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This Week in History:
January 12-18, 1985
10,000 March in D.C. in 1985 for
SDI, Food for Peace and Africa Development

January 2014

©EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
Ten thousand citizens, including many inner city youth, demonstrated for economic development, the SDI, and an end to the IMF at a Washington, D.C. march on Jan. 15, 1985, after the fouth international Schiller Conference.

In November, 1983, President Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor the assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King and it was first observed officially on January 20, 1986. But in 1984, the newly founded Schiller Institute organized an event to honor the legacy of Dr. King, and on January 15, 1985, Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche held a 10,000 person march and rally in Washington, DC, addressed by her and many dignitaries, civic, farm, and civil rights leaders. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968), was a courageous national leader who, as economist Lyndon LaRouche described, decided to “drink from the cup of Gethsemane,” as he organized the American population of all races around the dignity of man in the image of the Creator. He was felled by an assassin’s bullet when he extended his mobilization into support for striking workers in Tennessee.

President Ronald Reagan's goal of rendering nuclear missiles "impotent and obsolete" through the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) received the kind of support it most needs on Jan. 15, the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when 10,000 people, over 75% of them from the U.S. civil-rights movement, marched to Washington's Union Plaza near Capitol Hill in the bitter cold to demand a crash program to implement the SDI, and a total U.S. commitment to stopping starvation in Africa and developing that continent industrially.

The Washington, D.C. march was organized by the Schiller Institute on the birthday of the late civil-rights leader to demand that the "Inalienable Rights of Man" proclaimed by the U. S. republic's founding fathers be revived for all mankind, everywhere. The crowd, estimated at 10,000 by D.C. police, spanned farmers, civil-rights activists, students, trade unionists, and international delegations from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Ibero-America. They braved below 20° Fahrenheit weather plus high winds to march through Washington and attend an hour-long rally at the Capitol, and vowed to return for a series of bigger and bigger demonstrations until all their demands are met. The dual theme of the demonstration was conveyed by hundreds of placards carried by the marchers reading, "I Have a Dream-Feed Africa and Build the Beam." The combination of political forces set into motion at the march, and the breadth and depth of their program, are probably unprecedented in American political history.

If President Reagan does not respond to this appeal, these forces will be fall prey to the organizing efforts of Rev. Jesse Jackson, backed by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith and the liberal establishment media, to create racial confrontation over defense spending versus social programs.

Indira Gandhi memorial summit

In the days since the Jan. 7-8 arms-control talks in Geneva between the U.S.S.R. and the United States, top officials of the Reagan administration have made it clear that the Strategic Defense Initiative is irreversible and that the President sees it as among the chief priorities of his second administration. Yet, whether this will succeed in defusing the dangerous strategic crisis depends on a sharp tum in the Reagan administration's economic policies-away from support for the genocidal International Monetary Fund, which is killing Africa today and threatens millions in the rest of the developing sector this year and the advanced sector next.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute, addressed the rally on Jan. 15 and called on President Reagan "to hold . . . a summit meeting with Third World leaders to plan out for rapid implementation a program for massive debt renegotiation and for a new, just world economic order."

Zepp-LaRouche had made her first public call for such a summit just three days earlier in her keynote speech to the Fourth International Schiller Institute conference in Richmond, Virginia. She said there must be an international mobilization "within the first 100 days of the second term of office of President Reagan, which are also the first 100 days of office of India's Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, to bring about an international summit conference of debtor and creditor countries to implement a reorganization of the world monetary system. This world summit conference should be named the Indira Gandhi Memorial Conference and must end the world depression," she said.

Extraordinary political composition

The rally also heard former Borough President of Manhattan Hulan Jack, a leader of the Democratic Party and the civil rights movement, and Billy Davis, farm leader, Mississippi farmer, and Lyndon H. LaRouche's vice presidential running mate on the Independent Democratic ticket in 1984. Reverend Houston Anderson from Selma, Alabama, read the proclamation by Gov. George Wallace proclaiming Inalienable Rights of Man Day in Alabama.

