Martin Luther King 1964 speech rediscovered

This 21 January 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

MLK Day Special: Rediscovered 1964 King Speech on Civil Rights, Segregation & Apartheid South Africa

In a Democracy Now! and Pacifica Radio Archives exclusive, we air a newly discovered recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On December 7, 1964, days before he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, King gave a major address in London on segregation, the fight for civil rights and his support for Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. The speech was recorded by Saul Bernstein, who was working as the European correspondent for Pacifica Radio. Bernstein’s recording was recently discovered by Brian DeShazor, director of the Pacifica Radio Archives.

Martin Luther King Jr. and the fight for social equality: here.

Poor People’s Campaign relaunched in the USA

The 'mule train', part of the original Poor People's Campaign, marching through Washington on June 25 1968

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Monday, May 14, 2018

Poor People’s Campaign relaunched 50 years on

A SUCCESSOR to Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign [was launched on 13 May 2018] at rallies across the United States tomorrow, including planned civil disobedience in Washington DC.

The new campaign, founded by the Rev William Barber, aims to create a “mass movement to bring the problems of poverty to the nation’s conscience.”

Organisers pledged to bring the campaign’s causes “not just to Congress but to state capitals”, with events organised in more than 30 towns and cities across the country.

“We will protest at more than 30 statehouses and the US Capitol demanding a massive overhaul of the nation’s voting rights laws, new programmes to lift up the 140 million Americans living in poverty, immediate attention to ecological devastation and measures to curb militarism and the war economy.

“We will hold teach-ins to learn more about these issues and how we can organise to transform our nation’s political, economic and moral structures”, the organisers said.

Dr King launched the original Poor People’s Campaign in 1968 to fight for economic justice for the US poor. It demanded human rights for citizens of all backgrounds and culminated with a march on Washington which led to around 3,000 people setting up a six-week protest camp in the National Mall.

Fifty years on, campaigners say that inequality is worse than it was in the 1960s, with 1 per cent of households owning 40 per cent of the country’s wealth and the median wealth of white households 10 times higher than that of black ones.

The campaign will bring together clergy, trade unionists and justice campaigns in 30 states, focused on Dr King’s call for “a radical redistribution of economic and political power.”

Washington organisers say the campaign has the support of the Service Employees International Union and the local branch of the American Federation of Teachers.

With a focus on 12 core principles, including a commitment to non-violence, it calls for the development of leadership among those suffering the most from poverty, with “equal protection under the law non-negotiable.”

Campaigners said: “The centrality of systemic racism must be named, detailed and exposed. Poverty and economic equality cannot be understood apart from a society built on white supremacy.”

Organisers are planning to offer workshops, teach-ins and training in peaceful civil disobedience ahead of a major national rally due to be held in Washington on June 23.

PEOPLE rejected in the past — African-Americans, Latinos, poor whites, women and workers — “are the cornerstones who can rebuild America,” the Reverend William Barber declared in his latest sermon in Washington DC about the New Poor People’s Campaign: here.

Martin Luther King 1964 speech rediscovered

This video from the USA says about itself:

15 January 2018

In a Democracy Now! and Pacifica Radio Archives exclusive, we air a newly discovered recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On December 7, 1964, days before he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, King gave a major address in London on segregation, the fight for civil rights and his support for Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. The speech was recorded by Saul Bernstein, who was working as the European correspondent for Pacifica Radio. Bernstein’s recording was recently discovered by Brian DeShazor, director of the Pacifica Radio Archives.

Martin Luther King Day 2018 marked with an open racist in the White House: here.

Martin Luther King speech newly discovered

This video from the USA says about itself:

17 January 2017

In a Democracy Now! and Pacifica Radio Archives exclusive, we air a newly discovered recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On December 7, 1964, days before he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, King gave a major address in London on segregation, the fight for civil rights and his support for Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. The speech was recorded by Saul Bernstein, who was working as the European correspondent for Pacifica Radio. Bernstein’s recording was recently discovered by Brian DeShazor, director of the Pacifica Radio Archives.

This video is the sequel.

FBI spied on Martin Luther King for ‘I have a dream’ speech

This video, recorded in 1963 in the USA, is called Martin Luther King | “I Have A Dream” Speech.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Martin Luther King was put under FBI surveillance after his ‘I have a dream’ speech

by Bethan McKernan

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr‘s 1963 ‘I have a dream’ speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington was a defining moment of the 20th century.

His message of equality and fairness inspired generations of people across the world – but also put him at the centre of the FBI’s surveillance operations.

