Dec 27 2011

REBORADCAST: Rev. James Lawson on Occupy Wall Street

This is a rebroadcast

nullOccupy Wall Street is barely a few months old but has already been dubbed the new progressive movement of our era. Internet technology has boosted the movement’s reach and sped up its growth. However, given its infancy, how much can be attributed to Occupy Wall Street’s influence and how resilient is it in the long-term? Today, to answer these and other questions, we spend the hour with one of Los Angeles’ most well-known and revered activists, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, Reverend James Lawson.

Rev. Lawson has been an activist since the 1950s, beginning with his refusal to fight in the Korean war. After spending over a year in prison, he traveled to India where he worked as a minister and teacher at Hislop College in Nagpur. While there he learned about Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent struggle against the British occupation of India which ended in 1947. After Lawson’s return to the United States he began to be active in the emerging civil rights movement in the United States, opening a field office for the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Nashville, and training others in Gandhian non-violence and direct action. Rev. Lawson drew parallels between non-violent activism and Christianity. By 1961, he was helping to coordinate the Freedom Rides and in 1968, he played a major role in the sanitation worker’s strike in Memphis, Tennessee. Shortly before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, he called Lawson “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world.” Rev. James Lawson has been living in Los Angeles since 1974, as the Holman Methodist Church pastor and continues to be active in movements for social, racial, and economic justice.

One response so far

One Response to “REBORADCAST: Rev. James Lawson on Occupy Wall Street”

  1. Pauline Clayon 29 Dec 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I am so inspired by Rev. Lawson. I plan to join Holman Methodist Church. I am a former freedom rider.