John Lewis; American Patriot, Venerable Civil Rights Leader Speaks In Emeryville
|Congressman John Lewis|
The venerable Georgia lawmaker told a standing room only crowd in the Emery Theater that students today must agitate for justice, calling it a duty for Americans. He called on them to get into "good trouble", indicating that the ruling elite establishment must be forcefully challenged by protest, to achieve equity and justice. Some students in the overflow crowd may have thought of local protest worthy things such as the recent announcement of plans to lay off teachers by the Emery School Board and the looming Occupy movement's May 1st General Strike in Oakland's downtown Oscar Grant Plaza.
Congressman Lewis was a Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) leader in the civil rights era and was instrumental helping to organize Martin Luther King's epic 1963 March on Washington. He lead more than 500 peaceful protesters across Alabama's infamous Pettus Bridge where he was severely beaten by the police and vigilante racists. He told enraptured Emery students he thought he would likely die there and in numerous SNCC Freedom Rides he orchestrated across the Jim Crow South. He was arrested 24 times as a result of his activism and had his skull fractured in one of many beatings by racist police.
The Emery School District failed to record the speech but local Chanel 7 News offers a snippet HERE.
|The young John Lewis: American hero & patriot|