Attorney-General at the time Robert F. Kennedy approved a wiretap and hidden microphone operation that bugged many of King’s conversations from 1963 until his assassination in 1968.

William Sullivan, then head of the FBI’s domestic intelligence division, wrote in a top-secret memo at the time:

“Personally, I believe in the light of King’s powerful, demagogic speech that he stands head and shoulders over all other Negro leaders put together when it comes to influencing great masses.

We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this Nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro and national security.”

The operation, which was not approved by a court or subject to any investigative oversight, was initially justified to try and prove King‘s suspected links to Communism.

Thank goodness unsupervised surveillance like that doesn’t happen anymore, eh?

The FBI’s War on Civil Rights Leaders. Steeped in its own racism, without any checks or balances, the FBI devoted more resources to harming the civil rights movement than any other task in its purview: here.

Martin Luther King’s first ‘I Have a Dream’ speech recording discovered

This video, recorded in Washington, D.C. in the USA, is called Martin Luther King – I Have A Dream Speech – August 28, 1963 (Full Speech).

From Associated Press today:

Recording of MLK‘s 1st ‘I Have a Dream’ speech discovered


35 minutes ago

RALEIGH, N.C. — An English professor has unveiled a recording of what he says is the first time Martin Luther King Jr. said “I Have a Dream” in a public speech.

Months before the civil rights leader gave his famous address at the March on Washington in 1963, he was fine-tuning his message in other venues.

North Carolina State English professor Jason Miller says he discovered the recording of the speech King gave on Nov. 27, 1962, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He found it in a library while researching how King drew inspiration from the poetry of Langston Hughes.

Three people in the audience that day in 1962 listened to the recording being played in public for the first time on Tuesday. Dr. Tolokum Omokunde says King’s words flowed like liquid.

FBI false evidence in the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

The FBI vs. Martin Luther King: Inside J. Edgar Hoover‘s “Suicide Letter” to Civil Rights Leader

18 November 2014

It was 50 years ago today that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover made headlines by calling Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the “most notorious liar in the country.” Hoover made the comment in front of a group of female journalists ahead of King’s trip to Oslo where he received the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the youngest recipient of the prize.

While Hoover was trying to publicly discredit King, the agency also sent King an anonymous letter threatening to expose the civil rights leader’s extramarital affairs. The unsigned, typed letter was written in the voice of a disillusioned civil rights activist, but it is believed to have been written by one of Hoover’s deputies, William Sullivan.

The letter concluded by saying, “King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. … You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.” The existence of the so-called “suicide letter” has been known for years, but only last week did the public see the unredacted version. We speak to Yale University professor Beverly Gage, who uncovered the unredacted letter.

By Kate Randall in the USA:

US admits FBI falsified evidence to obtain convictions

20 April 2015

The US Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that over a more than two-decade period before 2000, nearly every FBI examiner gave flawed forensic hair testimony in almost all trials of criminal defendants reviewed so far, according to a report in the Washington Post.

The cases examined include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death, 14 of whom have been either executed or died in prison. The scandal raises the very real probability that innocent people have been sent to their deaths, and that many more wrongfully convicted are languishing on death rows across the US due to FBI analysts’ fraudulent testimony.

Testimony involving pattern-based forensic techniques—such as hair, bite-mark, and tire track comparisons—has contributed to wrongful convictions in more than a quarter of the 329 defendants’ cases that have been exonerated in the US since 1989. In their pursuit of convictions prosecutors across the country have often relied on FBI analysts’ overstated testimony on hair samples, incorrectly citing them as definitive proof of a defendant’s guilt.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project are assisting the government in the nation’s largest post-conviction review of the FBI’s questioned forensic evidence. The groups determined that 26 of 28 examiners in the elite FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far.

The nation’s courts have allowed the bogus testimony, masquerading as definitive scientific evidence of defendants’ guilt, to railroad innocent people and consign them to decades in prison, life in prison, or death row and the execution chamber.

Federal authorities launched an investigation in 2012 after a Post examination found that flawed forensic hair matches might have led to the convictions of hundreds of potentially innocent people nationwide since at least the 1970s. Defendants in these cases were typically charged with murder, rape and other violent crimes.

The scandal involves about 2,500 cases in which FBI examiners gave testimony involving hair matches. Hair examination is a pattern-based forensic technique. It involves subjective examination of characteristics such as color, thickness and length and compares them to a known source.

There is no accepted scientific research on how often hair from different people may appear the same, and any hair “matches” must be confirmed by DNA analysis. However, the Post ’s 2012 review found that FBI experts systematically testified to the near-certainty of matches of hair found at crime scenes to the hair samples of defendants. The FBI gave flawed forensic testimony in 257 of the 268 trials examined so far.

