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Brady Speaker to Address Non-Violence at "Reclaim the Dream" Rally
WASHINGTON - August 26 - Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence President Paul Helmke today announced that Brady Campaign Board Member Robert Bates, a former legislative assistant to the late Senator Ted Kennedy, will speak on the organization's behalf at the August 28 Reclaim the Dream Rally, organized by Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network.
"We are proud to have our staff, supporters, and board members participating in the Reclaim the Dream rally and march on Saturday," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign. " We want to add our voices to those who seek to remember Dr. King's quest for non-violence, justice, harmony, fuller employment and racial equality. We want to add our voices and vision to those who want to see a much safer America with less violence."
Robert Bates is a Mobil Corp. retiree, a native Washingtonian, and a graduate of Dunbar High School, where the 11 a.m. rally will take place.
"I have seen the carnage that gun violence inflicts," said Bates. "I cringe at the daily reports of Americans, young and old, of all races and varied backgrounds, killing and dying because of the easy access to guns. The Brady Campaign's vision parallels Dr. King's vision of an America where all Americans are safe."
Researchers at Harvard and UCLA recently announced that U.S. homicide rates are 6.9 times higher than rates in the other high-income countries, driven by firearm homicide rates that were 19.5 times higher. For 15 to 24-year olds, firearm homicide rates in the United States were 42.7 times higher than in the other countries.
"King's non-violent movement seemed radical 50 years ago. But with courage and integrity he kept beating the drum," added Bates. "I want to know: Can we resurrect his vision for non-violence? Can we become as radical today as he was in the 1960s in fighting for more jobs, more educational opportunities, more harmony, and more safety? I believe we must beat the drum for all of these issues that will make a better America."