The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

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The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

  • on: December 08, 2009, 04:18:33 PM



It was must after 6:00 on April 4, 1968, and Martin Luther King, Jr., was standing on the second-floor balcony of Memphis's Lorraine Motel when a sniper's bullet cut through the evening air. Playfully bantering with his driver one moment, King was on his back the next, a pool of blood expanding around his head. Minutes later, the civil rights leader was dead.

The ostensible assassin, captured months later, was James Earl Ray, a petty crook who hadn't shown a previous aptitude for any criminal enterprise more elaborate than gas station stickups and a prison escape. As the result of a deal between his attorney and the prosecution, Ray pleaded guilty and received a ninety-nine-year sentence. But he immediately recanted and, insisting his innocence, has attempted to secure a retrial ever since, without success.

Did Ray kill Martin Luther King? Two and a half decades after the fact, a small mountain of accumulating evidence tends to corroborate Ray's broadest claim that he didn't fire the fatal shot. We now know of that indelible day in Memphis shifts suspicion rather dramatically.

In the days and hours leading up to King's murder, and extraordinary phalanx of government agents, informants, soldiers, and spies quietly filed into Memphis. Their business remains murky, purposefully so - government documents that might shed light on the case are still stubbornly classified.

However, they clearly had little interest in protecting King. His increasingly vocal opposition to the Vietnam War and outreach to impoverished whites had begun to stoke fears of revolution in the streets. Army intelligence, which had spied on King for decades, considered him to be a subversive and possibly a communist. Now they clambered to develop plans that might undercut King's agenda, especially his upcoming March on Washington, billed in a panicky Pentagon intelligence report as "a devastating civil disturbance whose sole purpose is to shut down the United States government." King was the domestic equivalent of the enemy being fought overseas: "a Negro who repeatedly has preached the message of Hanoi and Peking."

Against this martial backdrop, King had returned to Memphis, vowing to restage a nonviolent march in defense of striking sanitation workers. The previous week, a King rally there had erupted into a riot that injured sixty and left one person dead. Egged on the FBI director J. Edgar Hoover's hysterical "blind" leaks to the press, the media was now billing King's return as a "dress rehearsal" for looting and rioting in Washington.

Enter the feds, surreptitiously, almost as if they had declared war on King:
In advance of King's visit, the army's 20th Special Forces Group, based in Alabama, had dispatched Green Beret soldiers to various cities in the South, including Memphis. Their mission: Making street maps, identifying landing zones for antiriot troops, and scouting sniper sites -supposedly to crush civil disorder. But the 20th was chock full of Special Operations Group vets, who in Vietnam had worked with the CIA in clandestine operations, including assassinations. According to a former army counterintelligence major quoted in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, "They couldn't let a lot of these crazy guys back into the States because they couldn't forget their training." So the army "dumped" them in Birmingham's 20th SFG. "The rural South was 'in-country," the major said, "and at times things got out of hand." The Ku Klux Klan became the 20th's domestic intelligence network, dubbed "Klan Special Forces."

According to army records obtained in 1993 by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, on April 3 army agents from the 111th Military Intelligence Group arrived in Memphis, where they shadowed King's "movements and monitored radio traffic from a sedan crammed with electronic equipment."

On the day of King's assassination, "eight Green Beret soldiers from an 'Operation Detachment Alpha 194 Team' were also in Memphis carrying out an unknown mission," per the Commercial Appeal.

According to then-Memphis police detective Ed Redditt, "an hour and a half, no more than two hours" before King's assassination, he was summoned from his command post adjacent to the Lorraine Motel and whisked away to police headquarters. Redditt was one of only two officers assigned to protect King. In the police Chief's office, "It was like a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," he later told author Mark Lane. "In this room, just before Dr. King was murdered, were the heads and the seconds in command of I guess every law enforcement operation in this area…The Sheriff, the highway patrol, army intelligence, the national guard. You name it. It was in the room.
Redditt was introduced to the U.S. Secret Service agent who claimed to have flown out from Washington to warn him that a group in Mississippi had put a contract on his head. Redditt, an African American, was ordered to relinquish his post and go home. the supposed "death threat," Redditt learned years later, turned out to have been a false alarm.