Also speaking were East Coast Schiller Institute coordinator Dennis Speed, Ohio farmer and former Democratic congressional candidate Don Scott, the Rev. B. Dibala Mpolesha from Zaire, the Rev. Cleveland Sparrow from Sparrow World Baptist Church in Washington, Colombian trade-union president Pedro Rubio of Utraboc, and EIR editor-in-chief Criton Zoakos.

Delegations came from Boston, Buffalo, New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia; from Baltimore, Washington, Virginia. They came from the deep South—Alabama, Mississippi, Atlanta, Louisiana. From the Southwest: Ardmore, McAlister, Hugo, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Muskogee, in Oklahoma; Ft. Smith, Arkansas. They came from the Midwest—Pittsburgh, Ohio, Detroit, Chicago. From the West Coast came a "Freedom Caravan" of vans. A chorus of church choirs, schoolchildren and others, directed by the Rev. James Cokely of New York, sang "The Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's Messiah.

The new industrial revolution

The ideas behind the march were developed at the Schiller Institute conference held in Richmond on Jan. 12-14, where Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., known as the "intellectual author" of the strategic doctrine behind the beam-weapons defense policy President Reagan has adopted, spoke on the crucial connection between the SDI and solving the deepening world economic crisis.

A world-renowned economist, LaRouche's name became a household word in the United States last year in his 15 half-hour national television broadcasts as a Democratic presidential candidate.

LaRouche told his audience that President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative—the beam-weapons program to render nuclear war obsolete—is on the way, unstoppable. Now, LaRouche said, the urgent need is to build a mass movement to ensure that implementation of the SDI causes a new industrial revolution, in the United States, and then around the world.

He detailed the "emerging industrial revolution" which will result as a spinoff of the Strategic Defense Initiative, emphasizing man's rightful destiny in colonizing space, and called on conference participants to ensure that these spinoff effects are applied to solving the "horrifying waste" of human labor power that presently characterizes the American economy. LaRouche evoked the all too familiar image in every American city of an able-bodied man on a street comer, spreading out a few pathetic articles for sale on a piece of cloth on the ground.

"There is a worse hunger than the lack of food," LaRouche concluded. "A man's value is located in the development of his mind and the fruits of the development of the mind of others. The value of that man selling articles on the sidewalk is his mind. By denying him the use of his mind, we are denying his humanity. Let that man know that he or his children or his grandchildren will have a place in the stars. Tum his mind away from the mud and dirt around him. Let him look upward to the stars, and let us ask God, 'What is the work you have chosen for us to carry out up there?' Then we have reached humanity."

The birth of a new civil-rights movement was the clear achievement of the conference and the Washington march. Speaking at the conference were leaders of King's movement in the 1960s, including Hulan Jack and Amelia Robinson, leader of the Selma, Alabama march that sparked the old civil-rights movement. Mrs. Robinson underlined the fact that the Schiller Institute has brought about the rebirth of the movement on a world scale, in a fight for the rights of not just Blacks or Americans, but all people of the entire world.

This was manifested in the fact that conference speakers came from North America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Ibero-America. Papers were presented from West German Christian Democratic parliamentarian Jiirgen Todenhöfer, the leading Japanese plasma physicist Dr. Shoichi Yoshikawa, and military leaders from almost every country in NATO. Greetings were read from President Belisario Betancur of Colombia, former Libyan Prime Minister el-Bakoush, former Washington Gov. Dixy Lee Ray, and several U.S. Congressmen—to name but a few.

Reaching the White House

While the strategic danger and the collapse of the world economy are deepening, two developments inside the Reagan administration indicate a unique opportunity to shift the course of U.S. policy. First, the resignation of White House aide Michael Deaver and the shift of James Baker III to Treasury breaks up the notorious "Palace Guard" of pragmatist advisers, who had prevented Reagan from receiving any advice contrary to that desired by the Wall Street bankers and their front-men.

