News Release

Martin Luther King — and “Globalization”


A year to the day before his assassination on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. gave a landmark speech in which he denounced the Vietnam War — and challenged global economic relations. Now, 32 years later, hundreds of organizations are preparing to protest the policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in mid-April in Washington, D.C. The following activists are available for interviews:

A colleague of King and pastor emeritus of the Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, Lawson said: “What Clinton and others call ‘globalization,’ King would call simply another way of continuing the economic, political and military domination of Africa, Latin America and Asia by the United States…. King envisioned a ‘world house’ where all nations and all peoples would be moving towards authentic peace and human solidarity. He saw the economic injustice of racism as a major obstacle for the ‘world house.'”

Co-director of School of the Americas Watch, Richardson said: “In the same tradition as King — confronting violence with nonviolence — we have organized demonstrations to shut down the School of the Americas, which trains Latin American militaries. The SOA has always been about protecting U.S. economic interests. You can’t have the economic policies of the IMF and the World Bank without the military muscle to enforce it.”
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Regional director of the American Friends Service Committee in San Francisco, Riles said today: “Dr. King talked of a ‘radical revolution of values’; he spoke against greed, war and the weapons industry. Today, some of the same corporations are using the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organization to further their interests. Developing countries need money—but as conditions for loans, they are forced to allow these transnational corporations to exploit them, from their laborers to mineral resources to genetic patents.”
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Longtime peace activist and resident of Jonah House in Baltimore, McAlister said: “We are living in a state where the government is of, by and for the wealthy including the major corporations. They protect their interests by any means necessary — and that means war and weapons of mass destruction, and poisoning the earth and the people of the earth.” She is married to Philip Berrigan, who last week was sentenced to 30 months in prison for hammering a plane that bombed Iraq and Yugoslavia with depleted uranium.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 or (202) 332-5055