Jesse Jackson Speech

Now many people will be interested in a speech made in Reading by Jesse Jackson. But you wont find it on Martins official website. Instead you will find Martins speech introducing him.

Thats it. 


If you want to know more about his actual speech, you can find it at …

Give back the knives. Put down the guns” – that was the rallying call from legendary civil rights campaigner The Reverend Jesse Jackson in Reading this week.

After 40 years of fighting “oppressive forces”, Mr Jackson urged Reading folk to join him in a new fight against gun and knife crime.

The legendary campaigner, whose tears on the day Barack Obama was elected president have become an iconic image across the globe, was in town on Wednesday at the invitation of Reading West MP Martin Salter and Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the home affairs committee.

We all owe so much to this ‘superhero’

In the only stop outside London on his UK visit, Mr Jackson gave a rousing speech to more than 1,200 people gathered at The Globe Church in Portman Road, West Reading.

He said: “We have fought for freedom, our dignity and decency and security. We have always fought for victory over some oppressive force. Sometimes it was military occupation of some sort, fighting some foreign force, foreign to our values.

“We won the battle in South Africa and in the US we have gone from slave ship to championship – Barack Obama is our president.

“Now we are killing each other by stabbings. Today we stand here and face the issue of self-destructive violent behaviour.

“We’ve come too far to surrender to our worst instinct and our worst fears.

“Have we come this far to stab each other? Violence is a form of weakness. Non-violence is a form of strength.”

He called for a “renewed commitment to non-violence” and urged people to “live and let live, not kill and be killed”.

During the speech, which followed a performance of Mary Mary’s I Just Can’t Give Up Now by Wyetta Pilgrim and a gospel choir, Mr Jackson called on the crowd to echo him in the words: “Give back the knives. Put down the guns. Give peace a chance. Keep hope alive. Turn to each other and not on each other. Live in peace.”

Pastor Joel Thomas, who leads the black majority church where the event was held, told the Evening Post it was one of his proudest moments.

He said: “This is history. If somebody had told me a few years ago that I would be sharing a platform with Jesse Jackson, I probably would have fallen over.”

Mr Thomas told the crowd: “In a generation, some people write history, some people read history and some people make history.

“Today, history is being made before our eyes in the community of Reading.

“This visit sends a message of hope, inspiration and encouragement to us all.

“This is a historic moment which we will remember forever.”

Deceiving the Diversity Champion reward from Mr Jackson on behalf of the Labour Party for his work with multicultural communities in Reading, Mr Salter said: “It’s a hugely proud moment for me. It’s a hugely proud moment for us all.

He then broke out into song; ‘Its all about me me me. Because Im so pretty, oh so pretty, the world is full of joy tonight.’


“The Rev Jackson, your tears of joy at the election of Barack Obama echoed throughout my community (COS I OWN IT) and they have become one of the iconic images of our age.”

Published in: on March 31, 2009 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

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