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Seattle rally celebrates real legacy of MLK

Highlights struggle against war and racism

Over 5,000 people participated in the 24th annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration march and rally in Seattle on Jan.

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Seattle has one of the largest community based MLK observations in the country. The MLK Celebration Committee, which organized the event, is composed of many community groups, progressive organizations and churches. The ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) has participated significantly in the last few years.

The MLK committee strives to keep Dr. King’s message relevant to current struggles. This year’s theme was “Solidarity for peace, human rights and economic justice.”

The highlight of the rally before the march in the packed gym at Franklin High School was the introduction of war resister Lt. Ehren Watada. A tremendous standing ovation greeted Watada and concluded his remarks. The crowd demonstrated its solidarity and support for his refusal to deploy to Iraq and be part of the imperialist occupation.

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Jane Cutter chairs closing rally on MLK Day.

After the rally, the march went up Rainier Ave.—a major Seattle artery—through the historically African American community.

The anti-war sentiment was very evident, with many signs and placards supporting Lt. Watada and other war resisters. Lively contingents from ANSWER, Iraq Veterans Against the War, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and other anti-war groups drew numerous participants.

The closing rally was chaired by ANSWER organizer Jane Cutter. Many community speakers discussed the need to struggle against the war and racism while pushing for economic justice.

Photos: ANSWER Seattle and Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines

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