Dr. King: Revolution Interrupted

January 15 is Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. The third Monday of January, which this year falls on the 21st, is a Federal holiday to mark his birthday. How ironic that he was blacklisted by the FBI when alive. But the change by the government of the 1% from marking him for elimination to marking his birthday with a federal holiday, though ironic and interesting, is not surprising. Once they get rid of the person and prevent him from doing what he was trying to do, then, they give people whom they denied his leadership, a holiday in his name to make it look like they’re on their side and that they too accept him as a hero and people’s true leader – but only after his death, mind you.

They do the opposite, too. As long as a brutal puppet dictator is in power and does what they want him to do, they support him and keep him in power with everything from aid, arms, equipment and training for his military and police and even provide the tear gas and live ammunition to use against his people when they pour into the streets to demand democracy and freedom. But, when they realize they can’t keep him in power anymore, their statements of support for him turn into words of “support” for the democratic movement they tried hard to stop, while they frantically work to keep the power within the loyalists of the regime and with the military they arm, train and control, to prevent a democratic and nationalist government from coming to power and kicking the parasites out. We must understand that generations of US ruling class, with the help of their ideologues and politicians they hire, have looted and ruled over the world long enough to have learned all the techniques in the book; in fact, they’ve written the book.

I’m not into conspiracy theories, but James Earl Ray who was found guilty and sentenced to 99 years for the assassination of Dr. King, had neither the money nor organization needed to pull off the assassination of a national leader by himself.
In fact, when King’s widow, Coretta Scott King along with the rest of King’s family, won a wrongful death civil suit against Loyd Jowers and “other unknown co-conspirators”, it was determined that Jowers received $100,000 to arrange King’s assassination (from whom?). But more significantly, the jury also found that “governmental agencies were parties to the assassination plot”. So, who were those governmental agencies? Naturally those who had put him on the list of individuals “to be eliminated” and that was, of course, the FBI.

In 2004, Jesse Jackson, who was with Dr. King at the time of his death, noted:
“The fact is there were saboteurs to disrupt the march. Within our own organization, we found a very key person who was on the government payroll. So infiltration within, saboteurs from without and the press attacks. …I will never believe that James Earl Ray had the motive, the money and the mobility to have done it himself. Our government was very involved in setting the stage for and I think the escape route for James Earl Ray.”

As I said, I’m not into conspiracy theories and I’ve often written against them, but I’m also skeptical of coincidences. And what a coincidence indeed: Dr. King was assassinated just when he was starting to merge the struggle for racial equality with the struggle for a broader social justice and against US militarism and exploitation by a few, and it was starting to bear fruit. He was becoming a leader for a true national movement that was beginning to join all sectors of the society – black and white – and had the potential to create a true revolution and turn the corporate oligarchy upside down.

Significantly, he was shot dead during a march of sanitation workers and was planning a march on Washington as part of the “Poor People’s Campaign”, to protest increasing poverty, not just for blacks, but all the poor. He was connecting the dots for people between the three pillars of struggle against racism, exploitation and militarism and people were beginning to understand and respond.

The government of the 1% understood that if the movement did indeed include the workers – not just black, but all workers – at some point, it could cross the point of no return and then it would be too late.

Dr. King’s death was a major blow to US working people as well as oppressed peoples everywhere this government has since intervened, attacked, staged coups, bombed, invaded and committed assassinations. The world would have been quite a different place had he not been assassinated.

The Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011 was criticized for having no leader. Now, that may have been the way many occupiers wanted it, but make no mistake: a charismatic, smart and strong leader like Dr. King, who could move people with his passionate speeches and unwavering dedication and commitment, could have made all the difference. Dr. King was planning on marching on Washington and had already succeeded in widening the movement to include the struggle for the poor against the 1%. His struggle against exploitation, militarism and racism and for social justice was left unfinished. We need to finish what he and with him millions of working people in this country started. Finishing his unfinished work is significant not only for this country, but for the rest of the world, as well.

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