50 years ago: MLK's controversial Beyond Vietnam speech

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. paid the ultimate sacrifice in his quest for a nation that operates on moral principles and, most importantly, equal rights for all citizens. A garbage can is being passed through the crowd to collect donations in support of the striking workers.

That's how several national civil rights leaders tell FOX13 they are commemorating the 49 anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination in Memphis.

"(King) was a pioneer for civil rights.

Black garbage collectors in Memphis often rode this way to stay out of the rain. Poor and black soldiers were being killed and maimed in a far-off country fighting for freedoms they themselves did not enjoy in places like Georgia and East Harlem.

McKesson and the dedicated activists like him know much like their predecessor, Dr. King, the threat of violence is out there, but that threat can not be a deterrence to the work that needs to be done. The group, People United to Advance the Dream, is hosting the event, with an emphasis on finding a resolution to violence in America.

Wisconsin Republicans claim that their state is broke, and have used that claim to justify stripping state workers of their collective bargaining rights.

"I consider that a very pivotal event because Memphis was a different city after the assassination of Martin Luther King than what it was before". "Even now when I see that movie of it I can still feel it in my mind".

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"It's going to be a silent open house, so they can reflect and pay homage to this great man", said Rebecca Karcher, the chief of interpretation, education and cultural resource management for the site. We must keep working to create a world that is just and peace-filled, so that perhaps 50 years from now someone might repeat our own words and courageously do the prophetic work of that moment. They are hoping soon for the case to be dismissed.

Kevin Martin, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is President of Peace Action, the country's largest grassroots peace and disarmament organization with more than 200,000 supporters nationwide.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests have made national news and have become a spectacle to the world. In stunning nonviolent protests across the country, the movement has propelled the cause of reforming the police and discriminatory sentencing practices.

Dr. King was speaking out against the Vietnam War specifically but also arguing that "the war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit" and that it was time for our nation to undergo "a radical revolution of values". "Now that's a odd statement to make", he told those gathered, "because the world is all messed up". If the dream of my Uncle, Dr. King, is to be fully received we must go back to God. He knew the road was long and hard.

As leaders in the black community, they were very vocal about the changes needed for us to attain equal rights as USA citizens.

Today, this is a troubled nation. Where are we, when we have the second-highest level of child poverty, when we have exorbitant and extreme inequalities when it comes to wages? There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect.' King wanted to write his name on the side of justice.

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