Common Ground:

Dr. Martin Luther King, the Occupy/Peace Movements, and Hawaii Independence!

What does Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Occupy Movement, and Hawaii Independence have in common? Unfortunately, too many people would probably say nothing.

Rev. King is mostly remembered for his inspiring 1963 “I have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C. Few remember that he was assassinated on April 4, 1968 while mobilizing to return to Washington in the summer of 1968. This time he wasn’t going to simply give a speech and go home. He was planning to stay, to Occupy Washington with massive civil disobedience over issues of economic injustice and war. (Does this have a familiar ring to today?)

One year to the day of his death, on April 4, 1967, Rev. King gave another inspiring speech to thousands at Riverside Church in New York City. King spoke out strongly against the U.S. War in Vietnam. King united concerns for civil rights, economic justice, and peace. He referred to the triple evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism. He expressed support for the right of the Vietnamese to be free and independent and called the United States “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” See the full speech (

Below are just a few words from King’s speech. Replace Vietnam with Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, etc. and the message remains clear and relevant today.

“Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.”

The U.S. Must stop waging wars of empire and stop occupying and dominating other countries for economic and political interest. This applies to Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, etc. and it also applies to Hawaii. Justice in Hawaii demands an end to U.S. Occupation which has been ongoing since January 17, 1893 when the lawful independent nation of Hawaii was overthrown by U.S. sugar interests with the assistance of U.S. Marines.

This year, in commemoration of the illegal overthrow of Hawaii, Dr. King’s vision of justice, peace and non-violence, and the courage of an entire new generation speaking out against the corruption of money and power on Wall St, and in Washington, let us unite on common ground. Our future and the planet depend upon it.

United We Stand!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622.  Email
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (Jan. 13, 2012 – 538th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office