On the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s speech in Washington, two groups gathered for their own rallies in the nation’s capital. On one side was conservative commentator Glenn Beck and former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, giving what they billed as a nonpolitical rally. Down the street, Rev.Al Sharpton held a rally and march, in honor of civil rights.
While Beck stuck by the idea that his rally was not a political one, that didn’t stop many conservative and tea party activists from believing that the number of people who attended showed their potential this election year. The name of the rally, and a theme repeated by Palin, was Restoring Honor. Both Beck and Palin referred to King and the Founding Fathers repeatedly throughout the day. Beck spent much of his speech making references to religion in America. He also urged America to return to its morals.
The civil rights activists led by Sharpton gathered at a high school before making a three mile march to the site of where a planned King monument will be placed. While they crossed paths with many leaving the Beck rally, the people of both sides stayed restrained for the most part. There were a few people who taunted each other from opposing sides, but overall the crowd remained calm and civil.
At Sharpton’s rally he stressed how important it was to continue the dream of King and realize that progress didn’t mean the job was over. He did comment on how some at the other rally once criticized his marching for civil rights. However, he stressed to his participants to remain peaceful in their interactions with others.
Both groups heard from members of Martin Luther King’s family during their respective rallies.
(image: flickr/Emil Kepko)