Lessons in Resistance: Martin Luther King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” Revisited

Martin Luther King, Jr.
looks through the bars of
a Birmingham, Alabama
cell in April 1963

Paul Adams, J.D.
Activist Post


In spring 1963, civil rights leaders campaigned for racial desegregation in Birmingham, Alabama. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other leaders organized militantly peaceful protests, marches, boycotts, and sit-ins to create conflict that would challenge the conscience of America to remedy the inequity and injustice of segregation.

While in Birmingham, King was jailed for holding marches without a permit. While imprisoned, King responded to a published letter from moderate white preachers criticizing the civil rights campaign with his famous Letter From a Birmingham Jail, which is mandatory reading for all lovers of truth and people of conscience.

King’s letter is more relevant now than ever.

Today, Americans and citizens of all nations are struggling to keep and/or regain their constitutional, natural and God-given rights from a global elite that openly enslaves the world through debt. This elite writes the laws but is not subject to them. It openly engages in false flag terror, wars based on false pretenses, usury/fractional reserve banking, chemtrails, toxic GMO foods, massive depopulation, gun and drug running, and other crimes against humanity. It is the same elite that assassinated Martin Luther King, Jr., as proven at trial in a court of law with almost no mainstream media coverage.

As late American Indian Movement leader Russell Means said, the United States is one big reservation, and we are all in it. To put it another way, we are all struggling for basic human rights like the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Let us now learn and head the wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Why Was Martin Luther King Jr. in the Birmingham City Jail?

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here … I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

King understood that when left unchecked, injustice spreads through society like cancer metastasizes from one organ or body part to another.

Another prominent pastor, Martin Niemöller, provides a perfect example of this principle regarding the Nazis:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– 

Because I was not a Socialist. 

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– 

Because I was not a Trade Unionist. 

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– 

Because I was not a Jew. 

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

If you don’t care about people in Cyprus having their life savings stolen by IMF moneychangers, you should; your savings (if you still have any) will be next as the banksters have not received justice for their crimes.

If you don’t care about the millions of unemployed and those living in poverty, you should; you and your family will likely be next as those responsible for poverty face no opposition like the Civil Rights activists of the 1960s.

Is Organizing Disruptive Demonstrations Immoral?

You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

It is shocking that powerful demonstrations and boycotts against the banking industry and military industrial rarely take place, or at least they receive no media coverage. This is largely due to the fact that most organizations are easily infiltrated by the establishment and demonized by the controlled corporate media just like Dr. King’s National Conference for New Politics.

The lack of demonstrations is also due to fear. Everyone knows what happened to Martin Luther King, John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Paul Wellstone, Pat Tillman and other powerful organizers that opposed the New World Order.

Four Requirements of a nonviolent Civil Rights Campaign:

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action. We have gone through all of these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good-faith negotiation.

Today, one glaring example of injustice is the fact that tens of millions of Americans have or will lose their homes to bank foreclosures. In many foreclosures, the banks have acted illegally but don’t care as they are above the law. Yet the banks received over $29 trillion of bailouts, enough to pay-off every residential home mortgage nearly three times over. Furthermore, the majority of money loaned to borrowers is created out of nothing through the usury scam of fractional reserve banking. In short, people labor and produce real goods and services to earn money. They then use their money to pay interest to banks for loans that were simply created by typing digits on a computer screen. This inequity is too simple for many to comprehend.

Why Direct Action Against Injustice is Necessary

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.

Just like Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, one can take direct action against injustice today.

First, you can educate your friends and family about the New World Order, Federal Reserve, IMF, false flag terror, orchestrated economic crises, wars based on false pretenses, media propaganda, genetically modified foods, chemtrails, and the many other issues of justice affecting nearly everyone today.

Second, you can boycott unethical companies and their products.

Third, like Nathan Blanc, you can refuse to participate in absurd wars and violate any law that conflicts with your conscience and natural law. You can inform others that Al Qaeda is run by the Pentagon and the U.S. secretly supplies North Korea. North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un was educated in Switzerland, so there is every reason to believe that he is a puppet of the West despite the current twenty-four-hour war propaganda.

The History of Gaining Rights:

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

Now is the time to expose and oppose the New World Order. The globalists are getting bolder by the day. They are attempting to revoke the Second amendment (right of self-defense) which historically leads to democide, have ordered 2 billion rounds of ammunition for domestic use (most are hollow-point not suitable for target practice and violate the Geneva Convention), and practice placing citizens in concentration camps. Without powerful opposition, our freedoms and quality of life will continue to quickly deteriorate.

Two Types of Laws and a Responsibility to Break Laws:

You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws … One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Now, what is the difference between the two? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law . . . All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. 

