Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thousands March Against Racism


On Monday, January 21, from coast to coast, thousands took to the streets to march against racism. The Martin Luther King March Against Racism Coalition called for nationwide actions, saying, "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." (read full call at )

In New York City, more than a thousand people defied sub-freezing temperatures for an opening rally outside WABC, which recently put the racist and sexist shock-jock Don Imus back on the air.

After a spirited march, activists then rallied outside the Time Warner Building, where Lou Dobbs broadcasts his nightly anti-immigrant program. Dobbs eventually came out of the building, but retreated inside when confronted by the multinational crowd.

At the same time, activists from the Coalition joined organizers from across the U.S. on the streets of Jena, Louisiana, to confront a rally by the Nationalist Movement, a Klan-like organization.

Other local actions included:

Boston: Rally & Speak out Against Racism – Fund Dr. King’s Dream – Cut the Military Budget and use the $ for Jobs, Education, Housing and Healthcare. End the evils of militarism, economic exploitation & racism – as Dr. King asked. Join Boston city councilors, community, labor, immigrant rights and youth leaders and organizations. On Boston Common at Park St. Contact

Cleveland: To honor Dr. King: Challenge the Ohio prison system. Sat., Jan. 19, the Cleveland Lucasville Five Defense Committee will stand with death row inmates in their just demand for contact visits -- the right to embrace their loved ones. Protest outside Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown.

Denver: March Against Racism and War, Jan. 21st, 9:00 a.m., City Park. Gather at water fountain on 18th Ave. & Detroit. “Martin Luther King Jr. Stood for Something. Take Back Martin Luther King Day!” “…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.”- Martin Luther King Jr. March for the Jena Six; Paul Childs; Frank Lobato; Ishmael Mena; Jamaal Bonner and all victims of police brutality; for the people of New Orleans; for Indigenous people; for immigrant workers; for all political prisoners; for the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Colombia and the oppressed around the world--Shut Down the War Machine! Stop Police Brutality! Long Live International Solidarity!

Detroit: 2008 MLK Day March & Rally Against War, Racism, and Poverty, Mon., Jan. 21, 12 p.m., Central United Methodist Church, Woodward and Adams, Detroit Keynote speaker: Rev. Dr. Lucius Walker, Director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace; For information go to

Los Angeles: International Action Center Forum Against Racism, Saturday January 26, 4343 Leimert Blvd, LA. Educational forum on the state of racism in the U.S., commemorating and honoring Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy. Special emphasis on the increased repression against Black people and immigrant communities. Panelists will address police murder and brutality, remembering victims like Tyisha Miller, Devon Brown and others; prison industrial complex and political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal and the San Francisco 8; destruction of housing belonging to Katrina victims; how to build the struggle to free the Jena 6, heightened racism against immigrants, especially attacks on Mexican people in California; and the media's consistent distortion and exclusion of people of color. For more information, call 323-936-7266.

Philadelphia: International Action Center sponsoring a program with panel of speakers against Racism, Tues., Jan. 22, 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 48th & Baltimore.

Providence: RI Poor Peoples Campaign, RI Rosa Parks Human Rights Day Committee and RI Peoples Assembly press conference/rally on the steps of the State House at 11 a.m. launching their Poor Peoples Campaign for a March on the Statehouse on April 4, the 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination.

San Diego: Monday, Jan. 21, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Community gathering at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 6401 Skyline Avenue, San Diego, CA. Program will include drumming, the playing of Dr. King's “Beyond Vietnam: Time to Break the Silence” speech, poetry, spoken word, presentations by community activists and music. Event sponsored by San Diego King/Chávez Coalition for Justice and Unity. Contact: Gloria Verdieu at 619-255-4585.


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