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Wednesday, 20 January, 2010 1:12 AM

Hundreds participate in rally to honor Martin Luther King Jr. in Detroit

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Participants rally for jobs, peace and justice in the Martin Luther King, Jr. freedom march in downtown Detroit on Jan. 18, 2010.

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

DETROIT -- This was the weekend and week The Book of Eli became the number two movie in America with over $30 million dollars, the one-year anniversary of Barack Obama being inaugurated as the 44th -- and first African-American -- President of the United States, and in the middle is both the 81st birthday and the official anniversary of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which was Monday.

"Dr. King said, 'Where do we go from here? Chaos or community?'" Rev. Thomas Smith of Pastors for Peace quoted the civil rights leader, who was one of the speakers of this year's MLK Day "Rally & Freedom March" for Jobs, Peace, and Justice inside the Central United Methodist Church in downtown Detroit. He is also one of the G-20 Tent City Organizers of last year's March4Jobs in Pittsburgh, as he talks about the evils of racism and poverty as well as choosing morality over military by having a new plateau of compassion.

"We must begin to ask ourselves..." Smith continued. "We have over 20 million people still unemployed. How can we bailout Wall Street? This system will continue to benefit the rich ... The economy of Iraq is restructured ... Why Obama would send Clinton and Bush to Haiti, considering they were responsible for this country's economic crisis?

"Such hypocrisy ... That's what the bailout was all about: reparation. Maybe it's easy to keep us distracted about personal safety. All of us need jobs with dignity, all of us need health care, all of us need education. We've got to stand up and demand change of the system. If human beings have health care, have decent housing ..."

One of the MC's was Pan-African Newswire's Abayomi Azikiwe, who was also involved with the National People's Summit that also took place in downtown last summer during the National Business Summit.

"The conservation today is why you don't have any backbone," said Maureen Taylor of the Michigan Welfare Rights, who announced this summer's U.S. Social Forum as "a wake-up call" for not just the people of Detroit. "This country was never about eliminating poverty," she stated. "It was about putting money in rich pockets, but it was never about eliminating poverty."

The choir provided was my grade school alma mater ,Detroit Ludington Middle School, covering Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" and Michael Jackson's "Heal The World" both in English and Chinese -- with the Freedom March from Woodward to Hart Plaza as its powerful climax. It is time to put an end to thios discrimination. Hand in hand, we can make Dr. King's dream a reality.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The freedom march began at the Central United Methodist Church and continued all the way to Hart Plaza.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Participants held up signs to bring the troops home, create more jobs and put an end to racism.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Signs outside the Central United Methodist Church in Detroit.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The rally began at noon inside the Central United Methodist Church.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The freedom march kicked off shortly after 1 p.m. on Jan. 18, 2010.

 

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