The first person to reach the mortally wounded King was Marrell McCullough, supposedly a black radical, but in reality an undercover cop keeping tabs on the minister's entourage for the Memphis police and the FBI. According to Mark Lane, shortly after the assassination McCullough was also working for the CIA.
The local cops behaved plenty suspiciously, too. Memphis's director of police and fire services removed the two black firemen stationed at the firehouse adjacent to the Lorraine Motel. The firehouse, Station 2, became the stakeout where Detective Redditt would surveil and protect King - until Redditt, too, was yanked from the site.

According to FBI documents, the Bureau had recently heard of some fifty threats against King's life, the latest just three days before his death. Despite the warning signs, the local police withdrew their tactical units several blocks away from King's motel. They also failed to seal off streets or issue an all-points-bulletin after the shooting. Consequently, the killer - or killers - had an open escape route.

The assassination was immediately dubbed the work of that familiar American archetype, the nonpolitical loner. And two months after the murder, London authorities arrested James Earl Ray, the leading suspect. Ray a forty-year-old white fugitive, had indeed fled Memphis moments after the fatal shot was fired. Without a doubt, he had some connection to the killing - a fact he has never contested.

The evidence aligned against Ray certainly looked convincing, perhaps too convincing. It included fingerprints on a .30-06 rifle with sniper's scope, which was found on the sidewalk outside a seedy rooming house opposite the Lorraine Motel. Ray had in fact checked into a room there under an alias earlier that day. Bundled with the gun were an assortment of Ray's personal items, including his prison-issued radio taken during his escape from lock-up the previous year.

Witnesses at the boarding house reported seeing a dark-suited man, presumed to be the new "tenant," rushing through the second-floor hallway moments after the shot rang out. He was described as carrying a long package. A minute or so later, patrons in a record store beneath the boarding house saw a similarly clad man rush by the store window, dropping the package onto the pavement with a conspicuous thud. Moments later, they saw a man in a white Mustang bolt away from the curb in a screech of burning rubber.

It didn't look good for Ray, to put it mildly. Not only did the window in Ray's room face the Lorraine Motel balcony, but so did the window in the common bathroom on the same floor, where several witnesses claimed the gunshot originated. The furniture in Ray's room had been rearranged to facilitate access to the window, and among Ray's personal effects ditched on the sidewalk below was a pair of binoculars he had purchased that afternoon.

Ray's inarticulate claims didn't help his case. He insisted that he had been the dupe in a plot organized by a mysterious character named Raoul, whom he described variously as a "blond Latin," a "red-haired French Canadian," or an auburn-haired "Latin Spanish." According to Ray, Raoul had hired him in Montreal the previous year as a courier in a gun-smuggling venture.

As Ray told it, he had purchased the damning rifle and binoculars at Raoul's behest. The rifle was to be a demo model for prospective illegal buyers. Although his boss told Ray to stay near his car parked below the flophouse, Ray claimed that he had driven to a nearby gas station. When he returned to the boarding house, he later asserted, pandemonium was in full swing. Assuming that Raoul's gun deal had gone awry, Ray claimed that he hightailed it out of town, only learning later that King had been gunned down.

Though the official version of events seems to present an open-and-shut case against Ray - bolstered by his initial guilty plea - there are more than a few discrepancies:
Numerous witnesses reported that there were two white Mustangs parked outside the fleabite boarding house in Memphis. Could a man of a similar physical build and attire have impersonate Ray, conspicuously dropping the rifle for the benefit of bystanders, and then peeling away in a car just like Ray's?

For Ray to pack his easily traced personal effects with the supposed murder weapon is the height of criminal stupidity. For him to then dump the incriminating package in plain view of witnesses, a few steps away from his car, is just plain unbelievable. On the other hand, someone trying to frame Ray might do just that.