In 2002, a decade before the Post review, the FBI reported that its own DNA testing revealed that examiners reported false hair matches more than 11 percent of the time.

In Washington, DC, the only jurisdiction where defenders and prosecutors have carried out an investigation into all convictions based on FBI hair testimony, five of seven defendants whose trials included flawed hair evidence have been exonerated since 2009 based on either DNA testing or court appeals. All of them served 20 to 30 years in prison for rape or murder.

In an interview with the Post, University of Virginia law professor Brandon L. Garrett said the results of the DC investigation reveal a “mass disaster” inside the criminal justice system. “The tools don’t exist to handle systematic errors in our criminal justice system,” he said.

Those exonerated since 2009 in DC include:

* Donald Eugene Gates was incarcerated for 28 years for the rape and murder of a Georgetown University student. He was ordered released in December 2009 by a DC Superior Court Judge after DNA evidence revealed that another man committed the crime. The prosecution relied heavily on the testimony of an FBI analyst, who falsely linked two hairs from an African-American mail to Gates.

* Kirk L. Odom was wrongfully imprisoned for more than 22 years for a 1981 rape and murder. He completed his prison term in 2003, but it was not until July 2012 that DNA evidence exonerated him of the crimes. A DC Superior Court order freed him from remaining on parole until 2047 and registering as a sex offender.

* Santae A. Tribble was convicted in the 1978 killing of a DC taxi driver. An FBI examiner testifying at Tribble’s trial said he had microscopically matched the defendant’s hair to one found in a stocking near the crime scene. In 2012, DNA tests on the same hair excluded him as the perpetrator, clearing the way for his exoneration.

Federal authorities are offering new DNA testing in those cases where FBI analysts gave flawed forensic testimony. However, in some 700 of the 2,500 cases identified by the FBI for review, police or prosecutors have not responded to requests for trial transcripts or other information. Biological evidence is also not always available, having been lost or destroyed in the years since trial.

Although defense attorneys argue that scientifically invalid testimony should be considered a violation of due process, only the states of California and Texas specifically allow appeals when experts recant their testimony or scientific advances undermine forensic evidence given at trial.

In a statement responding to the new scandal’s eruption, the FBI and Justice Department vowed that they are “committed to ensuring that affected defendants are notified of past errors and that justice is done in every instance” and that are “also committed to ensuring the accuracy of future hair analysis, as well as the application of all disciplines of forensic science.”

The scandal over fraudulent testimony, however, only reveals the corrupt and anti-democratic character of the US prison system as a whole. The United States locks behind bars a greater proportion of its population than any other country, topped off by the barbaric death penalty that is supported by the entire political establishment.

Thirty years in jail for a single hair: the FBI’s ‘mass disaster’ of false conviction. A ‘dirty bomb’ of pseudo-science wrapped up nearly 268 cases – perhaps hundreds more. Now begins the ‘herculean effort to right the wrongs’: here.

Missouri man executed after faulty hair testimony was convicted in St. Louis County: here.

Defend voting rights in the USA, Martin Luther King letter

This video from the USA says about itself:

Selma Interview Special

6 February 2015

Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo take us behind the scenes of their acclaimed drama about a crucial episode in the struggle for US civil rights: Martin Luther King‘s anti-segregation march of 1965.

From Member of Congress John Conyers in the USA:


Thank you so much for helping progressives show their strength last weekend ahead of our budget deadline. The extraordinary response proved that Americans want to see action from Congress that expands opportunity for all.

In 1963, I registered voters in Selma, Alabama, where two years later, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would lead the historic marches that led to the passage of the critical Voting Rights Act. Back then, the inequality and violence that African-Americans endured on a daily basis greatly crippled our community.

Despite the progress we have made, present injustices are often times still overt. As a result, the rights we fought so hard for are being undermined by people who have chosen to forget our history. The most recent and profound example being Congress’ failure to renew critical sections of the Voting Rights Act.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Selma marches, we must recommit to this fight. Voting rights must be restored for ALL Americans. That’s why I’m asking you to stand with me and demand voting rights for all.

Will you add your name here?

After my visit to Selma and during my first year in office, I helped pass the Voting Rights Act. My father taught me that if the door of opportunity cracked open, we must dare to open it wider and hold it wide enough for as many people to go through as possible.

And that’s what I need your help doing. Add your name to my petition demanding Congress restore voting rights and honor our history.

