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IPFS News Link • WAR: About that War

Martin Luther King's Speech Against the Vietnam War


One of the greatest speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr., "A Time to Break Silence," was delivered at Riverside Church, New York City, on April 4, 1967. It is a statement against war in principle, in the same sense in which King's "Letter from Birmingham City Jail," published four years earlier, had been a statement against social injustice in principle. Yet like that extraordinary earlier appeal, "A Time to Break Silence" is also addressed to the evils of a particular time and place. It protests the command and deployment by Lyndon Johnson of almost unlimited violence against the people and the land of Vietnam for the declared purpose of protecting them from the menace of world communism.

King began by acknowledging his solidarity with the organizers of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam; and he pledged himself in full accord with their recent statement: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." In Vietnam, says King, "that time has come for us."

Yet to support concrete acts of nonviolent protest or non-cooperation remains a difficult choice.
From Youtube: 
Martin Luther King, "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam"