Tag Archives: Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK and pipeline opposition

The fossil fuel opposition is the child and grandchild of Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. With their nonviolence, truth, and action as a model, we shall overcome.

Bill McKibben, The Guardian, 25 August 2011, Martin Luther King’s legacy and the power of nonviolent civil disobedience: In opposing the Keystone XL oil pipeline, demonstrators are getting a sense of the civil rights leader’s courage,

Preacher, speaker, writer under fire, but also tactician. He really understood the power of nonviolence, a power we’ve experienced in the last few days. When the police cracked down on us, the publicity it produced cemented two of the main purposes of our protest: First, it made Keystone XL “ the new, 1,700-mile-long pipeline we’re trying to block that will vastly increase the flow of “dirty” tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico “ into a national issue. A few months ago, it was mainly people along the route of the prospective pipeline who were organising against it. (And with good reason: Continue reading

ALEC, Trayvon Martin, CCA’s private prisons, and charter schools?

What’s the connection between the Florida law that’s letting the killer of Trayvon Martin hide, the private prisons CCA runs in Georgia and other states, and HB 797, the Georgia charter schools bill that’s on the floor today for Senate debate today? ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Paul Krugman wrote yesterday for the NYTimes, Lobbyists, Guns and Money,

ALEC seems, however, to have a special interest in privatization — that is, on turning the provision of public services, from schools to prisons, over to for-profit corporations. And some of the most prominent beneficiaries of privatization, such as the online education company K12 Inc. and the prison operator Corrections Corporation of America, are, not surprisingly, very much involved with the organization.

What this tells us, in turn, is that ALEC’s claim to stand for limited government and free markets is deeply misleading. To a large extent the organization seeks not limited government but privatized government, in which corporations get their profits from taxpayer dollars, dollars steered their way by friendly politicians. In short, ALEC isn’t so much about promoting free markets as it is about expanding crony capitalism.

And in case you were wondering, no, the kind of privatization ALEC promotes isn’t in the public interest; instead of success stories, what we’re getting is a series of scandals. Private charter schools, for example, appear to deliver a lot of profits but little in the way of educational achievement.

Same as private prisons. The only real benefit goes to private prison company executives and shareholders.
Think about that: we seem to be turning into a country where crony capitalism doesn’t just waste taxpayer money but warps criminal justice, in which growing incarceration reflects not the need to protect law-abiding citizens but the profits corporations can reap from a larger prison population.
Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from a Birmingham jail in 1963:
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
And today we have an organized threat to justice everywhere. That threat is called ALEC.


Vote NO March & Rally

Text received Monday, poster received today. -jsq
From: JC Cunningham

Please read the message by Rev. Rose and then mark your calendar for Oct. 22, 2011. On that day we will have the largest March/Rally in the history of Valdosta. This will be the March that will show everyone in Georgia and America that we the Citizens of Lowndes-Valdosta, know how to come together and we will no longer stand for the Lies, Greed, and Disrespect from Cuee. We will for once and for all tell Cuee and the Chamber that “Our Children are not for Sale” This March will show Cuee and the Chamber that when we all stand together; Democrats, Republicans, NAACP, SCLC, White, Black, Hispanic, Rich, Poor, Young and Old we show what true democracy is all about. Cuee has tried everything to break our spirit with negative campaign ads and misleading information, but they did not. They cannot break the solidarity that has grown throughout this community over the past two months.

To watch Republicans and Democrats set aside their

Continue reading

Vote No on Unification —Sam Allen @ MLK Monument

Sam Allen spoke at the MLK Monument to say:
Make your taxes go up, and you’ll end up paying more taxes. This is just one way that people making minimum wage are going to lose their home. Don’t be fooled! If you’re a voting resident of Valdosta, vote no on November the eighth on school unification. Thank you.

Picture of Sam Allen at MLK Monument in Valdosta
by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange

Hm, CUEE (or somebody) did a radio ad with a fake Morgan Freeman pushing consolidation, using MLK’s name. Here’s a picture and video of Sam Allen in front of the MLK monument, If FVCS or somebody wanted to use them…. (As usual, just remember to cite LAKE as the source.)

Here’s the video:

Vote No on Unification —Sam Allen @ MLK Monument
We are the 99%,
Marching to Occupy Valdosta, Occupy Valdosta,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 14 October 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.


Marching for rights —Mario Bartoletti @ MLK Monument Occupy Valdosta

Mario Bartoletti stood up at the Martin Luther King Jr. Monument in Valdosta and said to Occupy Valdosta:
I’m just shy of 79 and I’ve been out here marching all the way today, and I’ll tell you why.
When I was your age, we were marching for civil rights. We made it. Now we’re marching for another kind of rights, and I guarantee we’re going to make it! I want you to promise, when you’re my age, you’re going to be leading a demonstration for those who march for those kinds of rights.

Here’s the video:

Marching for rights —Mario Bartoletti @ MLK Monument Occupy Valdosta
We are the 99%,
Marching to Occupy Valdosta, Occupy Valdosta,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 14 October 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.


