Tuesday, April 08, 2008


It seems like yesterday that everyone seemed to be singing that song from the title above, but it was 40 yrs ago that Martin Luther King was shot dead on that hotel balcony in Memphis, I was 19 yrs. old and developing deep political convictions due in no small part to people like him.

To take a stand against racism and 'Jim Crow' in America in those days was brave to the point of being foolhardy but that's what he did and inspired others to do likewise, to do it in Alabama and Mississippi was just about as risky as anything you could imagine, you can't learn to have that kind of courage, you are born with it, King and his followers had it.

Rosa Park's spirit and courage created the Alabama Bus Boycott and Dr. King lead it. America exploded, the 'Civil Rights Movement' became unstoppable, young Americans and young people world wide became radicalised and the 'Genie' has never been put back in the bottle.

That murder and the subsequent struggle of the black Americans and the brutality used to oppose them created a situation which could not be controlled.
The great Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky once said, "Armies cannot stand against an idea whose time has come" and so it proved in America.
" you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone cause the times they are a changing" sang Dylan and he was right to.

At that time there were approx. 300 elected black politicians in the USA, today it's 10,000, it's progress but there is a long way to go, there are more black males in prison than there are in college and 25% of blacks officially live in poverty, lynching of black people is still a living memory for some.

M.L.K. was of course followed by people like Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, George & Jonathan Jackson ( The Soledad Brothers) Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael (The Black Panthers) The mighty Ali and many many more, including millions of courageous white Americans, and today we stand on the threshold of a black president.
Martin Luther King played his part and his memory continues to inspire. I remain confident that America will become a great country where M.L.K. could say, were he alive,

"free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we're free at last"


Macnasty said...

Is Charlton Heston included amongst your 'millions of courageous white Americans' who took a stand for Civil Rights?

Anonymous said...

Interestingly enough, in America free speech was encouraged and applauded. In Stalin's Russia and Castro's Cuba free speech did not exist and those who tried to exercise their right of free speech ended up in a gulag or prison or just plain dead.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Macnasty) 09/04/08

No, I tend to think of him as a right wing reactionary who sold out to the gun makers.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Serpico) 07:40

Yes, like M.L.K. The Panthers, Joe McCarthy, The Un American activities Board, The Lynchings, The black prison population today.

Are you trying to be funny ?

Anonymous said...

No, I'm not trying to be funny. In the US MLK had the right of freedom of speech - it is guaranteed in the constitution.

In Uncle Joe's USSR and Fidel's Cuba there were no such rights.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Serpico) 12:25

You may not be trying to be funny but !

You were allowed free speech in America as long as your politics were safe.

Anonymous said...

'40 yrs ago that Martin Luther King was shot dead on that hotel balcony in Memphis.'

- Pity they didn't miss and hit Heston!!!!!!!!!!!

Great blog I've linked to you from mine

Anonymous said...

You are decieved. Luther's murder fueled the status quo. Nothing has fundamentally changed except how discrimination manifests itself in a modern world. History tells us that Society is only truly changed by violence ( invasion revolution and the like). Like it or not you are now an establishment figure take a tumble to how you have voted over the years - PPP for schools. Leisure Trust etc. You have been bought off by the System but dont realise it. Get a conscience Terry stop cowtowing the middle class Party line and stand up for your beleifs rather than the the ones the career Party Politicians determine as the party line. Follow your conscience and then you would not need to blog to justify your self - Think about it!

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 11/04/08

There is only one credible movement for change in our society and that is the labour Party.

There are two types of people who advocate socialism, there are people like me who are working toward that end and there are those who talk about it.

Anonymous said...

You ruined that post by talking about the Black Panthers, who should not be mentioned in teh same breath as the great non-violence advocate, MLK.

Anonymous said...

God, Terry

You really take the biscuit.

Peerages for donations, Ecclestone, Mandelson x 2, Ron Davies and Clapham Common, Hindujahs, Mittal, Burying bad news, Byers, Peter Foster flats, Tessa Jowell & husband with 10 year old blood on his hands, groping John Prescott, shock and awe which saw missiles poured into high rise buildings killing God knows how many etc, etc, - all this and you are still prattling on about events in the 1960s and 1970s. You weren’t there. You have as much knowledge as I do, which amounts to NIL. Why do you not concentrate your considerable brainpower on the present? Why is our NHS being privatised and handed over to PFIs? Why are our Post Offices being closed down? Why is our Sovereignty being handed over to a foreign power? Why are we importing so many foreign workers when we have so many unemployed youngsters? Why are our youngsters killing each other on the streets? For God’s sake get real.

Anonymous said...

What! No comments on the Westminster guvirmint abolishing the 10p tax rate for your constituents?

I'm intrigued.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(w goodwin) 12/04/08

Lies, racism, Chauvinism, and Homophobic bigotry. It’s all here along with an obvious hatred which sends you over the edge, I love it when I get to people like you.

“as much knowledge as I do, which amounts to NIL” - That’s dead right !

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Cyber Nat) 12:45

The situation is that this is being looked at again with a view to making sure that the poor did not suffer.

Anonymous said...


Apologies for being off-topic, but perhaps you can answer why the Labour party are up in arms only now about a measure (abolishing the 10p rate) that was announced months ago.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Rumbold) 16:42

I can’t answer that because like you I missed it. As did all the other parties and commentators which you haven’t mentioned, maybe you forgot.

Anyway my understanding is that it is being looked at again with a view to making sure that the poor don’t suffer, as you would expect Labour to do.

Anonymous said...


I did not miss it, and it was fairly clear at the time that abolishing the 10p rate would hurt those under a certain income.

Anonymous said...

What do you reckon to Stokley Carmichaels misogynist behaviour towards Germaine Greer?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(angela) 14/04/08

I’m not aware of that but, neither am I aware of any man who could scare Germaine or for that matter get the better of her.

Anonymous said...

That video was made by a sad nazi lookalike who used to race, rant and rave at every meeting in our town/uni that didn't meet with his extreme right wing views. I wouldn't let him worry you, I am sure any employer who sees his blog will fortunately prevent him from attaining the political power he fantasizes about

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 16/04/08

I know who made the video, he’s a rather strange, sad looking wee guy, probably been bullied all his life, hasn’t a true friend anywhere kind of thing.

It’s difficult to get really angry with someone like that, he reminds me of just how much worse life could be.

He makes me ‘count my blessings’

Steve Hayes said...

"Free at last" --that's what we said back in those heady days of 1994. But now we may ask, "We fought for our freedom, and what did it do?"

Zimbabwe lost its freedom, and we have xenophobic lynch mobs running around murdering Zimbabwean refugees.

Getting freedom is one thing, keeping it another.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Steve Hayes) 21/04/08

And your point is caller ?