In Washington, Black Clergy Establishes Occupy the Dream
1 year ago
Group says it will join movement to complete unfinished work of Dr. King
Invoking the ministry of Jesus and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as advocates for the poorest and most vulnerable of their societies, prominent African-American clergy members Wednesday joined the Occupy Wall St. movement, announcing a day of action in Washington D.C. on Jan. 16, the King holiday.
Dubbed “Occupy the Dream,” the group is led by Dr. Benjamin Chavis and Dr. Jamal Bryant of Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, Maryland.
Chavis said that if Dr. King were alive today he would have been a part of the movement.
“This is not a white movement versus a black movement,” said Chavis, who worked closely with Dr. King. “This is one movement [made up of] blacks, whites, Latinos, Asian -- people of all colors and all persuasions. I’m just so thankful that the Black church is stepping up.
“In terms of magnitude, will it be as great as the movements in the past? Yes.”
The group already has demands which includes a halt on home foreclosures and $100 billion in new jobs and neighborhood investment by Wall Street.
Asked to clarify if he meant $100 million, Bryant paused.
“That’s billion, with a ‘b.' $100 million on Wall St. ... is lunch.”
David DeGraw, one of more visible leaders on the national level was asked what the group brings to the movement. “What don’t they bring?” he said.
“This is tens of millions of Americans just like everyone else who have been thrown overboard. We need people from all different walks of life to come together.
Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr., who is president of the Progressive Baptist Convention, gave a closing prayer at the National Press Club, asking God to help them “overcome the giants of Wall. St."