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LOCAL Commentary :: Protest Activity

Occupy Chicago Must Remain Independent of Democrats

A rally to revive MLK's legacy of support to the poor and his challenge to US militarism and bloated war budgets, could remove a prop from the Democratic party's electoral drama. Did that happen at the January 15 People's Church rally?
There can be no doubt that if Martin Luther King were alive today he would be a vocal backer of the Occupy movement. Indeed, he was organizing for a poor people's march on Washington as well as supporting striking Memphis sanitation workers when he was gunned down. A rally to link King to current protests against concentrated wealth (and global US military aggression) helps to revive the true King legacy.

But, there is a danger, apparent in Sunday's gathering, that the Occupy MOVEMENT will itself be occupied by the Democratic party, co-opted by those whose agenda is electing Democrats.

Glen Ford has warned on the pages of Black Agenda Report that Occupy the Dream is dominated by Black clergy and others seeking to use the movement of help re-elect the corporate Democrat and warmonger in the White House, Barack Obama.

Speaking from the podium and sitting on the dias were Chicago Democrats Shakowsky, Jackson, Jr., and Preckwinkle. Giving a platform to Tony Preckwinkle is to showcase the County Board president who has presided over closures and terminations that serve the interests of the ruling elites. What's that about?

Be careful, Occupoy Chicago. While you may think you are confronting the politicians, they are busy trying to spin your message and appropriate your energy to elect themselves and their Wall Street/War Street president.

It is also important to remember that King put his faith in the people organized for direct protest, not in the politicians of the Democratic party.



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