Posts Tagged ‘I Have a Dream’

March on Washington

August 28, 2013

Fifty years ago to the day, half a million marched on Washington to demand equality and jobs.

At exactly three o’clock in the afternoon, Martin Luther King delivered his now famous I have a dream speech.

This Train Rides Again

August 24, 2013

Recreation of one of the Freedom Trains 50 years ago.

Trains, buses, chartered palnes, all headed to Washington for a mass rally on Wednesday 28 August 1963.

It was at this rally, Martin Luther King gave his ‘I have a dream speech’.

One woman on the train spoke of her hopes for a better future for her relatives, “after I am gone.”

In 1963, the legendary American broadcaster Studs Terkel, presented a radio programme, ‘This Train,’ in which he followed African Americans (or Negroes as they were called at the time) travelling on a train from Chicago to Washington. They were part of the March on Washington, which culminated in Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The thousands who took part wanted to achieve jobs and freedom for Black Americans. One woman on the train spoke of her hopes for a better future for her relatives, “after I am gone.”

Jessie Jackson recounts the turning point for him was sat at the front of a bus, and the driver refusing to move until order is restored on the bus. Jessie Jackson thought the driver meant kids on the bus misbehaving, but no, it was that he, a person of colour, had to sit at the back of the bus.

What is shocking, is few in America even know of the March on Washington.

For the march, Washington was in lockdown as no one knew what to expect. All police leave was cancelled, National Guard and Army were on standby. An estimated half a million people took part.

What did it achieve?

Martin Luther King was fighting for equality, equality for all, an end to oppression, an end to the US fighting foreign wars and oppressing people of colour in other lands.

In the few years until his death, Martin Luther King grew angry as he saw no progress. Those who returned home from the march, were set up and beaten.

Fifty years on the US has a Black President, a Black President who is waging wars in foreign lands against people of colour, a Black President who is creating a police state, for every dollar a White man earns a Black man earns 60 cents, the gap between rich and poor is growing.

The march was organised with no internet, no e-mail, no social media, no twitter. I remember in the late-1960s, if you wanted to organise anything, there were no photocopiers, you had hand-operated duplicating machines, you had to cut a stencil, put in the ink. And yet, only a couple of days ago, the excuse of someone for not organising a demonstration, was how difficult it would be, too much effort.

BBC documentary making at its best.

I Have a Dream

January 19, 2013

One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. — Martin Luther King

WTF, I Have a Dream is copyrighted!

One of the most famous speeches of the 20th century is copyrighted.

Today we celebrate the first anniversary of the defeat of SOPA. On Monday we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We’re asking everyone to engage in a small act of civil disobedience and share this video of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech.

Dr. King’s call for racial justice is as relevant today as it was in 1963. But the video can’t be watched online by a new generation, because it’s copyrighted until 2038. Had SOPA and PIPA passed last year, you could have gone to jail for sharing this video, and entire websites could have been shut down just for linking to it. This speech is too important to be censored by a broken copyright system.

One of those instrumental in the defeat of Sopa was Aaron Swartz who last week was driven to his death by a vindictive US Department of Justice and public prosecutor.

Cowards at vimeo have taken this video down.

Please share whilst we can this video to highlight we have a broken copyright system.

The irony, the film Lincoln is released and we still have oppression.

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