Last Updated: Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Legacy Of Martin Luther King Jr. Lives In Todayís Non-Violent Civil Rights Protests
Updated: Monday, January 18, 2016

Martin Luther King, Jr., seen here (waving) among the leaders of an early non-violent civil rights protest. Note crowd managers (in vests), organization of crowd and spacing of protestors. Photo:

This year, on the 87th anniversary of the birthday of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., (1929-1968) there is more to pay homage to than his great visionary oratory. The non-violent tactics and philosophy of civil rights protest which he championed---and used by the Montgomery Improvement Associations, Congress of Racial Equality and Southern Christian Leadership Conference, among other civil rights organizations---have been reborn in many of the current national protests by African-Americans against the controversial police shootings of unarmed black civilians.

Initial violent rampages in Ferguson, Missouri, the epicenter of the current African-American protests have died out, leaving few, if any, uplifting results. Baltimore also saw protests become violent and destructive. But, elsewhere, and since those early chaos, African-American protests have been more measured and reflective of the non-violent civil disobedient protests of the 1950ís and 1960ís that Reverend King, Jr., espoused.

From a crowd management viewpoint, protesting crowds are better organized and disciplined. Protest leaders, those responsible for the safety of their crowds, are more visible and show better command over their masses. There also appears effective communication, or at least communication, between protest leaders and law enforcement.

The U.S. civil rights area of the last century, proved that social change and equality come, in part, from treating all people equally, fairly and with respect---even adversaries---and even in expressing grievances through mass protest. Thatís the power of the Reverend King, Jr.ís non-violent philosophy that we celebrate today.

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