The significance of April 4

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As you probably read today, April 4 is the date of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

But you probably didn’t read about the significance of the horrific murder of this radical black man who capitalist America has turned into a sanitized, inoffensive mainstream saint.

In the last months of his life, King organized a Poor People’s Campaign, addressing the evils of capitalism on behalf of the poor in the United States, regardless of race. On April 4, he was in Memphis to support a strike by sanitation workers.

The United States government in general and the FBI in particular were/are obsessed with snuffing out any resistance against capitalism. Any movement that gains enough traction toward uniting the poor and disenfranchised in this country will soon feel the wrath of the American security services.

This was certainly the case for Dr. King. While there are countless theories about the details of King’s murder, it certainly is known that King was hated by the FBI and its leader J. Edgar Hoover and that King was monitored by the COINTELPRO program and by US intelligence agencies.

One year later, in 1969, the US government and Chicago police murdered Black Panther Party member Fred Hampton, who had successfully been organizing a broad coalition of poor people across all races in Chicago.

Those of us who seek transformation of society for the good of all need to remember this. In building a strong socialist movement, there will be government informants and saboteurs. We must not fear them. We must watch out for them, but above all, continue our work of liberation.

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