Sunday, January 20, 2008

Detroit's Fifth Annual MLK Day Rally & March to Highlight the Continuing Struggle Against Racism, War and Poverty

For Immediate Release

Media Advisory
Monday, January 21, 2008

Event: Fifth Annual MLK Day Rally & March for 2008
Date: Monday, January 21, 2008, Gather at Noon
Location: Central United Methodist Church, Woodward at
East Adams in Downtown Detroit
Sponsors: Detroit Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee

Detroit MLK Day Rally & March to Feature Rev. Dr. Lucius Walker of IFCO and Pastors for Peace

Monday, January 21, 2008 is designated as the federal holiday to honor the life and legacy of the slain civil rights and anti-war martyr, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The upcoming holiday will mark the fifth annual MLK Day rally and march in downtown Detroit as organized by the local planning committee composed of activists in the ongoing struggle for social justice and peace.

This year we are honored to have as our keynote speaker the Rev. Dr. Lucius Walker of the Inter-religious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) and Pastors for Peace. Rev. Dr. Walker is a veteran activist in the civil rights and anti-war movements and has travelled internationally to represent the people of this country in various efforts aimed at building a better world for the oppressed and exploited.

At present Rev. Dr. Walker is involved in a national campaign to recruit young people from the United States to study at the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba. Several students from the Detroit area who are currently enrolled at the school will be in attendance at this year's MLK Day event at Central United Methodist Church.

Each year the Detroit MLK Committee presents a "MLK Spirit of Detroit" award to a notable activist in the community. The awardee for 2008 will be Judge Deborah Thomas of the Third Circuit Court of Michigan. Judge Thomas has been a proponent of representative jury pools and the need for citizens to become involved in reforming the legal system in Wayne County and throughout the state.

In addition to the granting of this award, there will be cultural presentations from various locally-based artists including: Rev. Robert Jones, the Mosaic Youth Theater, Big A & Zhaoski, Invincible, Markeeta Moore, the Matrix Theater as well as the display of essays, poems and art work from students that will be attending from metropolitan-area schools.

At this critical juncture the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day March & Rally is an essential component of the Detroit community's response to the challenges we face in southeastern Michigan and throughout the state and nation.

The continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have claimed over 4,000 American lives as well as over one million Iraqis and Afghans. This is taking place utilizing a $729 billion annual defense budget which is designed to maintain the occupations of both of these predominately Muslim nations in the Middle-east and Asia. Moreover, the Pentagon has plans to establish military bases in Africa through the "African Command" (AFRICOM) as well as the persistent efforts to carry out a destabilization campaign leading to war against Iran.

On the domestic front we are facing rising unemployment in Michigan, the epidemic of home foreclosures, virulent racism and gender oppression, anti-LGBT biogtry, over 47 million people without health care in the country and within Detroit itself, there are tens of thousands who will live this winter without homes or even with housing, they are facing the torment of surviving absent of water services, electricity, heating and transportation.

The Fifth Annual MLK Day Rally & March provides an opportunity for local activists and organizers to demonstrate their long term committment to transforming society. This event is co-sponsored by the Detroit City Council and Central United Methodist Church among a host of other community, religious, peace and labor organizations.

For more information on the upcoming Fifth Annual MLK Day Rally & March please contact the Detroit MLK Committee at the numbers and websites listed above.

Abayomi Azikiwe,
Media Liason, Detroit MLK Committee

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