Forty days of nonviolence kicks off Friday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Staff and Wire

He went to Memphis in support of a sanitation workers’ strike. He never left.

Thursday is the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

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The strike involved 1,300 black sanitation workers who walked off the job in 1968 and lasted 65 days, but not many people remember the cause.

The result is burned in history forever.

A kick off rally is set for 6 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium at Bloch Park for 40 days of nonviolence, according to Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. In the event of rain, the rally will be held in the Earl Goodwin Theater at Wallace Community College.

Perkins announced the idea nearly a month ago at a Selma City Council meeting.

“The principles upon which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. built his life, his service and the movement that he championed are principles and practices of nonviolence,” Perkins said. “He believed that a beloved community is the end goal of nonviolence; where differences are solved peaceably, and reconciliation occurs among adversaries and the power of unconditional love realized.”

Perkins is calling for 40 days – until May 14 – for groups to sponsor projects and programs to create a greater awareness and consciousness of principles and practices of nonviolence.

Some of the activities will include symposiums on interfaith and interracial healing, days of dialogue, prayer, cultural events, essay contests and special activities for children.

White and purple bows will be placed throughout the city to serve as a reminder of the community’s united effort to promote nonviolence, Perkins said.