Progressive Calendar 04.04.13 /3
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2013 01:30:42 -0700 (PDT)
*P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   4.04.13
1. Midstream poetry 4.04  7:30pm

2. Carl Gibson - How the government killed Martin Luther King, Jr.
3. ed              - Strap Strapped (haiku)
4. ed              - Your Future Under Capitalism (couplet)

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Midstream Reading Series
When: Thursday April 4, 7:30–8:30pm.
Where: Blue Moon building, corner of 39th and (3820) East Lake.  Upstairs.
 Entrance just west of the Blue Moon coffee house; up the stairs and to the
left. Not wheel-chair accessible. Plentiful street parking.
  Best to arrive 10-20 minutes early to get coffee and food/dessert from
the Blue Moon, and to be seated by 7:30 so we can begin on time. And, the
venue will easily hold about 30; after that, standing or floor-sitting room
only. The early bird gets the seat. Please occupy the up-front seats first.
Readers may bring their books for sale.

Original poems and stories read/performed by their creators:
Becca Barniskis
Lyle Daggett
Tim Nolan
Mary Jo Thompson

Becca Barniskis’ chapbook of poems, Mimi and Xavier Star in a Museum That
Fits Entirely in One’s Pocket will be published in 2013 by Anomalous Press.
Her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from numerous journals, among
them The Boiler, Mid-American Review, burntdistrict, Conduit, and Prairie
Schooner. More at

Lyle Daggett has been writing poems for nearly 45 years. He is the author
of seven books of poems, the most recent of which is All Through the Night:
New and Selected Poems, published 2013 by Red Dragonfly Press. His poems,
translations, essays and book reviews have also appeared in numerous
magazines and websites over the years. By day he works for a living in an
office cubicle in a large corporation, talking on the phone and typing on a
computer, and daydreaming of other things. In real life he continues to
write. He is also the author of the weblog A Burning Patience,, where he talks mostly about poets and
poetry that interest him, and related things. He lives in Minneapolis.

Tim Nolan is a lawyer in Minneapolis.  His poems have appeared in many
publications and venues, including The Gettysburg Review, The Nation, The
New Republic, Ploughshares, and on The Writer's Almanac and American Life
in Poetry.  His first book, The Sound of It, was published in 2008 by New
Rivers Press and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award.  His new
book, And Then, was published by New Rivers Press in October 2012.

Since receiving her MFA in 2009, Mary Jo Thompson's poems have appeared in
two anthologies, Best American Poetry 2011, and Another &Another, An
Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series (Bull City Press), and in
Beloit Poetry Journal, Indiana Review, and Carolina Quarterly. She counts
herself lucky to be in the same writing group as Becca Barniskis,
especially since it's allowed her to read Becca's fiercely smart and keenly
original book Mimi and Xavier before you can.

Before and after: The Blue Moon, downstairs, has coffee, sandwiches,
desserts. Merlin’s Rest, a bar/restaurant 3 blocks west, has a full bar,
good food, a late hours kitchen, some outside seating

For further information:David Shove shove001 [at]     651-636-5672

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How the Government Killed Martin Luther King, Jr.
By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News
03 April 13

Before scoffing at this headline, you should know that in 1999, in Memphis,
Tennessee, more than three decades after MLK's death, a jury found local,
state, and federal government agencies guilty of conspiring to assassinate
the Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil rights leader. The same media you
would expect to cover such a monumental decision was absent at the trial,
because those news organizations were part of that conspiracy. William F.
Pepper, who was James Earl Ray's first attorney, called over 70 witnesses
to the stand to testify on every aspect of the assassination. The panel,
which consisted of an even mix of both black and white jurors, took only an
hour of deliberation to find Loyd Jowers and other defendants guilty. If
you're skeptical of any factual claims made here, click here for a full
transcript, broken into individual sections. Read the testimonies yourself
if you don't want to take my word for it.

It really isn't that radical a thing to expect this government to kill
someone who threatened their authority and had the power to organize
millions to protest it. When MLK was killed on April 4, 1968, he was
speaking to sanitation workers in Memphis, who were organizing to fight
poverty wages and ruthless working conditions. He was an outspoken critic
of the government's war in Vietnam, and his power to organize threatened
the moneyed corporate interests who were profiting from the war. At the
time of his death, he was gearing up for the Poor People's Campaign, an
effort to get people to camp out on the National Mall to demand
anti-poverty legislation – essentially the first inception of the Occupy
Wall Street movement. The government perceived him as a threat, and had him
killed. James Earl Ray was the designated fall guy, and a complicit media,
taking its cues from a government in fear of MLK, helped sell the
"official" story of the assassination. Here's how they did it.

The Setup

The defendant in the 1999 civil trial, Loyd Jowers, had been a Memphis PD
officer in the 1940s. He owned a restaurant called Jim's Grill, a staging
ground to orchestrate MLK's assassination underneath the rooming house
where the corporate media alleges James Earl Ray shot Dr. King. During the
trial, William Pepper, the plaintiff's attorney, played a tape of an
incriminating 1998 conversation between Jowers, UN Ambassador Andrew Young,
and Dexter King, MLK's son. Young testified that Jowers told them he
"wanted to get right with God before he died, wanted to confess it and be
free of it."

On the tape, Jowers mentions that those present at the meetings included
MPD officer Marrell McCollough, Earl Clark, an MPD lieutenant and known as
the department's best marksman, another MPD officer, and two men who were
unknown to Jowers but whom he assumed to be representatives of federal
agencies. While Dr. King was in Memphis, he was under open or eye-to-eye
federal surveillance by the 111th Military Intelligence Group based at Fort
McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia. Memphis PD intelligence officer Eli Arkin
even admitted to having the group in his own office. During his last visit
to Memphis in late March of 1968, MLK was under covert surveillance,
meaning his room at the Rivermont was bugged and wired. Even if he went out
to the balcony to speak, his words were recorded via relay. William Pepper
alleges in his closing argument during King v. Jowers that such covert
surveillance was usually done by the Army Security Agency, implying the
involvement of at least two federal agencies.

Jowers also gave an interview to Sam Donaldson on "Prime Time Live" in
1993. The transcript of the interview was read during the trial, and it was
revealed that Jowers openly talked about being asked by produce warehouse
owner Frank Liberto to help with MLK's murder. Liberto had mafia
connections, and sent a courier with $100,000 to Jowers, who owned a local
restaurant, with instructions to hold the money at his restaurant.

John McFerren owned a store in Memphis and was making a pickup at Liberto's
warehouse at 5:15 p.m. on April 4th, roughly 45 minutes before the
assassination. McFerren testified that he overheard Liberto tell someone
over the phone, "Shoot the son of a bitch on the balcony." Other witnesses
who testified included café owner Lavada Addison, who was friends with
Liberto in the 1970s. She recalled him confiding to her that he "had Martin
Luther King killed." Addison's son, Nathan Whitlock, also testified. He
asked Liberto if he killed MLK, and he responded, "I didn't kill the nigger
but I had it done." When Whitlock pressed him about James Earl Ray, Liberto
replied, "He wasn't nothing but a troublemaker from Missouri. He was a
front man ... a setup man."

The back door of Loyd Jowers' establishment led to a thick crop of bushes
across the street from the Lorraine Motel balcony where Dr. King was shot.
On the taped confession to Andrew Young and Dexter King, Jowers says after
he heard the shot, Lt. Earl Clark, who is now deceased, laid a smoking
rifle at the rear of his restaurant. Jowers then disassembled the rifle,
wrapped it in a tablecloth and prepared it for disposal.

The corporate media says it was James Earl Ray who shot MLK, and he did it
from the 2nd floor bathroom window of the rooming house across the street
from the Lorraine Motel. The official account alleges the murder weapon was
dropped in a bundle and abandoned at Dan Canipe's storefront just before he
made his getaway. But even those authorities and media admit that the
bullet that tore through MLK's throat didn't have the same metallurgical
composition as the bullets in the rifle left behind by James Earl Ray. And
Judge Joe Brown, a weapons expert called to testify by Pepper in the 1999
trial, said the rifle allegedly used by James Earl Ray had a scope that was
never sighted in, meaning that the weapon in question would have fired far
to the left and far below the target.

The actual murder weapon was disposed of by taxi driver James McCraw, a
friend of Jowers. William Hamblin testified in King v. Jowers that McCraw
told him this story over a 15-year period whenever he got drunk. McCraw
repeatedly told Hamblin that he threw the rifle over the Memphis-Arkansas
bridge, meaning that the rifle is at the bottom of the Mississippi river to
this day. And according to Hamblin's testimony, Canipe said he saw the
bundle dropped in front of his store before the actual shooting occurred.

The Conspiracy

To make Dr. King vulnerable, plans had to be made to remove him from his
security detail and anyone sympathetic who could be a witness or interfere
with the killing. Two black firefighters, Floyd Newsum and Norvell Wallace,
who were working at Fire Station #2 across the street from the Lorraine
Motel, were each transferred to different fire stations. Newsum was a civil
rights activist and witnessed MLK's last speech to the striking Memphis
sanitation workers, "I Have Seen the Mountaintop," before getting the call
about his transfer. Newsum testified that he wasn't needed at his new
assignment, and that his transfer meant that Fire Station #2 would be out
of commission unless someone else was sent there in his stead. Newsum
talked about having to make a series of inquiries before finally learning
that his reassignment had been ordered by the Memphis Police Department.
Wallace testified that to that very day, while the official explanation was
a vague death threat, he hadn't once received a satisfactory answer as to
why he was suddenly reassigned.

Ed Redditt, a black MPD detective who was assigned to MLK's security
detail, was also removed from the scene an hour before the shooting and
sent home, and the only reason given was a vague death threat. Jerry
Williams, another black MPD detective, was usually tasked with assembling a
security team of black police officers for Dr. King. But he testified that
on the night of the assassination, he wasn't assigned to form that team.

There was a Black Panther-inspired group called The Invaders, who were
staying at the Lorraine Motel to help MLK organize a planned march with the
striking garbage workers. The Invaders were ordered to leave the motel
after getting into an argument with members of MLK's entourage. The origins
of the argument are unclear, though several sources affirm that The
Invaders had been infiltrated by Marrell McCollough of the MPD, who later
went on to work for the CIA. And finally, the Tact 10 police escort of
several MPD cars that accompanied Dr. King's security detail were pulled
back the day before the shooting by Inspector Evans. With all possible
obstacles out of the way, MLK was all alone just before the assassination.

The Cover-Up

Around 7 a.m. on April 5, the morning after the shooting, MPD Inspector Sam
Evans called Public Works Administrator Maynard Stiles and told him to have
a crew destroy the crop of bushes adjacent to the rooming house above Loyd
Jowers' restaurant. This is particularly odd coming from a policeman, since
the bushes were in a crime scene area, and crime scene areas are normally
roped off, not to be disturbed. The official narrative of a sniper in the
bathroom at the rooming house was then reinforced, since a sniper firing
from an empty clearing would be far more visible than one hidden behind a
thick crop of bushes.

Normally, when a major political figure is murdered, all possible witnesses
are questioned and asked to make statements. But Memphis PD neglected to
conduct even a basic house-to-house investigation. Olivia Catling, a
resident of nearby Mulberry Street just a block away from the shooting,
testified that she saw a man leave an alley next to the rooming house
across from the Lorraine, climb into a Green 1965 Chevrolet, and speed
away, burning rubber right in front of several police cars without any
interference. There was also no questioning of Captain Weiden, a Memphis
firefighter at the fire station closest to the Lorraine, the same one from
which Floyd Newsum had been transferred just a day before.

Memphis PD and the FBI also suppressed the statements of Ray Hendricks and
William Reed, who said they saw James Earl Ray's white mustang parked in
front of Jowers' restaurant, before seeing it again driving away as they
crossed another street. Ray's alibi was that he had driven away from the
scene to fix a tire, and these two statements that affirmed his alibi were
withheld from Ray's guilty plea jury.

The jury present at Ray's guilty plea hearing also wasn't informed about
the bullet that killed MLK having different striations and markings than
the other bullets kept as evidence, nor that the bullet couldn't be
positively matched as coming from the alleged murder weapon. Three days
after entering the guilty plea, James Earl Ray unsuccessfully attempted to
retract it and demand a trial. Incredibly, James Earl Ray turned down two
separate bribes, one of which was recorded by his brother Jerry Ray, where
he was offered $220,000 by writer William Bradford Huey and the guarantee
of a full pardon if he would just agree to have the story "Why I Killed
Martin Luther King" written on his behalf.

The Deception

One of the 70 witnesses that William F. Pepper called to testify in King v.
Jowers was Bill Schaap, a practicing attorney with particular experience in
military law, with bar credentials in New York, Chicago, and DC. Schaap
testified at great length about how the government, through the FBI and the
CIA, puts people in key positions on editorial boards at influential papers
like the New York Times and Washington Post. He describes that although
these editorial board members and news directors at cable news outlets may
be liberal in their politics, they always take the government's side in
national security-related stories. Before you write that off as conspiracy
theory, remember how people like Bill Keller at the New York Times, as well
as the Washington Post editorial board, all cheerfully led the march to war
in Iraq ten years ago.

Another King v. Jowers witness was Earl Caldwell, a New York Times reporter
who was sent to Memphis by an editor named Claude Sitton. Caldwell
testified that the orders from his editor were to "nail Dr. King." In the
publication's effort to sell the story of James Earl Ray as the murderer,
the Times cited an investigation into how Ray got the money for his
Mustang, rifle, and the long road trip to Tennessee from California. The
Times said that according to their own findings as well as the findings of
federal agencies, Ray got the money by robbing a bank in his hometown of
Alton, Illinois. In Pepper's closing argument, he says that when he or
Jerry Ray talked to the chief of police in Alton, along with the bank
president of the branch that was allegedly robbed, neither said they had
been approached by the New York Times, or by the FBI. Essentially, the
Times fabricated the entire story in order to sell a false narrative that
there was no government intervention and that James Earl Ray was a lone

So for the following 31 years after King's death, nobody dared to question
the constant reiteration of James Earl Ray as the murderer of Martin Luther
King. Even 13 years after a jury found the government complicit in a
conspiracy to murder the civil rights leader, the complicit media continues
to propagate the false narrative they sold us three decades ago and
vociferously shout down any alternative theories as to what happened as
"conspiracy theory," framing those putting forth such theories as wackjobs
undeserving of any credibility. It's strikingly similar to how the
Washington Post defended their warmongering in a recent editorial
commenting on the invasion of Iraq, and had one of their reporters defend
the media's leading of the charge into Iraq.

As we remember Dr. King and the important work he did, we should also
reject the official account of his death as loudly as the government and
media shout down anyone who tries to contradict their lies. As Edward R.
Murrow said, "Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and
cover them up, at least a little bit."
Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative
direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists
against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to
the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are
featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012
Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can
contact him at carl [at], and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work.
Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to
Reader Supported News.

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Strap Strapped

With just one boot and
strap, when I lift, I tilt, and
fall flat on my ass.

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Your Future Under Capitalism
*Yes yours! Be real gone*est*, have a lark;
it's always dawnest before the dark.


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