Only one "witness," Charles Stephens, identified Ray as the man seen fleeing from the boarding house. At first Stephens denied that Ray was the man who rushed from the bathroom, but after languishing in jail for a spell as a "material witness," Stephens changed his story. Later, however, he recanted and complained that he was coerced into signing a false affidavit.
According to Grace Stephens, her husband wasn't even in the building when the shot rang out. It was she who saw a man fleeing down the hall, not her husband. "There's no doubt in my mind," Mrs. Stephens claimed from the beginning. "That wasn't James Earl Ray. It was an entirely different man."
To be sure, the Stephenses aren't the most reliable of witnesses; at the time both were drinking heavily. In a move that certainly seems suspicious, though, soon after her husband was jailed, Grace was illegally confined to a mental institution. According to her lawyer, she was "shuttle off" to the nuthouse because her loud claims threatened the Memphis prosecutor's case against Ray.

Though the rifle and sundry items packed around it were covered with Ray's fingerprints, uncharacteristically it took the FBI weeks to match them to Ray the escaped convict. And none of Ray's prints were found in his room, nor on a box filled with bullets.

There are other mysterious occurrences that belie the lone-nut scenario: On the lam in Toronto, while he was holed up in a boarding house, Ray was visited by a person who has come to be known as "the fat man." The fat man hand-delivered an envelope to the frightened fugitive. Apparently Ray wasn't concerned that this supposed stranger might be a policeman, for according to the hostel keep, her reclusive guest uncharacteristically met the man at the front door. It would seem that the mysterious stranger delivered a wad of cash, for the very next day Ray bought a plane ticket to London.

Canadian authorities later located the fat man, who rattled off an implausible story that nonetheless satisfied the police: He had stumbled upon an envelope bearing Ray's address and decided to return it to its owner. But when author Philip Melanson tracked him down and confronted him years later, the fat man said that he had refused to testify in 1968 in order to avoid getting "a bullet in my head." Later, he added, without elaborating, "Ray and those people are gangsters. They'll kill anyone."

But the best and spookiest evidence of a conspiracy consists of Ray's use of sophisticated aliases during the months leading up to the assassination and directly thereafter.

All four of Ray's aliases have one very crucial connection: they were names of real people living in close proximity to one another in Toronto, Canada. But Ray visited Toronto only once in his life: while on the lam, just after King was assassinated. Yet he had been using several of the false identities months before the assassination. How had Ray come by these names? Typically, Ray's explanations have been evasive.

Melanson tracked down the Canadians, and the scenario he details in his 1989 book, The Murkin Conspiracy, is downright chilling. Months before the assassination, Ray was using the alias, "Eric Starvo Galt." Melanson discovered that, during the same period, the Toronto man named Eric Galt was signing his middle name, St. Vincent, as "St. V.," scribbling lopsided circles for the periods, so that the full name looked to the uninitiated like "Eric Starvo Galt." In an impressive bit of detection, Melanson found that at some point, the real Eric St. Vincent Galt changed his signature, and began signing documents and personal checks as Eric S. Galt. At about the same time, the recidivist American crook James Earl Ray changed his alias to "Eric S. Galt." And this was months before Ray's first and only visit to Toronto!
There were other uncanny parallels between Ray and the Canadians whose names he apparently filched - especially Galt. Ray bore a striking resemblance to Galt. Both had scars above their eyes. In fact, the other Canadians also had facial scars. Four months before the assassination, Ray - the two-big holdup man - underwent plastic surgery, which modified his "very distinctive pointy nose," according to Melanson, and made him look even more like the real Galt. Moreover, the Canadian Galt was a skilled marksman who often toted guns in his car to and from the shooting range and who had visited cities of the American South frequented by Ray.

Melanson's point is very persuasive: These parallels cannot possibly be coincidences. Was someone trying to draw attention to these four hapless Canadians? In fact, that's just what happened. During the search for King's assassin, they became unwitting victims of Ray's aliases. At the time of "the greatest manhunt in history" Galt saw his name blazoned in banner headlines. Had the FBI not identified Ray's prints on the rifle, the innocent Galt would almost surely have become the prime suspect.

What was the point of this sophisticated legerdemain with Ray's aliases? According to Melanson, Galt was the key. "Galt was more than simply a cover: He was man who could be implicated in the crime, at least temporarily, while Ray made his escape." The other two Canadians lived conveniently near Galt, and police might erroneously conclude that the real Galt had stolen his three "aliases" from them. In short, the unsuspecting Galt was set up to be the "wrong man."

