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Al Sharpton Leads Counter-Rally on King Anniversary, Answering Beck Group

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Blocks away from a huge rally by conservative activists, civil right leader Al Sharpton led a counter-protest to honor the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who galvanized the civil rights movement 47 years ago with his "I have a dream speech."

Sharpton and some other African American leaders took umbrage at conservative commentator Glenn Beck's decision to state his "Restoring Honor" event on the anniversary of the 1963 King speech at the spot where he delivered it -- the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Sharpton's group started at Dunbar High School in Northwest Washington and marched to the Tidal Basin, several long blocks from the Lincoln Memorial where conservative activists gathered.
Al Sharpton leads rally in Washington
"The folks who used to criticize us for marching are trying to have a march for themselves," the AP reported Sharpton said. "We come because the dream has not been achieved. We've made a lot of progress. But we still have a long way to go." He said his group at the Tidal Basin -- site of a planned King memorial -- was not looking for a confrontation with those at the Beck rally.

"The 'March on Washington' changed America," District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said, according to the Washington Post. "Our country reached to overcome the low points of our racial history. Glenn Beck's march will change nothing. But you can't blame Glenn Beck for his 'March on Washington' envy. Too bad, he doesn't have a message worthy of the place." Norton, who represents Washington in Congress, was at the 1963 march.

Avis Jones DeWeaver, executive director of the National Council of Negro Women, said "don't let anyone tell you that they have the right to take their country back. It's our country too. We will reclaim the dream. It was ours from the beginning."

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Rob & Kathy

What exactly was Sharpton "countering"?...

August 30 2010 at 12:51 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Michael

Might it be appropriate to mention that according to today's New York Times the Beck event drew approximately 500,000 and the Sharpton event a "few hundred"?

August 29 2010 at 9:37 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Michael's comment
Chip Crawford

Yeah, that's nonsense. I didn't see Beck's event in person but I marched with Rev Sharpton and there were at least 100,000 people there. We completely covered 6-7 blocks of 6th St! As I said earlier, though, both groups were peaceful and mutually supportive and it was a very nice day. Anyone who wasn't there really shouldn't be opening their mouth with regards to either group.

August 29 2010 at 10:48 PM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply
no thanks

What Glen was saying is that IF WE WANT SMALLER GOV. then we need to STOP PUTTING OUR HANDS OUT!! This country will not change for the better until we the people change our attitudes and lifestyles. Not until Parents become ROLE MODELS for their children, not until we stop lying and cheating our way through school and the job market. I don't care WHICH PARTY you belong to there is lying and cheating and the "what's in it for me" attitude. We need to get back to GOD whether you believe or not stands for ALL. You don't have to believe in GOD to believe in the laws of GOD. Treat others as you would have them treat you. That's a pretty simple law to live by. None of us is perfect but we have gotten so far away from family values and the family unit. Community values and individual integrity with a strong moral base. You don't have to belong to any church to achieve these goals. Only then will America survive and be strong again. With our current mind set we are headed to become a 3rd world nation with the gov. as our only belief. Please stop with the name calling and the pointing fingers at each other and look within yourself. How are you contributing to humanity, your family, your job, your nation??

August 29 2010 at 2:07 PM Report abuse +22 rate up rate down Reply
Bob-0

I was there and I have to say (after seeing both rallies) It should have been 1 rally. We are all Americans. I do not believe Obama is a uniter like he campaigned as.

August 29 2010 at 12:45 PM Report abuse +24 rate up rate down Reply
whitej135

because Pres. Obama is black are they saying they are taking this country back to an all white leadership. I thought this country belonged to all the different races that are known as Americans. At the rally it seems all those wanting to take this country back were white. Maybe they don't understand that the Bible says God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears God and is rightious is acceptable to him (God) If this was a religious rally it would we wise for all of us to go back to the first century when Christianity was established by Jesus himself to see if we are a true Christian nation.

