Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech + 50 Years: We Have A Commemoration

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MLK monument

Martin Luther King, Jr.: prophetic words worth carving into stone

We’ve all known that the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom — most famously the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963 — was coming up, but for a while it looked like no group in Orange County would  hold a large public event commemorating it.

Happily, that was an vacuum that human nature abhorred.

A group — no, actually a coalition of groups — calling themselves “We Still Have a Dream OC” — has come together over the past few weeks to put together an event.  It will take place a week from this Sunday afternoon, Sept. 1, from 2-6 p.m. in Santa Ana’s Sasscer Park.

Now there will be.  Coalition came together.

For those who like things in bold:

Sept. 1, 2-6 p.m., in  Sasscer Park, (Ross and 4th St.), Santa Ana, California 92703

It’s not only impressive how quickly the event has come together; it’s impressive who has come together.  Here’s a list of groups variously described as sponsors or endorsers:

NAACP-OC – North OC & Irvine
Women For: OC
Orange County Equality Coalition
IUCC Advocates for Peace & Justice
Islamic Shura Council of So. Calif.
Episcopal Church of the Messiah
Progressive Christians Uniting-OC
Fairview Community Church
Progressive Democrats of America (North & South County Chapters)
First Drops Interfaith Children’s Choir
Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries
New Hope Presbyterian Church
Christ Our Redeemer – AME Church
Tapestry UU Social Action Committee
Cousins Club
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – LA
Democratic Party of OC
Concerned Citizens of Laguna Woods Village
Laguna Woods Democratic Club
Network of Arab American Professionals – Los Angeles (NAAP-LA)
Jon Dobrer, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Fullerton
Brea Congregational UCC Social Action Team
Reclaim Democracy
Islamic Center of Irvine
LA Jews for Peace
MANA de Orange County
Pax Christi Orange County
Los Amigos
LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) – Santa Ana
Industrial Workers of the World, OC Branch
Chican@s Unid@s
Operation Warm Wishes
Black in Orange County
One Global Family Foundation
Organizing for Action (OFA)
Orange County Counseling Center
CA Clean Money Campaign
GMO Free Orange County
National Women’s Political Caucus Orange County
OC Catholic Worker
AMWEC American Muslim Women’s Empowerment Council
Newport-Mesa Tea Party
Centro Cultural de México
Orange County Friends Meeting (Quakers)
Anti-Defamation League OC/LB
Youth-On-The-Move Education International
The Animal Rights Coalition
AIDS Services Foundation (ASF)
The Center OC
St. Mark Peace & Justice Commission
OC Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD)
OC Immigration Coalition
OC Human Relations
OC Peace Coalition
The League of Women Voters OC Inter-League Organization
Orange County LGBT Pride
The G.R.E.E.N. Foundation
ACLU of Southern California
Military Families Speak Out – So Cal
OC Labor Federation
California Common Cause
Jewish Voice for Peace – LA
Amnesty International USA – Irvine
The Left Bank of Orange County

This gives a sense of how many groups trace their influence back to the Rev. King.  The predominance of religious groups (of various faiths) testifies to the importance of his prophetic voice.  Even for those who are not part of directly religious traditions — political, labor, human rights, civil rights — this will be an opportunity to make good fellowship.  Now — when, to update the quote, “one hundred fifty years later, the Negro still is not free” — it’s a great time for people who are offended by that reality to stand together and rededicate themselves to change.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)