Secondly, every top adminstration spokesman has come out stressing that the commitment to the SDI is irreversible. Speaking on the CBS-TV program "Face the Nation" on Jan. 13, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger stated that "there was no agreement [at Geneva] that we would stop or ban that which is close to the President's heart and what he considers to be one of his highest priorities." Weinberger said that "I exclude the possibility that a strategic defense—be it in the research stage or if it's in the deployment stage—could possibly be given up."

To back up Weinberger's statement, the Department of Defense has issued the text of remarks made by SDI chief scientific adviser Gerald Yonas outlining how recent technological breakthroughs by the United States have made the administration more confident that a successful strategic defense system can be achieved. And on Jan. 11, U.S. National Security Adviser and Geneva negotiator Robert McFarlane, speaking to journalists in Paris, said in answer to a question about whether the United States took seriously Soviet threats that the U.S. SDI program constituted a casus belli that would impel the Soviets toward a preemptive global nuclear attack, that the Soviets themselves were "prepared to deploy today a massive defensive system, including an anti-ballistic missile system, lasers, and directed energy systems .... It is clear that the Soviet Union has an advanced SDI system of its own." In view of this fact, McFarlane stated, the United States was determined to enter arms control negotiations in goodwill but with a non-negotiable determination to research on the SDI.

The Washington Post, which has never hidden its zeal to stop the beam-weapons defense, made clear its total commitment to race confrontation against the Reagan administration by blacking out the Jan. 15 march entirely. This could hardly have been due to ignorance of the LaRouches and their political influence: Nearly 8,000 words of copy had been spent in that newspaper over the previous three days to repeat vacuous gossip and slanders from NBC-TV and the ADL on Lyndon and Helga LaRouche.

'This time, we must win'

Following is the text of Helga Zepp-LaRouche's speech to a rally of more than 10,000 people demonstrating for the Inalienable Rights of Man at Union Plaza, Washington, D.C. on Jan. 15.

This is an historic day today. On the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, once again people from all over the United States, and from as far away as Africa, Asia, Ibero-America, and Western Europe are coming together to demonstrate in Washington.

We are coming together here, because there is too much suffering going on in the world. Millions of people are starving in Africa, because of the murderous austerity policies of the International Monetary Fund and the banking system. We have to make people feel the suffering of these nations, or else it will come back here to the United States, where there are already 30 million people beneath the subsistence level.

When this great nation was created as the first true republic in the world, the Founding Fathers said in the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain Inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

But, then, the enemies of the human race trampled on these rights, until President Lincoln revived the spirit of the American Revolution, in the famous Gettysburg Address, and ended the unworthy black slavery in the Emancipation Proclamation.

And, when these rights were trampled on once more, Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement revived the spirit of the American Revolution once more.

Today, the entire continent of Africa is condemned to death, and many nations are collapsing under the present monetary system. Therefore, we have created a new movement, the movement for the Inalienable Rights of Man, for all people on our planet; and we will not stop fighting until a new, just world economic order has been established.

"We, therefore, the Representatives of the Peoples of the World, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of all good people of all countries, solemnly publish and declare, that all the countries of the World are, and of Right ought to be, Free and independent States.

"That all human beings on this planet have inalienable rights, which guarantee them life, freedom, material conditions worthy of man, and the right to develop fully all potentialities of their intellect and their souls. That, therefore, a change in the present monetary and economic order is necessary and urgent, to establish justice among the peoples of the world.

"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our Li ves, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor."

There is no need for starvation and misery; let's use American technology to develop the developing nations. Let's put those 30 million poor Americans back to work in productive jobs, and produce the technology which Africa needs.

We appeal to President Reagan, to change the economic policy, both the trends in developing nations and here at home, as well. We appeal to President Reagan to hold, within the first 100 days of his second administration, a summit meeting with Third World leaders to plan out for rapid implementation a program for massive debt renegotiation and for a new, just world economic order.

This time, when civilization as a whole is at stake, we do not work only to overcome; this time, we must win.

I have a dream today, that soon there will be a world without hunger, without poverty, and with conditions for all human beings on this planet worthy of the dignity of man. I have a dream today, the dream of Friedrich Schiller and Dr. Martin Luther King, that all men shall become brothers.