An End to Poverty, Racism and Militarism – in our lifetime
On 4th April 2018, the world marks 50 years since Reverend Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated. His ‘last great exertion’ in 1967/68 was the Poor People’s Campaign and Economic Bill of Rights. In the USA there is a renewed push to mark and re-envision the Poor People’s Campaign for the present day. We think the time is right to build on those USA efforts to internationalise the campaign and the 1968 Economic Bill of Rights that accompanied it.
“These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. We in the West must support these revolutions.
Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.
A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.
This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind.”
4 April 1967, Riverside Church, Beyond Vietnam speech
“You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry. Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong with capitalism.”
MLK 1966, speaking to staff at SCLC