On Saturday, April 4, in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King and his visionary "Beyond Vietnam" speech in 1967, 10,000 people marched on Wall Street on Aril 4 to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to demand a larger investment in the needs of our communities. Joining this march were labor, activists, veterans, students, immigrant rights groups, military families, faith-based people, women's groups, and community groups, organized by United for Peace and Justice.
Rev. James Lawson, an icon of the civil rights era, and co-worker with The Rev. King spoke before the start of the march. Lawson told marchers, "In the spirit of The Rev. King and the movement for equality and justice of the 1950s and 60s, I say, 'If we want peace to blossom, we must eradicate poverty, racism, sexism, violence, and greed in the U.S. Peace cannot come by crying peace. Peace can only begin to emerge when justice does.'"
Welcome from Leslie Kielson, National Co-Chair for United for Peace and Justice.
Dr. James Lawson Jr., cofounding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, who was with The Rev. King in Memphis, Tenn. before he was assassinated, and was chairperson of the sanitation strike in Memphis.
Rev. Dr. Brad Braxton, senior pastor of the Riverside Church in New York City.
Laura McSpedon, senior field organizer with Jobs with Justice.
George Martin, co-chair, United for Peace and Justice.
Perry O'Brien, Iraq Veterans Against the War, former Army medic with the 82nd Airborne, served in Afghanistan and is a conscientious objector.
Luis Gardena Costa, founder and president of "El Puente", the Brooklyn-based community youth development organization.
Andre Rivera, Youth Ministers for Peace and Justice in South Bronx, N.Y.
Eric Bachman, representing international coordinating committee for "No to War, No to NATO," April 4 protest in Strasbourg, France, Baden-Baden Germany.