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Dream deferrers converge on DC

29 August 2010 10:00

A huge rally of US conservatives in Washington has drawn criticism from progressive groups as it has coincided with the anniversary of a civil rights event.

At the “Restoring Honor” rally, about 100,000 conservatives and advocates of the Tea Party movement gathered at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday to, as the organizers of the event said, honor US principles.

The event was led by right-wing icons such as Fox News conservative talk show host Glenn Beck and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, AFP reported.

But African-Americans and civil rights groups have criticized the organizers’ choice of time for holding the rally since it coincides with the 47th anniversary of civil rights legend Martin Luther King Jr.’s historical speech at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall.

On August 28, 1963, in the presence of a quarter million people, King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, to criticize the inequities in the US legal system that made Blacks second-class citizens in the United States.

Progressive groups say since the conservatives, mostly represented by the Tea Party movement, have repeatedly taken racist stances, the Saturday rally is an effort to “dishonor” King and “hijack” his civil rights legacy.

The civil rights groups organized a counter-rally where participants marched to the site of a proposed memorial to Dr. King, near the Lincoln Memorial.

Some pundits have noted that it was ironic that the two groups converged on the Lincoln Memorial site, saying the country is nearly as divided as it was during the Civil War, when Abraham Lincoln was president.

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