Jeanne D'arc posted on the Martin Luther King Day march in San Antonio, TX, slated to have military jets fly over the marchers. She juxtaposed the news with an appropriate quote from MLK, calling out the insanity of trying to connect the war effort with King's legacy. Below is a press release from the local activists, opposing the military fly over of the march.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT
Tommy Calvert, Jr.
Cell (617) 480-8385
Coalition Blast Fighter Jets At San Antonio Martin Luther King March
Group Thwarted From Rescinding Vote for Jets which Coalition Calls Inappropriate
(SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS) The highly criticized move to include fighter jets in the nation's largest Martin Luther King March has awakened a broad coalition consisting of the original creators of the San Antonio Martin Luther King March, civil and human rights groups, labor unions, peace organizations, neighborhood associations, media leaders, environmental groups, religious leaders, historians, teachers, elected officials and business leaders. The coalition has organized plans to protest the inclusion of a fighter jet by displaying signs with quotes from Dr. King against militarization and war, wearing black and gold arm bands, and releasing doves after the fighter jets pass over.
On Saturday afternoon, 150 community leaders met at Martin Luther King Academy to organize plans at the march and participate in a lecture with Joanne Bland of Selma, Alabama who marched with Dr. King for the Voting Rights Act. The group voted unanimously to provide the new Chair of the MLK Commission, the March committee chair, and Councilwoman Shelia McNeil a book about the essential writings and speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. because of their roles in allowing the flyover to occur and their inability to provide evidence that Dr. King, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, would support the militarization of a celebration in his honor.
In addition to misquoting and speaking with half-truths about Rev. King's principles, the new group of MLK Commission leaders have used a red-herring to justify their inclusion of the fighter jets; claiming that they wanted the march to be inclusive of the armed forces.
"Members of the military have always been welcome to the march, in fact, that's part of the brotherhood that people feel as participants" exclaimed Tommy Calvert, Jr. whose father was one of the 50 original marchers from 1978 and who has participated in the march since 1981. "However, Dr. King believed that violence and its tools were futile, useless, and called on people to lay down their arms before they came to the table of brotherhood. A fighter jet is an arm, not a soldier, and its inclusion is as ludicrous in the march as a pacifist being invited by the Army to sit before a tank at a military parade."
Kathy Clay-Little, publisher of African-American Reflections newspaper said "We are entrusted with telling the truth about our history and anytime it is misrepresented, twisted to fit an ulterior agenda, or manipulated we cannot remain silent."
The colors of the black and gold arm bands of protestors bear significance. Black represents mourning the fact that the MLK Commission is killing Dr. King's legacy. The yellow portion of the band represents hope for the return to the world and MLK Commission of King's message against violence and militarization and for his work to promote peace, love, and justice.
Esperanza Peace & Justice center director, Graciela Sanchez, affirmed the desire of the group to reclaim the original integrity and history of the march. "It's clear some people live life like King and others are new to his philosophy. And if the day is about honoring his legacy and doing the work he did, then we have to hold our own communities accountable to that legacy and do things consistent with his life."