M.L.King, Jr. and the original 'Resurrection City'

John Lionheart (johnlionheart@mailcity.com)
Thu, 24 Jun 1999 12:42:59 -0700

For full story and original PHOTO LINK see:
NOTE: This information about the orginal 'Resurrection City' is presented as background for the efforts of some of the Albany CA landfill squatters to be permitted to continue to make their small patches of land their own::::
On April 3, 1968 King delivers his "mountaintop" speech at the Mason Temple in Memphis, in which he states, "We've got some difficult days ahead, but it really doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life; longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go up to the mountain, and I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land." 
The following day Andrew Young succeeds in getting a federal injunction lifted so that the activists will be allowed once again to march in support of the striking workers (Memphis sanitation workers). That evening, when King steps out onto the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, he is shot by an assassin. 
King's death stuns the world and presents a tremendous challenge to the bereaved activists of the civil rights community. Riots erupt in more than a hundred cities nationwide. 
SCLC staffers decide to push on with the Poor People's Campaign and, five weeks after King's death, they build <I>Resurrection City</I> on the Mall in Washington, housing poor people -- mostly black, some Hispanic and Native American, and a handful of whites -- from across the country. 
Resurrection City, awash in a sea of mud, never successfully articulates the needs of the poor or their demands for remedies. Two months after King's death, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, now a movement ally and presidential candidate, is also assassinated. 
The federal government soon razes Resurrection City. Neither Congress nor the president has responded in any meaningful way to the presence of the poor in their midst. As Poor People's Campaign organizer Marian Wright Edelman later remarked, "1968 was an extraordinarily difficult year. I mean, we lost Martin. We lost Bobby. And for those of us who were determined to carry on the legacy of Martin, it was a time to regroup and rethink and get up and figure out new strategies, to build new paths toward the future." 


