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King's Widow Speaks Out Against War with Iraq
Published on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 by Reuters
King's Widow Speaks Out Against War with Iraq
by Karen Jacobs
 

ATLANTA - The widow of Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out on Tuesday against a possible U.S.-led war on Iraq, evoking the assassinated U.S. civil rights leader's message of nonviolence.

"I believe that more people are thinking about him and yearning to hear his voice because of concerns about terrorism and the buildup of war," Coretta Scott King told Reuters.

King said there were alternative means to possible war with Iraq, such as negotiation.

"When you use war as a way of settling disputes, you only cause more war," she said in an interview given to highlight the observance of the King holiday on Monday. "In the long run, the only way to have peace is to use peaceful means."

Martin Luther King Jr. advocated passive resistance to racial segregation and co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as a base for nonviolent marches and civil rights demonstrations for U.S. blacks. He was killed in April 1968.

Coretta Scott King said one of the reasons her husband was assassinated was because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. She said King initially feared that if he took a stand against that war, fund-raising for his group would dry up.

But she said that after King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, he felt compelled to work to bring about international peace.

"He proved to be right," she said. After his anti-Vietnam War speech in 1967, "the nation within a year's time reversed itself on Vietnam and Martin lived to know that his courageous statement was not in vain."

Copyright 2003 Reuters Ltd

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