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Actor & Activist Danny Glover: We Must Organize in the Spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.

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On Monday night, actor and activist Danny Glover spoke at Democracy Now!’s 20th anniversary at Riverside Church—the very same place where civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic speech against the Vietnam War in 1967. As Danny Glover addressed more than 2,000 people, he called on the crowd and the country to organize once again in the spirit of Martin Luther King.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: The actor, director, activist Danny Glover also spoke Monday night, referencing Dr. King’s address.

DANNY GLOVER: I would be remiss if I would stand on this stage without mentioning one of the great moments on this stage nearly 50 years ago, when a young minister, a liberation theologist, a—one of the most extraordinary human beings of this century, any century, stepped here and, with all his consciousness, with all the pain it took, denounced the war in Vietnam—Dr. Martin Luther King, on this stage—knowing that he spoke for his heart and his consciousness, knowing that he was doing something that he was going to be vilified. Yet he spoke up.

As we think about the moments ahead and the work that we have to do, the history that we must—it’s imperative that we make, we have to think about those moments and use all our courage, every bit of it, whether it’s in the service of finding the truth and finding those stories, where those who feel that they are lost within their own country here and can only turn to the far right in everything else—so, where we have to do and where we’re going to have to go, and not simply just preaching to our choir, to our constituency, is farther than we’ve ever wanted to reach and understand. We have all the technology in the world. We have every single thing available to us. But organizing, taking ourselves serious about that and doing the work we need to do, wherever it is, is going to take something from our hearts. It’s going to take something deep from our hearts.

So, as we move forward and we realize the work we have to do, Noam Chomsky talked about the opportunities that we have within—right here, at this moment. We look at the demographics, talks about the ways in which we can use what has happened as a platform to build, to create, to imagine and continue to imagine. That’s our responsibility right now. At 70 years old or at seven years old, at 90 years old or whatever we are, we have to take that on. And certainly, we come armed with the information that Democracy Now! has provided us through the journey that they’ve taken us on, learning lessons, finding new ways in which we can employ those lessons, use those lessons in our own work, in our own moment. And we are here to celebrate, but at the same time to move forward more fiercely, more courageously than ever before. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Actor, director and activist Danny Glover, speaking Monday night at Riverside Church.

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