Public Participatory Reading

April 4, 2024 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
Oscar Grant Plaza
“Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”
Public Participatory Reading
Tuesday, April 4, 2024; 12 noon – 1 pm+
Oscar Grant Plaza, Oakland
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holding poster for 1968 Poor People’s
Dear Oaklandish-area friends and colleagues,
I’m writing on behalf of the California Poor People’s Campaign and
Western States Legal Foundation to invite and encourage you to join this
year’s public participatory reading of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s
prophetic speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence [2].” The
reading will take placeon Tuesday April 4, in the amphitheater in front
of Oakland City Hall (Oscar Grant Plaza), from 12 noon – 1 pm+.
(Conveniently located right at the 12th St. Oakland City Center [3] BART
Station.)  _Many of you have participated in these readings in previous
years, and I hope you’ll feel inspired to do so again! _
Please let me know if you plan to join us Tuesday, April 4, if you’d
like to read a section of the speech, and if your organization would
like to endorse the event by completing this form [4].
This year’s readings are again part of the Poor People’s Campaign
initiative to build support for the Third Reconstruction Agenda to Heal
the Nation: End Poverty and Low Wages From the Bottom Up [5].
An updated “tool kit” for the 2024 readings has been posted by PPC
National Mobilizing Partner, United for Peace & Justice, at Organize a
Public Reading of Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” Speech in your
Community – United For Peace and Justice [6]. In the tool kit, you’ll
find the text of the speech, divided into 16 sections, in English.
You’ll also find an updated introduction for 2024 that connects the
speech to the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war.
If you can’t make it in-person on April 4, there will be a statewide
online reading at 6:30 pm. Register here.
On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his tragic assassination, in
his prophetic speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence [2],”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. declared: “I am convinced that if we are
to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must
undergo a radical revolution of values…. we must rapidly begin the
shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When
machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are
considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism,
extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival [7] has
picked up Dr. King’s unfinished work weaving the interlocking
injustices of systemic racism, systemic poverty, environmental
devastation, militarism and the war economy and a distorted moral
narrative of Christian nationalism that blames poor people for their own
poverty, into one “moral fusion” campaign.
Please join us on April 4! Let me know if you have any questions or can
volunteer to help.
_Forward together!__ – _Jackie Cabasso
“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper
darkness to a night already devoid of stars.” – Dr. Martin Luther King,
    Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director, Western States Legal
Foundation,655-13th Street, Oakland, CA 94612,(510)839-5877, [1]
From: Jacqueline Cabasso <>
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