I got up early this morning to be at the U.S. State Department for a No to NATO demonstration. The foreign ministers of NATO countries were inside, presumably to get the marching orders from the military superpower, the United States. Among the other Greens there were Ajamu Baraka, Margaret Flowers, Margaret Kimberley, Kevin Zeese, and Tony Ndege.
Speakers explained how NATO is the military alliance of the old colonial powers that is still dominating the former colonies in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and is now extending into South America, specifically Colombia—right right to Venezuela, which the NATO countries have now targeted for regime change.
From the State Department, we marched across the Mall to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial for speeches against the interrelated “triple evils”—racism, poverty, and war—that King often spoke out against. April 4 is the anniversary of King’s controversial-at-the-time speech at Riverside Church in New York City, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” in which he endorsed and would participate in the seminal Spring Mobilization To End the War in Vietnam march and demonstration of hundreds of thousands of people in New York City on April 15, 1967.
King was assassinated exactly one year later on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, where he went to support striking sanitation workers as he was building the Poor People’s Campaign planned for Washington DC that summer.
I spoke at the King memorial about how our Green New Deal, which I have campaigned for since 2010 as an Economic Bill of Rights as well as an emergency program for 100% clean energy by 2030, was inspired by King’s Poor People’s Campaign and its call for an Economic Bill of Rights to a living-wage job, a guaranteed minimum income above poverty, decent housing, comprehensive health care, and a good education. If King were still with us today, no doubt he would be add the right to a healthy and sustainable environment to his Economic Bill of Rights.