Marching to Occupy Valdosta 14 October 2011

Will someone pick up that sign? As you can see in the playlist, why yes, someone did!

More than 100 people (estimates ranged from 110 to 150) went Marching to Occupy Valdosta.

Tony Daniels and Freddie Richardson carry the Occupy Valdosta banner

They marched more than three miles from Drexel Park to Bank of America, where they noted BoA got bailed out and we got left out and recommended withdrawing your money. Then to MLK Park, where many people spoke on a variety of subjects ranging from stand together, to make the Industrial Authority be accounted, to vote No on School Consolidation on November 8th, to if MLK was alive he would be here today, to marching for rights for a lifetime, to no private prison, to tax the rich, and and of course come back here (MLK Park) tomorrow (Sat 15 Oct) at 11AM! Then to the VDT (where the Assistant Managing Editor was surprised by a cheer) and the Chamber (where the President didn’t care for a thesaurus lesson); more on all those stops later.

Marching to Occupy Valdosta, 14 October 2011:
Drexel Park, Bank of America, MLK Park, VDT, Chamber of Commerce.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman and John S. Quarterman
for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

Videos are still uploading, so check back later. I’ll also blog more about specific events along the way.


NAACP paradigm shift

Why does it matter that the NAACP wants an end to the War on Drugs?

Leonard Pitts Jr. wrote for the Miami Herald 30 July 2011, NAACP’s paradigm shift on ending the Drug War

Here’s why this matters. Or, more to the point, why it matters more than if such a statement came from Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. The NAACP is not just the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. It is also its most conservative.
Conservative as in:
…denoting a propensity toward caution and a distrust of the bold, the risky, the new. And that’s the NAACP all over.

…there has always been something determinedly middle class and cautious about the NAACP. This is the group whose then-leader, Roy Wilkins, famously detested Martin Luther King for his street theatrics.

For that group, then, to demand an end to the Drug War represents a monumental sea change.

How monumental? Continue reading

“a conflict of interest at its core” —church group on private prisons

Another Sunday, another church group against private prisons. This time, it includes ex-prisoners, and it went to the lion’s den: a CCA shareholder meeting.

Marian Wright Edelman wrote 13 December 2010, Strength to Love: A Challenge to the Private Prison Industry:

A few months ago a group of earnest and determined stockholders traveled together by bus from Washington, D.C., to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend a shareholders’ meeting for the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest private prison company in the country. The group included ex-offenders who now each hold one share of stock in the same prison company that once held them captive, and they attended the meeting in the hopes of sharing their perspective on how the privatized prison industry can better serve society by rehabilitating inmates, rather than just serving its own profits by perpetuating the prison cycle.

The group, part of Washington, D.C.’s Church of the Saviour, is named Strength to Love, after the title of one of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermon collections. Members explain their mission this way:

Continue reading

Another Sunday, another preacher against private prisons

Neal Peirce wrote:
And Sicilia had a stern judgment to make — as King did in his time — about the U.S. government: “Since the war was unleashed as a means to exterminate (drug trafficking), the United States, which is the grand consumer of these toxic substances, has not done anything to support us.”
This was about Javier Sicilia and the war on drugs in Mexico.

MLK? Harsh? Maybe the writer is thinking about this speech, Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence:

My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years — especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.
One year later to the day Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead. This is what he died for: Continue reading

Michael Bryant: “the appalling silence”

Pastor Michael Bryant expands on his previous letter.


Dear Pastors and fellow laborers in the Gospel of our Lord and Savior,

I was born and raised here in Lowndes County. Today I am as disturbed as I was in 1973 when I, along with 42 other students, four ministers and their wives, were jailed for protesting unfair treatment of students in the Lowndes County School System. We were arrested while standing in the parking lot awaiting to enter the building for a meeting called by the Lowndes County Board of Education at their office on St. Augustine Road. The meeting was supposed to be a good faith gesture designed to mediate an amicable solution to the picketing which had been in process for nearly six months. After being arrested, we were moved from Big 12 in a prison truck in the dead of night. We were to be housed in the Cook County jail and none of our parents knew where we were. When we exited the truck, both sides of the walk way upon which we had to walk were lined with numerous State Troopers and other Law Enforcement officers sporting riot gear and shotguns. On the following day they refused to feed us breakfast. We began to complain and the judge came upstairs dressed in his robe. He said “I want you to stop making noise, and if you don’t, I can make you stop.”

When we complained again, the cell in which we were jailed was sprayed down with tear gas. We had one toilet and one sink in which to clear our eyes. These are facts that went unreported by the papers. In fact they said we were rabble rousers. The late Ralph Harrington signed all our bonds, and we went through a lengthy trial, represented by the late Mr. C. B. King, Sr., of Albany, GA. At the close of the trial all charges were dismissed and expunged from our records.

As a student then, I witnessed the appalling silence of men and women of God who preached the hell out of people on Sundays, collected their checks, and went home untouched by the happenings in the community. This was much like the appalling silence of ministers who sat on the sidelines while Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., placed his life on the line for “the least of these.”

Some years ago, Rev. Floyd Rose, two of my sisters and several other

Continue reading