OWS Prepares to Occupy Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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Between being kicked out of Zuccotti Park, barred from touching the Wall Street Bull statue, and arrested for lying down, it isn't hard to see why the protesters of Occupy Wall Street have had a hard time finding their feet in 2012. But on Sunday and Monday, the movement will take to the streets again to honor one of America's most famous protesters: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The events will begin with a Sunday night vigil at New York's Riverside Church, to be followed the next day by a baker's dozen protests across the nation against the Federal Reserve Bank.

For those who wonder how OWS -- which has largely focused on economic inequality -- can find a legitimate link between its causes and those of the slain civil rights leader, OWS press representative Kanene Holder makes the connection clearly.

While King is best known for his efforts to curb racism, she explains, his social justice efforts were actually far more extensive. "Everyone is familiar with Rev. King's 'I Have a Dream Speech,' " Holder notes, "But most people aren't aware of how much he embodied an anti-war and anti-poverty stance, as well as an anti-racism stance."




These themes are especially clear in "Beyond Vietnam," a 1967 speech he made at the Riverside Church. Speaking out against an overseas war in another decade, King drew a connection between economic injustice in America and military actions abroad:
We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin ... the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
Later, King offered a terse analysis that crystallizes much of the OWS message: "True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."

The Sunday night vigil will feature performances by a host of musicians, including Patti Smith and Steve Earle, as well as speeches by Russell Simmons, Yoko Ono, Norman Siegel and other notables. The following day, OWS plans a march from New York's African Burial Ground to the city's Federal Reserve Bank, which is located mere blocks from Wall Street. The event, called "Occupy the Federal Reserve," will be one of thirteen linked protests taking place in every city that has a Federal Reserve Bank, as well as Los Angeles (which doesn't have a Federal Reserve Bank, but is pretty important anyway).

Asked why OWS has taken aim at the Fed, Holder argues that the institution has become a key driver of economic injustice in America: "The Federal Reserve undermines our democracy. It's filled with bankers who are pushing for a deflated currency that will help inflate their pockets."

But ultimately, she notes, Sunday and Monday's protests will focus on honoring Dr. King's legacy of social engagement -- and making sure that it continues: "We're hoping to help inspire a new generation of activists and visionaries."

Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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sgtdjusmc

We are so spoiled..come here to kabul and see what being poor is..

January 23 2012 at 2:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sgtdjusmc

LIBERAL THIEVES!! steal form the people who work for a living...life is tough get over it.....never stop trying to learn and work hard......i know, its more difficult than stealing from people you dont like

January 23 2012 at 2:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

They breath there for they're owed. See what socialism gets you? Federalism has been destroyed by libtardism. Let fed default and fade away. We have 50 state govts to do the job and defense can be handled via treaty between states same as we do now for North America with Canada. Got gold

January 22 2012 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

MOFKER------------We have a CIA, NSA, HS, SS, ARMY, AIR FORCE, NAVEY, MARINES, COAST GAURD, ARMY NATIONAL GAURD in each of the 50 states, ARMY RESERVES, AIR FORCE NATIONAL GAURD in most states, AIRFORCE RESERVES, NAVY RESERVES, and MARINES RESERVES. Now realize from a vet that our active Navy can destroy all other navy’s of the world simultaneously if needed. How is China going to invade with out a navy or any one else hmm? Are they going to swim over here? Further our Marine Corp are the ones that take ground from the enemy and it's ALWAYS their ground we take never retake our ground, hmm. Armies are for occupying said taken ground. Air strike invasion you say? Our Air Force National Guard could destroy any and all incoming by themselves and yet we have active duty Air Force. Active Air Force is for controlling the skis of the rest of the world. Just the existence with our proven performance is enough to keep peace for most and in hours we can take the sky by force any where. If an enemy ever reached our shores and we had NO MILITARY they would face a heavily armed population not to mention police forces in every mid sized city or larger now outfitted with military fire power. My point is this, All active Army except SF that are not in combat or in direct support should be made reserves. This would keep all others fully funded with out any risk to our nation. A little common sense please.

January 19 2012 at 12:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Mike

MOFKER------------------Absolutely! Further full retirement should go to any one who wishes after serving 3 or more combat tours at highest rank held! Even if only 3 years in service! Who els goes to work and dodges bullets bombs snipers etc minute by minute? No not the police, not even close.

January 19 2012 at 12:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Mike

They breath there for they're owed. See what socialism gets you? Federalism has been destroyed by libtardism. Let fed default and fade away. We have 50 state govts to do the job and defense can be handled via treaty between states same as we do now for North America with Canada. Got gold?

January 19 2012 at 12:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Mike

"WEALTH" and so call American " POVERTY" are like Heat and Cold. Cold is the ABSENCE of heat. Poverty is the absence of wealth. This means like Heat can not make anything cold wealth can NOT make any one poor! Poverty is the lack of input of wealth buy the individual. Life is not fair and can be very hard, get over it. Free market wealth is fair. Wealth goes to those that produce for others directly or indirectly through labor to producers. Non producers ( able bodied) do not deserve wealth. That's as fair as it gets. Quit wining and get a job, or make one. And no you aren't owed a job so start kissing as s and be thankful to those that invite you to share in their production. Got gold?

January 17 2012 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

"SOCIAL" security is SOCIAL-ISM! Supporters of socialism are SOCIAL-IST! Sorry but conservatism means no socialism even if it cost you.

January 17 2012 at 11:59 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Mike

MiserblOF
Socialism is the public ownership of plant and equipment - items that are owned by stockholders, individuals and partnerships in a capitalist country. Social Security nationalized no business, no corporation. It is a public insurance system, and not socialism.

Of course y'all throw the word around because rush limbaugh said it was a good idea and though words mean things, facts don't matter in contemporary Amerikkka
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------MOFKER Public (sociaty's) desires taking prescedence to individual freedom (responsiblity) of any issue including retirements, safety nets, etc....... ARE ALL SOCIALISM! Sorry your just wrong. Got gold?

January 17 2012 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hazmatlang

Its going to be both lonely and unfair to comment at this time. 99% of OWS supporters have no reason to get up before noon, its not check day!

January 17 2012 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply