The official unveiling of the bronze MLK statue on July 5, 2020 took place in a period of Black Lives Matter protests after the death of George Floyd. Confederate, Columbus and slave trader statues were toppled in the US and UK. The opposite happened to this Martin Luther King statue in the Martin Luther King Park in Amsterdam: although it was placed without permission on January 15, Dr. King's birthday, after almost 6 month, the city council decided it could stay. Listen to the speakers and read their speeches. Due to gusty winds, the sound isn't perfect.
Former assistent director of public relations and media officer Harcourt Klinefelter, worked with Dr. King for the last 3 years of his life, speeched about the civil rights movement 55 years ago and today. We cannot all be a Martin Luther King but can be a Rosa Parks. "Let justice roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream".
Visual artist, cultural activist and feminist Patricia Kaersenhout held an impressive speech about black women who were important throughout history, and the fight for equal rights, like Coretta King, Betty Shabazz, and Winnie Mandela. Why is so little said about them? Today's Black Lives Matter movement was founded by three black women. Learn about the power of black women, and let's make history more complete. In part this speech was inspired by Tessa Boerman’s documentary ‘Zwart Belicht ‘–or Blacklit— to take Rubens’s painting as her starting point.
Member of Parliament Sadet spoke about fighting for equal rights and the anti Vietnam war sermon Dr. King delivered in the Riverside Church in New York, on April 4, 1967: "As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask -- and rightly so -- what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government...."
Spoken word artist performed 'Als je geen droom hebt' (If you don't have a dream), "If you don't vote, do it so silently, that Nelson Mandela doesn't hear, don't tell Martin Luther King, don't tell Malcolm X, if you don't use your voice, if you don't speak out. If you don't have a dream, if you don't vote.... Shhh." (Dutch).
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City council member and a huge fan of Martin Luther King, helped to organize this special meeting. (Dutch)
"Racism is the Netherlands is a big problem that leads to discrimination at the job market and ethnic profiling. As Martin Luther King said : I think most Americans know in their heart that their country was terribly wrong in it's way to treat the people of the world. In stead of fighting corruption, military establishment was reinforced".
The artist who has put the bronze Martin Luther King statue in the Martin Luther King Park illegally, told about how it happened. It started in 2018 with the project Monument for Martin Luther King, to remember the 50th anniversary of his assassination, and two years later the bronze statue was a fact, placed in the spirit of Dr. King. "Don't be the silent good people. Don't be silent". (Dutch)
The meeting was concluded by singing the famous protest song We shall overcome by singer and cello player Vincent de Lage and Weespertrekvaart Mens Choir. Visit & book Vincello.nl | Weespertrekvaartmannen.nl
Maud Sauer plays Metamorphoses after Ovid by Benjamin Britten; Pan, Pheaton and Niobe.
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