Houston, TX, January 15, 2012 – On January 16th, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Occupy Houston will be celebrating the legacy of this holiday’s namesake by participating in the 34th annual birthday parade organized by the Black Heritage Society, as well as participating in Occupy the Dream’s national action targeting the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States.
The “Original” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Parade begins at 10:00 AM at Minute Maid Park. Various festivities, including live music, will continue at Discovery Green following the parade until 5:00 PM. Occupy Houston is honored to have been invited by the Black Heritage Society to participate in the parade and celebration. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an inspiration to many in the Occupy movement. His nonviolent protest philosophy has been wholly embraced by the Occupiers, despite being ferociously challenged in many places around the world. Dr. King’s vision for a future of true equality and peace can be seen and heard on the signs and speeches that filled the nation’s parks, banks, government buildings and city streets during the fall of last year.
Occupy the Dream has called for an occupation of the nation’s Federal Reserve Bank branch locations on January 16th. Occupy Houston and community-building activist group, the Houston Free Thinkers, will be demonstrating from dawn to dusk at the Federal Reserve Bank branch located at 1801 Allen Parkway. Marches to various downtown bank branches, including JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, are also planned throughout the day.
Occupy the Dream was organized by Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr., who worked in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference under Martin Luther King, and Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant of the Empowerment Temple Church. Dr. King understood that personal liberty could not be achieved without financial security. African Americans are disproportionately affected by the economic recession – both in terms of jobs and home ownership. Occupy the Dream and Occupy Houston hold big finance responsible for these injustices, owing to their irresponsible lending, the securitization and trading of the toxic mortgages they created and their failure to invest in the American economy to create jobs following their rescue by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve. These banks continue to make record profits and pay little to no taxes while the American economy and the American people suffer.
Occupy the Fed was launched on November 19 of last year, with actions targeting all of the nation’s Federal Reserve Bank branch locations. The Houston Free Thinkers organized the Houston chapter of this movement, occupying Eleanor Tinsley Park across the street from the Federal Reserve building on Allen Parkway. The highlight of their campaign included the arrests of several members of HFT for obstructing the entrance to the building on the morning of the 22nd.
Please join us and the rest of the Houston community on this eventful day, where we will honor the past while we build our own future.