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Today: Occupy London celebrates third month anniversary & life of Dr Martin Luther King – Occupy the Dream


*** We are very pleased to have further additions to the programme including Merlin Emmanuel (Justice for Smiley Culture Campaign), Munera  performing poetry (one half of Poetic Pilgrimage), comedian Ava Vidal, Mario Joseph (Haitian human rights lawyer), Black Women’s Rape Action project as well as occupier Ed Greens ***

This Sunday 15 January, as Occupy London marks three months of occupation and on the birthday of Dr Martin Luther King, Occupy London will celebrate Dr King’s life and legacy from 12.30pm – 4.30pm at its Occupy London Stock Exchange occupation, just by St Paul’s Cathedral. The event will also be streamed live via the OccupyLSX Livestream plus there are a host of other events happening across the occupations. [1]

Dr King’s birthday comes at a time when the world is facing a grave economic crisis, which has the potential to lead to increases in racism and all forms of hate crimes. At the same time, racist scapegoating as a means of diverting public attention away from the real culprits responsible for the current economic crisis, is a real danger facing all communities as Jesse Jackson commented when he visited Occupy London recently. [2]

Focusing on how we can ensure that we are inclusive of all communities affected by the irresponsibility of bankers and politicians as we work towards creating a social, economic and politically just world, it promises to be a packed day of music, films and performances with Gospel Choir Christian Life City, Paul Robeson’s music recited by Mike Faulkner and poetry from Zita Holbourne and more.

Speakers will include a member of Mark Duggan family, Marica Rigg (Justice for Sean Rigg Campaign / Death in Custody Campaign), Marica Rigg (Sean Rigg Justice and Change Campaign), Bishop Wayne Malcolm, Lee Jaspar (Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts / Operation Hope and Recovery), Maelo Manning (libdemchild blogger and activist), members of Occupy London including Tanya Paton, Arun Mistry and Muna Hassan, James Meadway (New Economics Foundation), Weyman Bennett (Unite Against Fascism), Viv Ahmun (Operation Hope and Recovery), Stafford Scott (Broadwater Defence Campaign), Kofi Klu (Executive Commissioner of Panafriindaba, an African think tank), Aaron Kiely (National Union of Students Black Students Campaign), Bell Ribeiro-Addy (National Black Students Alliance) and a representative from All Africa Women’s Group.

Occupy London will also host a General Assembly – using consensus decision making and active listening so that everyone’s viewpoint is equal – looking at the issues that we as a community need to address and are facing. Anti racism has been a core value of Occupy London and the occupy movement since their beginnings, and it is hoped that this event will help further explore the issues of racial and economic injustice and the Occupy movement, leading to concrete next steps. [3]

At the same time, Dr King’s struggle for racial equality also encompassed the struggle against poverty and for economic justice for all communities. Many branded Dr King an extremist as the City of London Police have mistakenly done to Occupy London seven times recently. [4] [5]

Today, it is worth considering the relevance of the words that Dr King wrote in his Letter from Birmingham Jail in April 1964: “So the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice – or will we be extremists for the cause of justice? … The world is in dire need of creative extremists.” [6]

[1] OccupyLSX Livestream – http://www.livestream.com/occupylsx
[2] Jesse Jackson at Occupy London – http://occupylsx.org/?p=2748 / Video – http://occupylsx.org/?p=2609
[3] Initial statement – http://occupylsx.org/?page_id=575
[4] How Police branded OccupyLSX and UKUNCUT as “Terrorists”

Sabir on Security | How Police branded OccupyLSX and UKUNCUT as “Terrorists”

[5] Police in City see occupiers as ‘terror’ risk http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-in-city-see-occupiers-as-terror-risk-6272434.html
[6] Letter from Birmingham Jail – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_from_Birmingham_Jail


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