Martin Luther King III to Speak at Million Worker March, October 17, 2004, in
Coretta Scott King and Martin
Luther King III have endorsed the Million Worker March on
The Million Worker March will also feature presentations by Reverend E. Randall Osburn, Executive Vice President of the Southern Christian Leadership Foundation, and a close collaborator of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and by Dick Gregory, the noted social activist and associate of Dr. King.
The call for the Million Worker March was initiated by International Longshore Workers Union Local 10. The presence of the family of Dr. King is a fitting moral and political expression of historical continuity.
On September 21, 1967, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made a moving presentation at the hall of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10. The ILWU Dispatcher reported on September 29, 1967,
“Referring to labor history, King noted that the civil rights sit-in movement was actually invented by the labor movement, and we have to keep on sitting-in at factory gates, at the steps of Congress and even in front of the White House.”
Dr. King was made an honorary member of the ILWU Local 10. At the presentation, Dr. King appeared with William “Bill” Chester, who had become the first major African-American official of the ILWU as International Vice President, a direct consequence of the civil rights movement’s infusion within the labor movement itself.
On October 15, 1967, Dr. King spoke at the Oakland Coliseum to be followed by performances of Harry Belafonte and Joan Baez in launching a seven-city concert tour in support of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
The linkage of the struggle for civil rights
with that of the labor movement and of opposition to the devastating war on
Dr. King announced a Poor People’s Campaign that
would culminate in Poor People’s March on
He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 as he prepared a march in support of sanitation and other municipal employees.
The Mission Statement of the Million Worker March declares:
“Thirty-six years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. summoned working people across
“Working people are under siege while new wars of devastation are launched at the expense of the poor everywhere.
“The Million Worker March will revive and expand
a great struggle for fundamental change, as we forge together a social,
economic and political movement that will transform