August 29 2010 at 12:17 PM Report abuse -17 rate up rate down Reply
ttee5

Truly amazing.... My family marched with Martin Luther King in 1961 and 1962.. my great Grandfather was one of many sitting in that "Birmingham Jail". Yesterday was a great day for some understanding for everyone -- all except for "our" Rev Al Sharpton. Over 45,000 African Americans made it to Glen Becks rally which totalled over *half a million* .. but less then 3,000 made it to the Martin Luther King march. I think this should tell everyone what is changing in America .... we no longer want to give confidence, trust, faith or stock to the wanna-be leaders like the Rev. Al Sharpton (or the likes of). Even more embarassing was Sharptons child-like diatribe and how he acted on the Geraldo interview last night ... stamping his feet, then ridiculing and condemning a man who spoke of faith and honor because he didn't get the spotlight gives another slap in the face to every black man, women and child in our society. --- We get 2ft forward, then 3ft back because of the likes of the *NOT* honorable Rev Sharpton......... -

August 29 2010 at 9:24 AM Report abuse +66 rate up rate down Reply
t121365

Michael King, Jr., On January 31, 1977, United States district Judge John Lewis Smith, Jr., ordered all known copies of the recorded audiotapes and written transcripts resulting from the FBI's electronic surveillance of King between 1963 and 1968 to be held in the National Archives and sealed from public access until 2027. What will these tapes really reveal about King, be careful who you worship.

August 29 2010 at 8:30 AM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply
jnairn5432

What REALLY would have been nice, is Al Sharpton's group joining Glenn's and supporting the "Restoring Honor" mantra. What a statement that would have made. But, Al, made it about race. If Al would take the wax out of his ear's He'd understand that Beck isn't just a one party kinda guy. No, he's about taking back our country from career politicians who's only purpose for being in congress is their own self serving agenda. We need TERM LIMITS.

August 29 2010 at 7:39 AM Report abuse +26 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jnairn5432's comment
Chip Crawford

Except Al Sharpton has been leading this same march every year for almost 20 years so really Glenn Beck should have joined Rev Sharpton.

August 29 2010 at 10:50 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
ibartender

Well, no there Chip Crawford....Beck had 26 times as many people. That's like an Army joining a Platoon.

August 30 2010 at 2:25 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
VW Kellogg

Eleanor Holmes Norton has not a clue about what took place at the Lincoln Memorial. Those gathered at the memorial could feel the Holy Spirit of God come upon the gathering. This was truely an event to awaken Americans to the fact that our leaders have been leading us down a path away from what our founding fathers setup within the US Constitution. As Americans we need to get back into our beliefs of a higher power and trust in that power so that we as individuals can find salvation. Restoring Honor will help lead Americans back to the truth and will only help get our country out of this political maze of deception we have been under for the past forty years.

August 29 2010 at 6:55 AM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply
Richard

Let me pose this question below to any Democrat. Would or could a 'Progressive' Democrat or simply any Democrat for that matter, support a JFK by today's standards? Especially as to how divisive and polarized as ever we are becoming during the current times we live on many fronts/issues. I watched the Glenn Beck Rally 'Restoring Honor' the other day, where it was estimated to be between 300,000 to 500,000 people on hand as reported by the 'major media' and shortly after, read during that day an article 'Glenn Beck Rally Divides King Family' and thought of the above question/s. I feel strongly a 'Progressive' Democrat or any Democrat for that matter by today's standards, could not relate to what it means to be a Democrat using JFK's own words below. Progressives would attack, pervert and corrupt the very meaning of these sayings from one of America's greatest Democratic Presidents....You Decide. #1 "Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own" #2 " Let every nation know that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and success of liberty" #3 "The belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God" #4 " And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"..... I do not mean this in any manor negatively, but can you see #4 being stated today, by any politician from the 'top' down?...I do not think so...You Decide. I ask this simple question...Who is the uniter here?...Who is the divider?...You Decide.

August 29 2010 at 6:20 AM Report abuse +15 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Richard's comment
merlin1246

The only way the Democratic Party survives these days is to pit "chosen" special interest groups against "mainstream" Americans, who are typically white, straight, and successful. It is truly disgusting and may have horrible unintended consequences for everyone. They need to be discredited and their power destroyed before they destroy us all through their divisiveness.

August 29 2010 at 1:35 PM Report abuse +22 rate up rate down Reply

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