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This Labor Day, Remember That Martin Luther King's Last Campaign Was for Workers' Rights


This Labor Day, Remember That Martin Luther King's Last Campaign Was for Workers' Rights

Peter Dreier

Most Americans today know that Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, but few know why he was there. King went to Memphis to support African American garbage workers, who were on strike to protest unsafe conditions, abusive white supervisors, and low wages — and to gain recognition for their union. Their picket signs relayed a simple but profound message: “I Am A Man.”


Are labor unions the best vehicle for us to fight for "human dignity, workers rights, living wages and social justice?"
When the union movement began they were the place to be to fight for those things.
But in 2016?
Something went badly wrong with all labor unions.
People generally join "clubs" that offer them some return on their investment of time and expense.
They stop joining or leaving clubs that sell them out.
Unions are almost non-existent today because they have become creatures of the establishment and are being run by plutocrats who wouldn't visit east Harlem or downtown Detroit unless they were forced to. And they certainly wouldn't live in those communities and leave their mansions in the suburbs behind.


I like this article; it so clearly encapsulates and condenses a major part of the vaunted freedom.

It contains the phrases, "Commercial Appeal" and "lack of social vision . ." ( although not juxtaposed), it gets to the heart disease and cancer of the matter.


A very happy and just Labor Day to the Commondreams community. This is a fine to time to remember both Dr. King and labor's struggle.


If racism is a product of the wealth inequality rich conservatives support, why do poor American minority conservatives also support it?

Direct Democracy


It should be noted that Dexter King asked James Earl Ray, "I just want to ask you, for the record, um, did you kill my father ", James Earl Ray's response,"No,no, I didn't " The King family tried very hard to get the trial for James Earl Ray that never happened, and were turned down for such trial. Also, the King family are on record with the belief that James Earl Ray never killed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That is very important to know going forward.


The 1% and their corporations left King alone as long as he limited his efforts to voting and civil rights that cost them nothing. As soon as King started questioning their Viet Nam occupation profit center and advocating for organized labor,,,things that threatened the oligarchs' bottom line, they made sure that those issues became King's "last campaign",and beware anybody else who treads on corporate bottom lines..


Williams Pepper's 2003 book "An Act of State - the Execution of Martin Luther King", a work of historical nonfiction that was Corporately Ignored, much the way James W. Douglass's "JFK and the Unspeakable- Why He Died and Why it Matters" was, details the 1999 trial of Loyd Jowers, which exonerated James Earl Ray, who had already died in Prison, of the assassination of Martin Luther King, while implicating, as was in the case of JFK ; the CIA, the FBI, the Military and Organized Crime.

Took me a couple of minutes to find this out.

What's Drier's excuse?


Drier devoted just one sentence to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and it was wrong. The King family tried many ways to get James Earl Ray the trial he never received. My memory says the King family also tried to get an independent forensics done on the so called evidence that was used to finger Ray. Everything the King family tried was rejected. The crime happened in Tennessee, and they were not allowing a trial for James Earl Ray; however, next time your in Atlanta stop by the King Center on Sweet Auburn Ave. Peace!


That which they cannot blackmail, buy, or break in the eyes of the public; they destroy or eliminate. And, we lost a bunch of them in the 1960s. Never to be replaced. Wellstone may have been close in thinking to these many lost statesmen and visionary people. And, they couldn't allow that to happen, either. So it goes in Exceptionalville, U.S.A.


MLK was whacked because he went public with his opposition to the Vietnam War. FBI & the cops just quietly faded back, left him in the open, unprotected, knowing full well sooner or later someone would whack him. And the Official Story about how James Earl Ray ended up in England makes no sense, tell you what.