If you go

What: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. rally and march in Boulder

When: Begins at 11 a.m. Monday

Where: St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1419 Pine Street

What: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Marade in Denver

When: Begins at 9 a.m. Monday

Where: From Dr. King memorial site in City Park to Civic Center Park

It may be two days before we’ll celebrate Martin Luther King, but the U.S. government is in “shutdown mode,” 800,000 workers are going without pay and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Andrea Thompson has confirmed the U.S. intention to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty after a meeting with a Russian delegation in Geneva, which both sides described as a failure, according to The Guardian.

The INF treaty required the U.S. and the Soviet Union to eliminate and permanently forswear all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. It has been in effect since 1987, according to Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. The two countries destroyed a total of 2,692 short, medium and intermediate-range missiles by the treaty’s deadline in June 1991, and it has kept nuclear missiles out of Europe for three decades.

In his Nobel Peace Prize lecture in 1964, Dr. King acknowledged humans have a “proneness to engage in war.” He went on to say, “But wisdom born of experience should tell us that war is obsolete. A so-called limited war will leave little more than a calamitous legacy of human suffering, political turmoil, and spiritual disillusionment. A world war — God forbid! — will leave only smoldering ashes as a mute testimony of a human race whose folly led inexorably to ultimate death. So if modern man continues to flirt unhesitatingly with war, he will transform his earthly habitat into an inferno such as even the mind of Dante could not imagine.”

According to Wikipedia, the campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

It will be observed in Denver with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Marade, in which participants will congregate at the Dr. King memorial site in City Park at 9 a.m. Monday and march to Civic Center Park for cake and speeches.

Boulder will have a rally and march beginning at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1419 Pine Street, at 11 a.m. Monday with music; an excerpt from Dr. King’s “Beyond Viet Nam” speech; and remarks by Carolyn Bninski of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Paula Palmer of Right Relationship Boulder, Boulder Mayor Suzanne Jones and Boulder Human Relations Commission Chair Nikhil Mankekar, followed by music by Louise Knapp, Leah and Edden. The march will be led by Peers Building Justice from Safehouse Progressive Alliance and the City Youth Opportunities Advisory Board.

There could never be a more important time to join together.

The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s “Peace Train” runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.

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