On Thu, 24 Jun 1999 09:04:16   Tom Boland wrote:
>To: "TINAF llist via" <tallpaul@nyct.net>
>From: Paul Kneisel <tallpaul@nyct.net>
>Subject: The Internet Anti-Fascist: Fri, 18 June 99 -- 3:47 (#283)
>[EXCERPT of News Briefs]
>                         WHAT'S WORTH CHECKING
>  stories via <ftp://ftp.nyct.net/pub/users/tallpaul/publish/story4/>
>Amnesty International (press briefing), "Kosovo refugee crisis:
>Humanitarian solution or failure to protect?," 17 May 99, "In the
>current response to the forced mass displacement from Kosovo, a number
>of key policy issues have been raised by the response of the Macedonian
>authorities and the international community to this crisis. This
>response has proved unique in a number of ways...." <story981.txt>
>Amnesty International, "Kosovo: Double tragedy in Koria," 17 May 99,
>"Kukks -- The killing of civilians in Koria on the night of 13-14 May
>is the second tragedy in this small village in recent weeks Amnesty
>International said today." <story982.txt>
>Stan Grossfeld (Boston Globe), "Harvard Square street people
>increasingly are those just starting out," 17 May 99, "Clean-scrubbed
>with a well-manicured goatee, Jerry Niland, 22, looked more Harvard
>than homeless. But he shivered uncontrollably one evening last winter
>in 'the Pit,' the mecca for young people outside the Harvard Square
>MBTA station. Niland tried to catch some warm air wafting up from the
>subway without drawing the attention of the T police, who don't like
>loiterers." <story983.txt>
>Leslie Cagan (Z-Net Commentary), "Can We Keep A Movement Alive?," 20
>May 99, "If you read my commentary last month you know I recently was
>in the center of the organizing for a major march and rally against
>police brutality here in New York City. The event went well, with
>somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 people marching across the Brooklyn
>Bridge into downtown Manhattan. The protest was on a Thursday afternoon
>and it felt great to completely block traffic and the normal flow of
>commerce all around the City Hall area. It was also great to be part of
>an effort that so completely crossed racial lines. In the more than 2
>months of public activities in the aftermath of the police murder of
>African immigrant Amadou Diallo, New Yorkers from many constituencies
>found themselves shoulder to shoulder. Our confidence in the
>correctness of our collective criticisms of the New York Police
>Department, the energy and commitment expressed in a host of protests,
>combined with an all-too-rare missing experience of cross-constituency,
>united action and fed the perception of many long time activists were
>on the edge of a mass movement." <story984.txt>
>Chantal Hebert (Toronto Star), "Pie hurler pleads not guilty," 20 May
>99, "In what they describe as a case of 'cream and punishment,'
>Quebec's cream-pie-throwing brigade, the 'entartistes,' will get their
>day in court in the fall courtesy of one of their most prominent
>victims, former premier Jacques Parizeau. Bruno Caron, the man who
>threw a pie at Parizeau during an election meeting last fall, pleaded
>not guilty yesterday to assault. The case will be heard in September.
>But the issue will be hotly debated between now and then. On May 30,
>the entartistes are staging a rally in Montreal and many Quebec artists
>and left-wing activists have agreed to participate." <story985.txt>
>Gina Holland (Associated Press), "Mississippi Flag Suit Fuels Debate,"
>28 My 99, "The state Supreme Court's decision to reinstate a lawsuit
>against Mississippi's use of the Confederate battle flag in the state
>banner has refueled fiery rhetoric over the divisive symbol. Tucked in
>a corner of Mississippi's state banner, the stars and bars is an anchor
>for some proud Southerners, but a painful reminder of a segregationist
>history for others." <story986.txt>
>David L. Wilson <nicadlw@earthlink.net>, "The US Left: Split, or Free
>at Last?," 29 May 99, "In just two months of bombing Yugoslavia Bill
>Clinton has done what Lyndon Johnson needed three years to do with
>Vietnam: he has split the majority of US activists from the Democrats
>in a way that is unlikely to allow any reconciliation in the near
>future.  It's hard to believe that just six months ago many activists
>were streaming to the polls to 'hold their noses and vote for the
>Democrats.' Now these same activists are forming picket lines outside
>the offices of the 'Progressive Caucus' Congress members, who form the
>hard core of the war party." <sory987.txt>
>Maro Robbins (San Antonio Express-News), "San Antonio Police Dept.
>Whistle Blower to Get $500,000," 27 May 99, "In a bruising defeat for
>the Police Department, jurors awarded a half-million dollars Wednesday
>to an officer who claimed his patrol unit was told to harass surly
>looking teen-agers and soiled derelicts lingering around San Antonio's
>downtown tourist areas. After some eight hours of deliberations, seven
>jurors found Police Department officials retaliated against Officer
>Onofre Serna after he protested the heavy-handed tactics that the
>Downtown Foot and Bicycle Patrol was encouraged to use in 1995. Serna
>was transferred to overnight squad-car duty in 1996 after an internal
>inquiry into the downtown unit labeled him 'disruptive'."
>Guardian (no author), "Woman judge says feminist wrong to bar men from
>class," 26 May 99, "Perhaps it is an expression of the death of
>feminism; or maybe it's simply the letter of the law. Either way, 30
>years after her employers first indicated they would rather she took
>her ideas elsewhere, a radical feminist theologian no longer has a job.
>A judge has ruled that Boston College was right to close the door to a
>professor who refused to have male students in her classes on account
>of their 'phallocentric necrophilia'." <story989.txt>
>International Solidarity with Workers in Russia - ISWoR, "Russian
>Antifascist Prisoner Free Thanks to You, but Not Yet Out Of Danger," 5
>Jun 99, "International Solidarity with Workers in Russia  (ISWoR) would
>like to thank all of you who responded to our appeals to protest the
>detention of the Krasnodar antifascists. Larisa Schiptsova, the
>pregnant woman who was being denied medical treatment even though she
>was very ill, has now been released from prison. The Moscow-based
>solidarity campaigners believe that her release and that of Maria
>Randina (who has had her charges lifted) was due to the efforts of all
>those who phoned, faxed etc to protest." <story990.txt>
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