Albany, NY King Celebration

jonathan flanders jon_flanders at SPAMcompuserve.com
Tue Jan 16 07:21:06 MST 2001



Yesterday afternoon I attended at the annual Labor Celebration of Martin
Luther King in Albany. This event has been organized for a few years now,
and takes place after the official New York State observance in Albany,
which is usually attended by the Governor of New York and other
dignitaries.

Last year marked the first time that the NY State AFL-CIO participated in
the proceedings, in the person of the President, Denis Hughes. They were
represented again, this year, but the shortened program had as its keynote
speaker Bill Fletcher, the special assistant to the national AFL-CIO.

Fletcher's brief speech addressed the iconification of King. He stated
bluntly that King was a radical, who opposed the war in Vietnam, and
organized for economic justice. Fletcher, a Harvard educated
African-American labor organizer, had the crowd of several hundred with him
immediately; his conclusion, that labor leaders should model themselves
after King, as champions of all the oppressed, and that it was necessary
for all sectors of the working class to unite in order to confront the evil
of global capitalism, was greeted by a standing ovation.

Jon Flanders





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