The parallels "were surely the result of conspiratorial planning rather than coincidence," concludes Melanson, adding that "This was beyond the capacities of a small-time loser like Ray."

Melanson argues that the conspirators probably selected Galt and cribbed his vital stats by gaining access to his top-secret security clearance file. For Galt was an employee at a Canadian defense firm working on a classified missile project for the U.S. military. His file was kept by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

The CIA routinely trades information with the RCMP, raising the possibility that American intelligence had a hand in Ray's elaborate odyssey - and the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.

While some assassination researchers believe that Ray was a completely innocent "patsy," others suggest that he played a part in the plot, albeit maybe not as the triggerman. Melanson, who belongs to the latter school, suggests that had Ray reached his ultimate destination, Angola, he would have been discreetly murdered.

Which brings us full circle to the quasi-chimerical "Raoul," Ray's purported master. Ray had supposedly met Raoul in Montreal. In 1968 a Canadian journalist tracked down a "Raoul-like" character in that city. Named Jules Ron "Ricco" Kimble, this American expatriate also was known as "Rolland" or "Rollie."

Although the House Select Committee on Assassinations report stated that Kimble denied any evidence of the murder, in 1989 he told reporters John Edginton and John Sergeant that he had in fact been involved in the conspiracy that killed King. According to Kimble, the plot involved agents of the CIA and FBI, the "mob," and Ray. (Kimble is serving a double life sentence in El Reno, Oklahoma, for two murders he says were political.)

Kimble now claims responsibility for introducing Ray to a CIA operative in Montreal who arranged for Ray's aliases. But was Kimble, himself, the mysterious Raoul? Unfortunately, the story gets murkier, for reporters Edginton and Sergeant cite an anonymous "ex-CIA agent" as confirming that the Agency employed a Canada-based operative who specialized in creating false identities. That operative's name? Raoul Maora.

The evidence of government involvement in the King assassination is admittedly circumstantial. But taken together - the massive presence of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement operative in Memphis, the discrepancies in the evidence against Ray, the Canadian aliases, and the fact that Ray seems to have had a sophisticated support network that kept him on a payroll - the scenario gets, well, curiouser and curiouser.

The FBI's alleged absence from the scene of the crime is particularly odd. The Bureau claimed that it hadn't had King under surveillance in Memphis. For years, however, he had been the target of Hoover's pathological crusade to destroy the "Black Messiah," as King was known in Bureauspeak. That the FBI would innocently call off its unrelenting dogs just as King's "threat" to law-and-order types was cresting stretches credulity to the snapping point.

Did the FBI's illegal campaign against King go beyond its well-documented character assassination? An FBI memo dated less than a year before King died in Memphis seems prescient: It stated that a CIA informant "feels that somewhere in the Negro movement, at the top, there must be a Negro leader who is 'clean' who could step into the vacuum and chaos if Martin Luther King were either exposed or assassinated."

No heir apparent ever emerged - although ultrasuspicious conspiracy trackers note Jesse Jackson's public appearance soon after the shooting in a shirt stained with the fallen martyr's blood - but by hook, crook, or sheer dumb luck, Hoover and his bully boys got their wish.



Source: http://http://www.carpenoctem.tv/cons/mlk.html
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Offline liegi

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Re: The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

  • on: December 08, 2009, 04:45:26 PM
I live through that era--that certainly brings memories of the turbulent sixties.  Now, instead of assassinating people who tend to disrupt the status quo, "they" involves them in scandals.
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Offline whateverhappens

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Re: The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

  • on: December 09, 2009, 04:05:10 PM
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Offline paula-c

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Re: The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