For jobs, justice, and peace,


P.S. I wanted to share something very special with you. Below is a letter from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. urging me to pass legislation ensuring African-Americans received the right to vote. This letter continues to inspire me to keep up the fight for expanding and protecting rights for all. I hope it does for you as well.

Letter from Martin Luther King Jr. to Mr. Conyers. Add your name to his petition.

EFFORTS TO RESTRICT VOTING RIGHTS STYMIED “A number of state legislatures are adjourning, and supporters of expanded access to the ballot box may be sighing in relief as they see some of the major efforts to restrict voting access were stymied during this legislative session. Then again, they may be disappointed that bills to restore voting rights to felons were squashed, or that courts haven’t yet shut down strict new voter identification requirements in Arizona, North Carolina and Texas…As the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University highlighted Wednesday, “For the third year in a row, bills to expand voters’ access to the ballot box outpace those to restrict voting, both in terms of introduction and enactment.’ Of course, as the center notes, restrictions passed since the wave that swept the GOP to power in a slew of state legislatures in 2010 have continued to limit voting rights.” [Samantha Lachman, HuffPost]

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton in a speech on Thursday called for universal, automatic voter registration, saying every citizen in the country should be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18, unless they opt-out: here.

TEXAS ID LAW RULED IN VIOLATION OF VOTING RIGHTS ACT “A federal appeals court on Wednesday found that Texas’ strict voter identification law violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, in a victory for civil rights groups who had challenged the law.” [Ryan Reilly and Samantha Lachman, HuffPost]

Recent court rulings concerning attacks on the right to vote in several states—North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas and North Dakota—underscore the deeply anti-democratic character of “Voter ID” laws, as well as the significance of the 2013 gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the US Supreme Court: here.

Film Selma on Dr Martin Luther King, review

This video from the USA says about itself:

12 January 2015

Film director Ava DuVernay, nominated for a Golden Globe for the critically acclaimed “Selma,” joined host Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday for an extensive interview.

On 28 February 2015, I saw the film Selma.

There have already been many reviews of Selma, including the ones of this blog post, and of this blog post.

So, I will try to avoid making the same points of these reviews all over again.

The subject of this film is the civil rights movement in the USA; especially the struggle for equal voting rights in Selma, Alabama in 1965.

One of the first images is of girls, aged 11-14, in a church in Birmingham, Alabama. They have a happy conservation about hairstyles. Would a hairstyle like Coretta Scott King‘s during the 1963 March on Washington, fit them, or are they still too young for that? Then, exploding Ku Klux Klan dynamite makes the church a bloody ruin. Four girls die, many others are wounded.

Another scene in the film shows a local official demanding that a prospective voter recite the preamble to the United States Constitution. The African American woman wanting to vote recites it correctly. Next, she gets a question about the number of county judges in Alabama. When this question is answered, it is followed by the demand to name every one of these judges. Oprah Winfrey in the role of Annie Lee Cooper cannot name them all. The racist official then triumphantly marks “DENIED” on the voter registration form. There might have been many more scenes like that in the film. I once read that one prospective African American voter had replied correctly to lots of questions on United States constitutional law. Then, the official showed him a Chinese language newspaper. ‘Now, doggone you, what does that mean?’ The prospective voter replied: ‘It means that you white folks don’t want me to vote.’

An effective part of Selma is that again and again, typewritten texts appear on the movie screen. They show the spying on Dr Martin Luther King by the FBI. The FBI bugged the telephones of Dr King and of many other ‘uppity’ African Americans, of Nelson Mandela, and of many others; and spied on them in other ways.

Another ‘intelligence’ service spying on Martin Luther King was the NSA (not mentioned in the film). Today, infamous for spying on millions and millions of people. Living proof that the ideals which Dr King stood for still need to be fought for today. Thinking also about all the other agencies, still violating civil rights and spying today, more than ever during the 1960s. Including domestic spying by the CIA: illegal, but the CIA even spies on the committee of the Senate which is supposed to prevent illegal CIA activity.

Some of the scenes of the film are around the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. To get in or out of Selma, civil rights marchers needed to cross that bridge (named for Edmund Winston Pettus, who was a Confederate brigadier general in the 1861-65 civil war, U.S. Senator from Alabama and Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan.)

As the marchers approach that bridge, they see heavily armed Alabama National Guard troopers at the other end. Cinema audiences then hear the song Masters of War by Bob Dylan.

This music video from the USA is called Bob Dylan – Masters of War – with lyrics.

The film indicates the struggle for voting rights was part of broader issues. Dr King and other activists linked it to opposition against the Vietnam war and against poverty.

