Leaders Plan Counter March to Glenn Beck Rally | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Leaders Plan Counter March to Glenn Beck Rally

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By Matt Laslo

As conversative broadcaster Glenn Beck prepares for his rally at the Lincoln Memorial tomorrow, civil rights leaders, who've planned a rally of their own, say he's distorting the legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.

A few hundred excited Beck fans crowded close to a security fence to shake the hand of the popular television host as they prepared to demonstrate their support for his anti-government message.

Saturday's rally falls on the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's "I Have a Dream" speech but Beck says that's a coincidence.

He says he wants to "reclaim" the civil rights battle and that's what has outraged many African-Americans and others.

Blocks from the National Mall, civil rights leaders and some members of D.C.'s city council offered a different message.

"They're having an anti-government march on a day when King came to appeal to government. You can't have it both ways," says the Reverend Al Sharpton.

Sharpton's National Action Network will hold a counter march Saturday.

His supporters will gather at Dunbar High School in Northwest at 11 a.m. and at 1 p.m., they'll march to the Lincoln Memorial just as Beck's event is scheduled to end.

Ward five councilmember Harry Thomas says Beck's decision to hold his rally tomorrow has mobilized the opposition.

"What they have done now is awoken a great sleeping giant, because people, unless they get hit don't understand what's going on. But when you hit the greatest legacy speech of our time, and you come on the 47th anniversary and disrespect that legacy than you know what we're up against," Thomas said.

What will Beck say to his supporters at the rally?

"Umm, you know, you show up tomorrow and you'll see," Beck said as he was ushered into a Black Mercedes by four security guards.

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