To mark April 4th, the date of MLK’s assassination, TPNS was invited to host a screening of ‘From Montgomery to Memphis’ on 26 March at the Union Chapel Islington .
‘From Montgomery to Memphis’ was released in 1970, and follows Dr.King’s 13 years of civil rights activism, from his first bus boycotts to his assassination on April 4th, 1968. In 1967, MLK addressed the ‘triple evils’ of poverty, racism and militarism. His analysis was that they were indivisible. His analysis remains as relevant then as today and is at the heart of our MLK Global project.
Ahead of the screening, and linked to the MLK theme of ‘The Beloved Community’, TPNS was invited to give a talk about its work in general and its Transform Defence project in particular – especially the links between military spending and military emissions. It also includes reference to its MLK Global work.The TPNS programme began with a short COP26 related video, a 20min presentation by Deborah Burton and closed with a video on the topic of the inter-generational nature of campaign and change. As Nelson Mandela said: ‘It seem impossible until it’s done’.
The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income. … We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished.
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? (1968)
We hope this email finds you, and all those you care for, safe and well.
Many of us also have family, friends and colleagues in many different parts of the world and, coupled with the ever rising number of cases here in the UK/Europe/USA, the news about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the global south, for many of us, will be even more worrying.
It is becoming more apparent with every passing day that the Coronavirus pandemic is holding a mirror up to every single aspect of human life and activity and that this scrutiny leaves much of humanity’s 21st century day to day behaviour sorely wanting. The ultimate damning evidence of this is the millions upon millions of our fellow sisters and brothers in the global south who don’t even have access to the basic protective shield of soap and water as this pandemic rages across the globe.
It’s not as if we didn’t know the system was long broken. We did. The evidence has been piling up for years and years. However, global inequality and the unstoppable ascendency of the tax evading greedy 1%; the harm of agribusiness and factory farming at one end and illegal poaching at the other; big pharma’s monopolies and the erosion of the primacy of publicly funded healthcare and research; and finally, ultimately, climate catastrophe; none of this was enough to force the hands of the political class, financial and corporate sectors to change course and ‘do the right thing’.
In summer 2018 we began filming for our ‘King Assassination Project’. The film will look at more than 40 years of controversy surrounding the case. More importantly – and uniquely –offers an opportunity to put the case that King’s assassination was a direct result of the threat posed from his latter years activity(1965-68) as he led the civil rights movement into anti-Vietnam War and Economic Justice coalition building.
We are indebted to the support of our friends and colleagues at Sands Films Studios, our production partners on this film, along with a number of major donors who have underwritten the first phase of production.
In April 2018, the world marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King and in summer 2018 we began filming for our ‘King Assassination Project’. The film will look at more than 40 years of controversy surrounding the case. More importantly – and uniquely –offers an opportunity to put the case that King’s assassination was a direct result of the threat posed from his latter years activity(1965-68) as he led the civil rights movement into anti-Vietnam War and Economic Justice coalition building.
It is the story of King we have never been told. It dives deep into the root causes, planning and aftermath of the assassination of one of the towering political figures of the 20th century; a story of resonance today for African Americans in particular and, in general for all those around the world who are concerned with social justice.
WHY MLK STILL MATTERS – AND WHY THIS FILM NOW
MLK is a man whose time is now. His call for an end to poverty, racism and militarism is arguably way more prescient now than in 1967. This film would both bring a thorough and up to date telling of the MLK assassination as well as shed light on MLK’s relevance for today. This project has grown out of our research on MLK as part of our collaboration with colleagues in the USA to finds ways to internationalise the work of Dr King at the end of his – in particular his Poor People’s Campaign and associated Economic Bill of Rights. Article written to mark 50th Anniversary