The sixteenth chapter of The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace contains Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1967 speech Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam. The speech, which is also known as Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence ,was given in the Manhattan’s Riverside Church exactly one year before King was assassinated. It is sad to realize that Dr. King’s 45 year old attempt to seek freedom from war applies equally to the Vietnam War as it does to the wars that the United States is now waging in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen.
Through the lens of history, it is hard to understand how controversial the speech was in 1967. It is common wisdom today that the Vietnam War was a mistake, despite the US government’s recently started 10-year plan to rehabilitate American’s view of that war. In 1967, all the major media backed the Vietnam War. Dr. King was regularly attacked in national newspapers such as the New York Times for speaking out against the Vietnam War. Peace activists are still attacked in today’s media for opposing today’s wars for the same reasons that Dr. King cites.
Dr. King responds to his critics who say that he should only speak about the domestic issue of civil rights, and keep silent on the VietNam War. The critics make the lesser evil argument that Dr. King is hurting the cause of civil rights by speaking out against the war. Dr. Kings explains in the introduction of his speech that those critics misunderstand both who he is , and misunderstand”the world in which they live.” Dr. King gives seven reasons why he must speak out: Continue reading MLK: Declaration of Independence from the War→
IW: The questioning of Dr. King by the corporate press is reminiscent of the same questions that they ask the Occupy movement today.
On March 28, 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press.
One week after leading his historic five-day march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, King said that the demonstration was necessary not just to help push the Voting Rights Bill through, but to draw attention to the humiliating conditions in Alabama such as police brutality and racially-motivated murder.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday January 15th, 2012 @ 7:00pm
in Each Time Zone Globally
Via J15global.com: On his birthday and in the spirit of Dr. King’s vision for racial and economic equality, peace, and non-violence, we are holding candlelight vigils to unite our world in a global movement for systemic change.
The fourth chapter of The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace brings us to Henry David Thoreau‘s seminal 1849 essay on Civil Disobedience. This is the essay that turned words into action. It turned the future into right now. This essay educated two of the most powerful leaders of the 20th century, Gandhi and King. It provided the foundations for their nonviolent movements.
Like many of his fellow transcendentalists, Thoreau was an abolitionist. He reacted strongly to President Polk’s incitement of the Mexican War in 1846. The war was intended to annex territory for slavery. Congressman Abraham Lincoln’s outspoken opposition to the war essentially ended his political career for 8 years.
Thoreau took it a step further. He saw that living in a the the free state of Massachusetts and speaking out against slavery did not absolve him of involvement in the war, and in furthering slavery. Thoreau saw that his support of the government — his payment of taxes — made him complicit. Despite having coined the phrase in the beginning of this essay that teeters between libertarian and anarchist: Continue reading Power of Nonviolence Thoreau CD: Peace Book Chapter 4 10/10/11→