After the Selma marches, the Voting Rights Act was at last signed by President Lyndon Johnson under pressure of the massive civil rights movement, including, as the film says, protesters outside the White House stopping First Lady Lady Bird Johnson from sleeping. That Voting Rights Act is undermined today in several states in the USA; like by ‘driving while black’ penalties for minor traffic infractions, especially if by African American motorists, making these motorists ‘felons’, threatening their rights to vote.

The end of the film shows Dr King’s speech in Montgomery, capital of Alabama. Dr King then said that rich racist white people deceive poor white people into becoming racist. They say, lying: even though you are poor, you are still beter people than blacks. Here, I think of a link to Bahrain today: Bahraini pro-democracy political prisoner Ms Zainab Al-Khawaja, inspired by Martin Luther King. The Bahraini dictatorship plays similar divide and rule games as United States southern rich racists in the 1960s; it promotes sectarian conflicts between Sunni and Shia Muslims in order to continue its autocracy.

Among the last words of Dr King’s speech in the film is: ‘His truth is marching on!’ Dr King meant God. But many people in his audience may also have thought of John Brown, to whom this tune and lyrics were applied as well. John Brown, fighting in the nineteenth century against supporters of slavery like General Edmund Winston Pettus. And I thought about Dr King himself. 47 years after he was murdered, his truth still needs to march on.

At the end, the film shows (white) Ms Viola Liuzzo from Detroit in the northern USA, murdered by the Ku Klux Klan just hours after her participation in the march from Selma to Montgomery.

The theme song of Selma mentions the present civil rights issues in Ferguson, Missouri at the very end of the film.

Film Selma on civil rights movement in the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Selma Official Trailer #1 (2015) – Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr. Movie HD

Another video which used to be on YouTube used to say about itself:

Upcoming Black Film To Watch: Selma

22 December 2014

This is the trailer and panel discussion for “Selma” a historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, and Martin Luther King, Jr. of SCLC and John Lewis of SNCC. The film stars David Oyelowo as King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon Johnson, Common as Bevel, and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King.

By Maria Duarte in Britain:

Friday 6th Febuary 2015

A film on the US civil rights movement highlights unresolved issues, says MARIA DUARTE

Selma (12A)
Directed by Ava DuVernay

MARTIN LUTHER KING JNR would probably be smarting at the irony, if he were still alive.

This critically acclaimed film about his painstaking fight for black civil rights is at the centre of a row about a lack of diversity in Hollywood.

It comes as Selma received just two Oscar nominations for best picture and best original song, while its director Ava DuVernay was overlooked in the best director category which would have made her the first African-American woman to have been nominated.

British actor David Oyelowo was also snubbed for the best actor award for his extraordinary portrayal as Dr King in what has been dubbed the “Oscars so white” on social media — all this year’s nominees are that skin colour.

It is a travesty because Oyelowo is breathtakingly impressive in capturing King’s passion, his soulfulness and his frailties as a man as well as his political acumen.

Co-written by DuVernay and Paul Webb, the film centres on the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 which led to equal voting rights for African-Americans becoming enshrined in law.

DuVernay avoids producing a laboured history lesson. Instead she delivers an intelligent, compelling and heart-wrenching drama of outstanding breadth and depth in which King is portrayed warts and all.

She depicts the pivotal roles played by key black men and women in the movement and explores the tensions which arose between activists in King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the young militants of the Student Nonviolent Co-ordinating Committee after King and his team rolled into Selma and took charge.

The action sequences in which peaceful demonstrators, including women and children, are brutally beaten by racist white Alabama state troopers are painfully graphic.

The shooting dead of unarmed young man Jimmie Lee Jackson (Keith Stanfield) as he protects his mother is the most difficult to stomach.

The portrayal of King’s fractious relationship with President Lyndon Baines Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) has sparked controversy, not least because Johnson agrees to the FBI’s J Edgar Hoover bugging and monitoring the civil rights leader and sabotaging his marriage in order to derail him.

Fifty years on and King’s wildest dream is a reality — the US has its first black president — but little else has fundamentally changed.

Unarmed black youths are still being killed by white police, as was the case with 18-year-old Michael Brown in Missouri last year.

Barack Obama’s administration has done very little to eradicate the systemic racism and racial discrimination still prevalent in the US or improve the job prospects of poor African-Americans.

Sadly, the reality is that King’s dream remains just that.

David Oyelowo, who stars as Martin Luther King Jr, and director Ava DuVernay tell Gaby Wood why their Oscar-nominated film ‘Selma’ will make audiences both elated and angry: here.