April 4th, 2017 marked fifty years since the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called for a revolution of values against racism, poverty, and militarism in his historic “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence” speech at Riverside Church in New York City. We commemorated the anniversary in a number of ways, but most especially by continuing the call for a New Poor People’s Campaign to unite the poor and dispossessed and take up the unfinished business of Dr. King’s last campaign, the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968.
Michael McPhearson of Veterans for Peace writes about the “Triple Evils” of poverty, military, and racism that Rev. Dr. King identified in his Beyond Vietnam speech: How they’re showing themselves today, how they’re connected, and what we need to do to fight them.
Exactly one year before his assassination Rev. Dr. King delivered his “Beyond Vietnam” speech. The speech remains one of the most powerful expressions of his moral commitments, political analysis, and social vision. It also represented a critical step on the road to the Poor People’s Campaign: in denouncing the war King put himself in opposition to the political establishment, Democrat and Republican, instead taking the side of the poor against militarism, racism, and poverty.
Listen to this online discussion on some of the pressing strategic questions we’re facing. Hear from three deeply rooted leaders: Nijmie Dzurinko from Put People First! PA, Roz Pelles from Repairers of the Breach, and Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez from the Popular Education Project about the challenges and opportunities in this moment.
On New Year’s Eve, a Watch Night service was convened by Rev. William Barber, Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, and others to call for a New Poor People’s Campaign.
This MLK Weekend (January 14th-16th), people around the country will be working together to revive Rev. Dr. King’s call for a Poor People’s Campaign. In 2017 as in 1967, our nation needs to undergo a “radical revolution of values” and it’s the poor and the dispossessed who are in the best position to lead the way; But only if we’re able to take action together. This MLK Weekend, we’re taking another step in that direction.