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TheRootDC
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Posted at 01:08 PM ET, 12/14/2011

Black pastors link Occupy Wall Street to MLK


Rev. Carroll Baltimore, middle, president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, recites a closing prayer. (Hamil R. Harris - The Washington Post)
A prominent coalition of African American pastors have teamed up with leaders of the Occupy Wall Street movement to launch a new series of actions that they consider part of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s unfinished legacy.

“If Dr. King were alive today, he would be part of Occupy Wall Street,” said the Rev. Ben Chavis, the former head of the NAACP, said during a news conference at the National Press Club in Northwest Washington.

The Rev. Jamal Bryant, a nationally known televangelist and pastor of Baltimore’s Empowerment Temple Church, said pastors are starting the Occupy the Dream movement, with events starting in January.

“Dr. King did not die for a monument,” Bryant said. “He died for a movement and that movement must move forward.”

The first major action is slated for January 16. The group is asking people to leave crutches and other prosthetic devices at the various Federal Reserve offices around the country to show how financial institutions are crippling residents and the economy.

In addition, the group is asking for a moratorium on new foreclosures and $100 billion in new community investment by Wall Street firms.

David DeGraw, one of the leaders of the Occupy Wall Street movement, welcomed the pastors input.

“It is absolutely vital for us to penetrate deeper into the African American community,” DeGraw said. “The legacy of Dr. King has been the guiding force for many of us in the Occupy movement.”

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