Monday, January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King Day

For MLK Day I have decided to re-post the Blogs I did in March of 2011 when we visited the MLK museum in Memphis.


The Lorraine Motel

Memphis’ Lorraine Motel was the site of the 6:01 p.m., April 4th, 1968 killing Of Dr. Martin Luther King, civil Rights leader and anti Vietnam War Crusader. He was shot in front of room 306 where he stood on the balcony talking to members of his team in the parking lot. The site has been preserved and is now the National Civil Rights Museum at The Lorraine Motel. The site consists of the motel, the surrounding land and the buildings across the street where the fatal shot came from.

The Lorrain Motel and room 306, in front of which King was shot:
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The Motel and parking lot:
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The buildings across the street. The police insist the fatal shot was fired by James Earl Ray from the window on the second floor, top right.
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Here is James Earl Ray’s bathroom window, partially open as it was that day. This photo was taken from as close as I could get to the balcony outside room 306.
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The actual bathroom window is inaccessible due to a Plexiglas surrounding erected to replace the bathroom walls and to protect the room. This photo was taken from the taller window in the next room and gives an almost identical view. The wreath on the motel balcony was where King was standing. I resorted to my old photography tricks learned in Dallas at the Kennedy assignation site where cameras were also banned inside the buildings. This photo was shot from the hip while I looked in a different direction. Pretty sneaky, eh?
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So, what is wrong with this picture? Well, if we believe the official story, everything fits. The problem is, many people including the King family did not believe the cover story and started their own investigation. It was then that the “evidence” started to fall apart. There was a conspiracy trial in 1999 in Memphis that found that there had been a far reaching conspiracy in the murder. The participants in the killing were found to be the Mafia, FBI, CIA, Military and the Memphis Police Department. This trial was hushed up and the findings suppressed.

What was so dangerous about the 1999 Memphis trial that it had to be suppressed? The evidence presented — under oath and on the record — made it abundantly clear that the reports of the 1997 House Select Committee on Assassinations, of the Civil Rights Commission appointed by Clinton’s AG Janet Reno, and the New York Times were all wrong. James Earl Ray did not murder King.

The all Black police detachment that normally protected King when he was in the city was replaced that day with no reason given. The only two Black firemen from the station across the street were told to take the day off while the army told the fire chief they needed his rooftop that day to photograph and observe King. They carried a package to the rooftop which they said contained “cameras”.

The owner of the building next door swore under oath that the bag that contained the weapon police insisted was used by James Earl Ray to kill King was dropped off at his door ten minutes BEFORE he heard the shot.

Federal Judge Joe Brown (yes, the same one you know from TV) found in another trial that this gun was not the murder weapon, that the bullets did not match, the scope had never been sighted in and that the gun was incapable of making this accurate a shot.

Loyd Jowers, the defendant in the conspiracy trial was connected to the Mafia and admitted that he was involved in the assignation of King, that he had participated in the killing. He also stated that he had received a “smoking rifle” from a Memphis Police Department marksman which he later disposed of.

Immediately following the shot, two men ran from the bush area in front of the building across the street. One jumped into a green Chev and burned rubber leaving the scene right in front of a Memphis Police car which gave no apparent notice. The other fleeing man jumped into a different police car which drove away.

All this evidence they uncovered was put before a jury in Memphis, TN, in November 1999. 70 witnesses testified under oath, 4,000 pages of transcripts described the evidence, much of it new. It took the jury 59 minutes to come back with their decision that Loyd Jowers, owner of Jim’s Grill, had participated in a conspiracy to kill King, a conspiracy that included J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, Richard Helms and the CIA, the military, the Memphis Police Department (MPD), and organized crime. That verdict exonerated James Earl Ray who had already died in prison.

WHY?
Good question. Martin Luther King was adamantly opposed to the Vietnam War. He was organizing a mass protest in Washington to force the Government to abandon this war. He had the charisma, the organizing ability and the public support to accomplish this. There was also speculation that he was planning a run for President of the United States.

This was unacceptable to the American controlled multinational corporations that stood to lose billions if the USA abandoned the Vietnam War. These corporations had (and still have) the power to direct policy. King stood between them and their profits and he had to go. There was more than one rifle aimed at the Reverend King that day. If the marksman had missed or was interrupted, there were backups. His fate was sealed. He was a dead man walking!

All of this information has been suppressed. William Pepper’s (the King family lawyer) 2003 book, An Act of State, The Execution of Martin Luther King, published by Verso, gave a detailed report of the trial. The book was systematically ignored. Pepper said in February 2003 that he had been personally turned down by reviewers for major media. They did not want to put their jobs and reputation on the line. I have my copy on order from eBay.

Rosa Parks Bus

This is the actual bus that Rosa Parks was riding home on December 1, 1955 after a long day at work in Montgomery, Alabama. A white man got on the bus and the driver told the 42 year old Ms. Parks to give up her seat for him. She had a hard day at work as a seamstress and the man looked like he could stand with no problem so she stayed in her seat. The man complained to the driver who stopped the bus and called a policeman aboard. Rosa Parks was escorted off the bus and arrested.

This act led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and forced an end to the discriminatory practice. One more step in a very long journey was taken!

Photos were banned in the museum so I had to revert to my old sneaky practice. I see no harm in taking these photos and actually believe that these issues should enjoy wide circulation. I do not feel I am doing anyone any harm by doing what I do. I hope you agree.
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This is what Ms. Parks had to say of her actions that day. This is from a 1992 interview:
“I did not want to be mistreated, I did not want to be deprived of a seat that I had paid for. It was just time... there was opportunity for me to take a stand to express the way I felt about being treated in that manner. I had not planned to get arrested. I had plenty to do without having to end up in jail. But when I had to face that decision, I didn't hesitate to do so because I felt that we had endured that too long. The more we gave in, the more we complied with that kind of treatment, the more oppressive it became.”

7 comments:

  1. I don't know what happened myself, but I gotta figure they did a poor job of suppressing all that information if you got it for your blog. That said it was a tragedy in any case.

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    1. Don't fall for the company line, John. It is the slippery slope! Yes, it was a tragedy. It changed the course of history. Can you imagine an MLK Presidency?

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    2. Nope Croft, can't say as I can imagine that. Only 9 years earlier it was a huge step to elect an Irish Catholic to the Presidency. Not saying it was right just saying it was unlikely.

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  2. Replies
    1. Me too! And like the JFK assignation, we will probably never hear what really happened.

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  3. Very interesting summary, that I was not aware of, thanks for sharing!

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