Palmer raids 90 years ago. And just like 90 years ago, anti-immigrant bigotry and repression is being used to derail labor union organizing.

Bush’s endless war is not only against people thousands of miles away, it has made Muslims and people of Arab, African, or South Asian fair game for harassment, persecution and torture.

Lest we forget, from the Supreme Court, to bigoted cops, jailers, judges, and anti-gay thugs, the rights of women are under attack, and there is war against lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people.

Exposing corporate media made demagogues like Dobbs, Imus, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and their ilk, whose job it is to keep us divided, is only one part of our challenge, but it’s an important one. The establishment, with the help of CNN, has recast the multi-millionaire and former cheerleader for Wall St., Lou Dobbs as the spokesperson for the middle-class as against the elite. In order to buy this fantasy you have to forget that the average worker might make in a very good year what the very wealthy Dobbs makes in one day.

But Dobbs’ target is not really the elite, a group that he belongs to and serves. His target is primarily desperately poor Latin@ undocumented immigrant workers. And though Dobbs will claim that he’s only after undocumented workers, the venom that he spews six nights a week on prime time TV fans bigotry against anyone who looks or speaks like she or he is not “American”.

In fact, more and more, Dobbs reserves most of his wrath for “certain socio-ethic groups” who favor the undocumented over “Americans”. Along with anti-immigrant bashing, and attacking Mexico and China, Dobbs has lately begun to call on union members who are “American citizens” to rise up against “treacherous” labor union leaders who dare to organize undocumented workers.

Combating the divide and conquer strategy is going to take work, time, courage and commitment. One of the most obvious ways to fight it is to work to make sure that the thousands of white people who will get on buses to go to a protest against the war in Iraq, will also get on the buses going to support a Jena 6 rally or an immigrant rights rally. When that happens it makes demagogues like Dobbs weaker and all of us stronger.

Let’s send the message far and wide that the most important occasion in January 2008 is not the Iowa caucus or the other primaries that month, but the truly united anti-racist marches that will take place either on King’s birthday holiday, January 21, or around that time.

Let’s honor the dreamer by loudly proclaiming that the racists and the big money behind them, better beware; a powerful anti-racist movement is going on the offensive, and it will stay on the offensive until we have put an end to their foul storm.

MLK DAY M:ARCH AGAINST RACISM COALITION (partial list): Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST); City Councilors Chuck Turner, Sam Yoon & Charles Yancey; Jean Mcguire, fmr Boston School Comm.*; Prof. Tony Van Der Meer, UMass Boston*; Frantz Mendes, Pres. USW 8751*; New England Human Rights Organization for Haiti; Voices of Liberation; Women's Fightback Network; Bishop Felipe Teixeira, OFSJC; Tony Hernandez, Organizer, IUPAT Painters Dist. 35*; Ahmad Kawash, Palestine American Congress; Rev. Franklin Hobbes, Dir. Healing Out Land, Inc."; Stonewall Warriors; RI Rosa Parks Human Rights Day Comm.; RI Poor Peoples Campaign; RI Peopls Assembly; Springfield Mobilization Against Poverty, Racism & War; International Action Center; Troops Out Now Coalition
* id only

Contact: International Action Center: 617.522.6626 - District 7: 617.427.8100 - FIST: 617.983.3835 -
USW 8751: 617.524.7073 - Women's Fightback Network/Troops Out Now Coalition: 617.522.6626

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