Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

Americas

Tea Party's 'restore honor' rally grates old wounds

Video by Carlotta Ranieri , Siobhán SILKE

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-28

Thousands gathered in Washington on Saturday to attend a conservative rally that has sparked controversy for being held on the anniversary and site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

AFP - Thousands of Americans gathered Saturday in the heart of the US capital for a rally to "restore America," led by right-wing icons including talk show host Glenn Beck and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

The rally has attracted controversy because it is being held on the 47th anniversary of civil rights legend Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, at the Lincoln memorial on the National Mall, where King spoke.

Many of those attending Saturday's event belong to the conservative Tea Party movement, which some African-American groups have criticized as racist, prompting claims that the rally insults King's legacy.

But Beck, whose Fox News show is a must-watch for many US conservatives, said the date of the event is a coincidence, and that the rally is intended to be non-political. He also argues that he has every right to King's legacy.

"Whites don't own Abraham Lincoln. Blacks don't own Martin Luther King," he said earlier this month after being accused of trying to "hijack" the anniversary of King's legendary speech.

The aim of the Saturday rally, dubbed "Restoring Honor," has been loosely defined, with Beck saying it would be a faith-based show of support and gratitude for US military families, honoring "heroes, our heritage and our future."

But the inclusion of Republican superstar Palin on the roster of speakers and the rhetoric surrounding the rally suggest the event will be far from politics-free.

"There is profound change happening in America and there is a window of opportunity that comes in the life span of every republic, every civilization, a window of opportunity to reach for that brass ring or to miss it," Beck said of the gathering on his website.

"We're not the people that we've allowed ourselves to become," added the rightwing pundit, who has rallied rising conservative opposition to President Barack Obama and his administration.

Those in the crowd at the event, which organizers said could draw some 100,000 people, described a need to reclaim American values.

"We want to see our nation return to its foundation principles," said Lou Tribus, a 67-year-old retiree who travelled from the southern US state of Tennessee to the capital for the rally.

Another attendee, Dawn, who declined to give her last name, said she wanted to "bring back the values that my country was founded on."

The 47-year-old, a small business owner from northern Virginia, said she could not understand opposition to the rally's location and date.

"I think Martin Luther King would agree with us," she told AFP. "I don't see why they think we shouldn't be here today."

But the question of race and racism has afflicted the new US conservative movement most prominently represented by the Tea Party movement.

Group members have touted openly racist signs at rallies, prompting the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People, the most numerous and oldest US organization of its kind, to pass a resolution condemning the Tea Party as racist.

Attendees at the rally Saturday largely honored organizer requests that they not bring banners or political signs. Instead, the predominantly white crowd, many seated on folding chairs and accompanied by their children, wore t-shirts with slogans including "Got principles?" and "Restoring Honor."
 

Date created : 2010-08-28

  • USA

    Tea Party candidate wins Kentucky race, Sen. Specter loses Pennsylvania

    Read more

COMMENT(S)