  • on: December 14, 2009, 10:50:28 AM
Although I am not those who believe that the triumph of Obama represents a radical change in US policy, because now we have seen how other blacks who have become relevant jobs in this country assume the same behavior of most recalcitrant racists - only mention we have defence Colin Power as Home Minister aggression to Iraq and recent acting Secretary of Government (Chancellor) Condolesa Rise - however not there is doubt of what seemed simple and simply impossible only a few years occurred, one of the countries most racist worldwide democratically elected a black President ago. During the last forty years, the widow of Martin Luther King and a group of relatives and supporter of the cause against racism have used his birth and death dates to claim these struggles, have been often alone, let us hope that this begins to change.
In spite of the progress of the self-proclaimed "world's largest democracy" certainly that blacks, a quarter of the total population of the United States, were and are in a position to second class men. Until ago about 50 years in some States of the Union, some more than others, there were clear racial discrimination legislation impeding black to attend the same school of whites, clubs, Church, be seated buses, among others. While there were already some pro organizations civil rights for Blacks were still weak and conversely if whites racist movements were very strong both on the public stage - legal in the darkness and underground, this is the case Ku klux klan. In this context is the figure of Martin Luther King, who from 1955 until his death in 1968, he devoted his life to the peaceful struggle for racial equality.
Being named President of the Confederation of the Christian South, moved to Atlanta where organized mass peaceful demonstrations emulating Ghandi, repeatedly was brutally beaten alongside fellow police repression and others went to prison. Hundreds of speeches and writings were creating an atmosphere of social and political pressure throughout the country. Undoubtedly, the mobilization of greater social drag was one on 28 August 1963, the March from Birmingham, Alabama to Washington, where more than 250,000 focused thousand people (not only blacks) vs. Licoln Memorial Park. There he delivered one of the most beautiful and deep in the history of social struggles speeches: "I have a dream", which reflected the ideological platform of their movement, a world where the skin color is not what matters but their ideas and feelings. All this in a very difficult stage before the assassination of President Kennedy.
He was both the success of these mobilizations that in 1964, the American Congress passed the Act of civil rights, and in 1965 the minutes of the right to vote in all the States of the U.s.. In 1964 the recognition of their struggle becomes international when it is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and is their fight crossed the social barrier by solidarity with the tragedies of poor countries, not only those where predominated black, but in those countries such as Vietnam, victims of imperial oppression. On 4 April 1968, with only 39 years falls assassinated in Memphis-Tennessee James Earl Ray sniper.
When, paradoxically, we ufanamos the advances of modernity and we refer to the knowledge society, the postindustrial and a supposed post-modernism, the truth is that this world manifested more cruel human contradictions, having among its causes the belief that whites are superior to blacks, that men are genetically superior to women, there are religions, languages and cultures today more important than others, that the poor are lower than the rich, that some Nations are created with the power to decide on the rest of the world, as if this belonged them.  While we talk about progress more than 20 % of the population in the world dies of hunger, more than 60 % live in extreme poverty. When barely above the age of 60 of the Declaration of human rights, say as always rights but are all non-rights are privileges. Who most touted these rights are in fact their largest violators. While international organizations as the United Nations, with its more than six decades to slope, can do nothing to curb the violence of the most powerful countries on the poorest, case evident and Dantesque Zionist genocide on the Palestinians in Gaza, the struggle for Justice and equality will remain large majorities dream.
The United States are the United States, and that Bush and Barack Obama represent us, this should be clear. Many feel as if would have won the himself God. I also had that Candida sensation. Because of the hope. End the war. To give up the bullets that lead children to heaven.
I still have my memories bloodthirsty and murderous fires artificial, able to deprive a man life or the life of an Iraqi. Still doesn't end going, that night I remember, one impressive day when the sky of Iraq, seemed a displacement of firework. The fire was more powerful. He was the most lethal. Mixed with boiling blood, mutilated arms, leg shattered, widows, orphans tears. It is that this impacts, and it seems that today see them, and cannot be said that this was yesterday. It is in the mind that history is remembered, and that is that it serves history, to know what they did, and what they are doing today, and where that remains ship named USA is directed. That forget that war occurs today, is forbidden in this history of violation of Iraqi soil. Their bloodthirsty and warmongering behaviour dates back many years. With street prison. With torture in the menu. With violation of rights by not wanting to powerful manufacturers stop damage to the environment. And a nation that go hand in hand with the Government and the powerful industries that pollute theAnd play secret diplomacy. We do weapons, but they (which stop in front, our enemies) cannot do it. Lack of ethics in a diplomatic relationship fraught with fears and deaths. But I still have in my mind that I remember listening and viewing by CNN as attacking the Iraqi civilian population.
Instead, there in Nagasaki and Hiroshima there are still traces of this evil proceed for which there can be oblivion. That confidence which is strained Slinky to show us a man for being color (black) we need to have confidence. Raise a reason simplistic is that the black have suffered greatly in that country (have been slaves) and kept a denigratoria slavery of human dignity, and that being black could not you sit in the three or four first ranks first seat of public transport, and then when filled the bus, blacks who were behind should stand up and gradually cede the post according to the income of white users. But that is the least passed to them. The story is stained blood and death remember Martin Luther King. If Lords, blood and death within that country against Blacks. But does it not give a magic wand Obama. That does not mean that Obama has enough power to delete values, culture, plagued by nation of vices. Why touting that change comes at the end. But are you invented in the media the powerful of the world (and fall many unsuspecting). They are invented because all the powerful need. It is clear as the solidarity of those countries when it comes to power. Just observe that all the powerful world came in solidarity because there is a financial crisis. All are protected to preserve power.
But which is the great change. It is a black on a white.
Power killed Martin Luther King because it assumed a change in the vision of a racist cultural value, she was killed in the land that today does not allow have many hope for change. It is that these interests are so large that killed a President, some of their Presidents, John f. Kennedy. It is there so many vested interests and by means of direct to us. This interests won't White House with Bush, there remain stuck in the White House policy.
Things are not going to change by having a black in the House. It can change a white chair by one black. In this land there is enough blood to stop record in the history of the brutality of wasteful overflowing of economic interests that deprive there touted as owner and Lord of the world. That is what changes a black to white. That a black there had never been mounted in power. But that had to mount it. Wear the illusions of those hopes that the American people trusted is disabled. For a moment any Candida look allows to contemplate to Obama as that hope. But that is not the case, is unforgivable mistake thinking that way
In the victory of a man black, charismatic, intelligent and good visibility, and with good oratory, there is a man who has fogueado in a political arena which is American. That suffered defeats in his rise to power. It has codeado with other powerful, not only of the policy, also finances. Is the power of Governments to establish strong ties and camaraderie when in power. This occurs when there is no ethics, and believed that money of States is it has endorsed the people the rulers, and is personal booty.
The phenomenon happened. Vision towards him is President. In its essence human Obama knows that she remains Obama, a simple and deadly ser humano, and the other is accessory is learned, is the political pose to the masses and the media. And a lot of advisers blowing the ear so that their repeated words sounding to poetry. Understanding poetry as said it the poet Horace Rossi: poetry as a means to make the world habitable. You will also receive the password of your environment and means Barack Obama is not God, and that the us still mounted on the train of power and violence.

