Occupy Wall Street Protesters Hold Candlelight Vigil For Martin Luther King Jr. In New York
As part of a coordinated. global series of vigils on Sunday, January 15th in honor of Martin Luther King Jr, hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York marched by candlelight from the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine to the nearby Riverside church in Harlem. In 1967, MLK delivered his famous "Beyond Vietnam" speech at the Riverside Church.
According to Gothamist, there were performances by "Patti Smith, Steve Earle, Stephan Said, Global Block, and St. Christopher's Gospel Choir, among others. Russell Simmons, civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr. and Sumumba Sobukwe addressed the crowd."
Occupy the Hood representative Malik Rhasaan noted during his speech that "the Occupy movement was built on the back of" Dr. King.
Leading up to the event, protester Abigail Keegan explained OWS' relationship to King. "Poverty, an issue to which King showed increased focus in the years just before his death, finds its way into the darkest chapters in American History," she said in a statement. "Dr. King sought to shine a light of justice against those dark chapters of war, repression and racism, our candles symbolize that light."
More Occupy events honoring MLK are scheduled for Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and will help kick off 3 months of action from OCCUPY THE DREAM, a collection of black community church groups, which will ultimately culminate in a large rally in DC on April 12-15th: