On Dr. Kingâ€™s birthday, Jan. 15th 1968 â€“ which was sadly to be his last â€“ he was organizing with a multi-racial coalition of Native Americans, Chicanos, Appalachian whites and urban black people to start an encampment in Washington D.C. that would be a massive â€œnonviolent armyâ€ which would â€œcripple the operation of an oppressive society.â€ By 1968, Kingâ€™s earlier emphasis on civil rights had evolved into a revolutionary stance against capitalism, the Vietnam War, U.S. Imperialism and poverty.
King, on the need to “force the hand” of the power structure. By this I mean: Simply voting for people who we think will represent us has become co-opted by the massive amounts of money brought to bear in our politics. (Why does the Tea Party not get as upset about this as they are about the fact that Obama is president)? Back to the King quote:
We must formulate a program and we must fashion the new tactics which do not count on government good will, but instead serve to compel unwilling authorities to yield to he mandates of justiceâ€¦There must be more than a statement to the larger society, there must be a force that interrupts its functioning at some key point. The interruption must not, however, be clandestine or surreptitious. It must be open and, above all, conducted by large masses without violence. If the jails are filled to thwart it, its meaning will become even clearer.
author of the post quoted here is Be Scofield, a Dr. King scholar, founder of God Bless the Whole World and studying to be an interfaith minister at Starr King School for the Ministry. He writes for Tikkun magazine and Alternet.org. Follow him on twitter: http://twitter.com/bescofield