Offline GirlSaturday

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Re: The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

  • on: December 14, 2009, 04:04:05 PM
Dr King was murdered when he began emphasizing the Poor People's Campaign. Poor people came in all colors, races and ethnicities. That force of people bonding together would have shattered the racially charged  divide-and-conquer strategy.  

credit sclc site:
On December 4, 1967, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. announced to the press his plans for the Poor People’s Campaign.  He described a movement that would shine a light on the daily plight of those living in poverty by “leading waves of the nation’s poor and disinherited to Washington, D.C…to demand redress of their grievances by the United States and to secure at least jobs or income for all.”    

By bringing people out of the shadows and taking them to the centers of decision-making, he would give the oppressed a voice in their destiny and hold political leaders accountable for their choices affecting impoverished individuals and families. The Poor People’s Campaign was considered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to be the second phase of the civil rights movement. This effort sought to eradicate poverty by creating livable wage jobs. The campaign was halted due to the untimely death of Dr. King, who is known as one of world’s greatest most influential leaders of all time.
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Offline Melzy777

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Re: The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

  • on: December 26, 2009, 07:52:27 AM
Early morning (evening), April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride....

Pride (In the name of L.O.V.E.) - U2
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Offline ENGELINHIER

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Re: The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

  • on: December 26, 2009, 08:12:14 AM
Quote from: "liegi"
I live through that era--that certainly brings memories of the turbulent sixties.  Now, instead of assassinating people who tend to disrupt the status quo, "they" involves them in scandals.


I COULD NOT AGREE MORE!!!!

THERE ARE MANY WAYS OF KILLING A PERSON AND WORDS CAN BE MORE DANGEROUS THAN A GUN :(
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