Monday, January 16, 2017
Central United Methodist Church
23 E. Adams and Woodward, Detroit
Noon – Rally at Central United Methodist Church
1:30 pm – Freedom March through downtown Detroit
3:00 pm – Community meal, poetry and music, at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Please note the NEW LOCATION:
St. John’s Episcopal Church
I-75 & Woodward Avenue, Detroit
This church is located north of the parking lot that is next to the Central United Methodist Church.
This year’s 14th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rally & March comes at a time of rising hatred, bigotry and military conflict both inside the United States and around the world.
On Monday January 16, 2017, the Detroit MLK Day Rally & March will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic Riverside Church address in New York City entitled “Beyond Vietnam: Breaking the Silence”, where Dr. King came out firmly against military intervention in southeast Asia.
The speech was delivered on April 4, 1967, just one year prior to the Civil Rights and peace activist’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. King had been under pressure by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) which had taken a firm position against the war in early January 1966. During 1967, Dr. King participated in large antiwar demonstrations in Chicago, New York City and other cities.
In addition, 2017 represents the 50th anniversary of the July 23-27 Detroit Rebellion. These days of civil unrest marked the largest of such outbreaks in the history of the U.S. up until that time period.
Dr. King, who remained a proponent of nonviolent resistance to racism and oppression until his death, did not condemn the rebellions which struck over 160 cities during 1967. He stated that “riots were the voices of the unheard.” He emphasized that the federal government needed to heed the calls of African Americans and other oppressed peoples for social justice in order to avoid a much more profound social calamity. Today, some five decades later, the problems of institutional racism, police brutality, poverty and the exorbitant Pentagon budget remain impediments to the country becoming a genuinely democratic society.
Speakers at the rally and march will represent the various movements operating in Detroit related to water shut-offs, property tax foreclosures, joblessness, poverty, and governmental indifference to the suffering of the people. The message of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement is still as relevant if not more so than it was in the 1960s.