An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself … By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. 

A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state’s segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. 

Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest. 

One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

Henry David Thoreau preceded King on the need to disobey unjust laws, writing, “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.

John Lewis, the leader of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
is beaten by a state trooper March 7, 1965, as he attempts to march
with 600 others from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in a right-to-vote demonstration
Therefore, one should protest for justice openly, not agree to be confined to a “free speech zone.” Martin Luther King and the other civil rights leaders simply ignored injunctions and continued to march. Their goal was to “fill the jails” full and still have thousands of people marching and protesting.

Civil disobedience is very important for sheriffs. Many good sheriffs openly obey the moral law and reject unjust statutory laws to protect their citizens’ right of self-defense.

History and Tradition of Civil Disobedience:

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws.

To defeat the globalists and save humanity, we must learn our history and follow successful examples of resistance from the past.

Tension as Medicine Against Injustice

We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

Today, lovers of truth must expose corruption and the New World Order so that it can be brought to justice. Keeping silent will accomplish nothing other than encouraging the elite to commit more crimes.

The perpetrators of the 9/11 false flag, Oklahoma City bombing, invasion or Iraq, and chemtrails must face criminal trials. Only by bringing attention to these issues, thus creating tension, can justice be achieved.


First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

Moderates today have conformed due to years of misinformation and B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning in schools. They do not know how to nor desire the ability to think critically about important issues. They have an iPhone, latte, and large television to keep them entertained.

We must not lose hope in the moderates or be overwhelmed by frustration. We must plant truth seeds, gently water and nurture them with more truth, and in time we can awaken them to reality and fight for justice.

Freedom is a Birthright

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained.

The New World order will fail because it opposes natural law, seeking to make the beautiful ugly and ugly beautiful. The globalists’ and their DARPA nerd armies will never have complete control of everything and everyone one as all humans have a soul/conscience that desire freedom for the body and mind. Eventually, people will do anything necessary to gain freedom for themselves and others.

King Criticizes the Modern Church

I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church…In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: “Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern.” 

In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. 

There was a time when the church was very powerful – in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. 

Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and “outside agitators.” But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment… By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests.

Today, there are very few churches that take a stand against war and injustice. Instead, they focus on competing for members, building beautiful buildings/campuses, selling books, and pagan Easter egg hunts and Christmas trees. Unlike Christ whom owned only his cloak and sandals, many pastors flaunt luxury cars and extravagant homes as their members suffer economic hardship and half of the world population lives on less than $2.50 per day.

Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent–and often even vocal–sanction of things as they are. 

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

Many modern pastors act like wolves, telling the sheep that Romans chapter 13 requires Christians to submit to government regardless of whether government acts within the confines and jurisdiction of God’s law or not.

As pastor Chuck Baldwin writes:

In reality, the American church today, on the whole, is not even a church. It is a government corporation whose loyalty is offered first to Caesar, not to Christ, and whose message is first politically correct before it is Biblically correct. 

It is more than interesting that some 95% of the 14,000 evangelical churches that graced the German landscape during Hitler’s rise to power bought into the identical misinterpretation of Romans 13 that the vast majority (probably at least 95%) of the 300,000 evangelical churches that grace America’s landscape have bought into today.

Almost all Churches are tax-exempt 501(c)3 organizations. According to the I.R.S., this means that the church “may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.” Therefore, churches and other religious organizations are politically powerless, they cannot take action to ensure that statutory laws reflect the value of their members.

In a May 2006, reporters broke the shocking news that FEMA was training pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to “obey the government” in preparation for a declaration of martial law, property and firearm seizures, and forced relocation.

Christian readers would be wise to evaluate themselves and their churches. Are you truly passionate about love, mercy and justice? If so, what are you doing about it?

Be an Extremist for Justice

But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” 

So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?

Like Martin Luther King Jr., we must become fearless leaders for justice in order to regain our civil rights. The globalists executed King, but they cannot deal with a huge mass movement that is aware of their crimes and refuses to tolerate them.

Despite their long history of treachery, the globalists are not as powerful as they would like us to believe. During a speech, former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski warned fellow elitists that a worldwide “resistance” movement to “external control” driven by “populist activism” is threatening to derail the move towards a new world order.

Likewise, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a tacit admission during a U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities committee meeting, arguing that the State Department needs more money because the US military-industrial complex is “losing the information war” to the alternative media due to the US corporate media having completely abandoned “real news” and objectivity.

The ongoing wars will cost $4 -$6 trillion dollars (a give-away to the military industrial complex) and the largest banks have received over $29 trillion in bailouts. Yet the standard of living and government services provided to citizens around the world continue to decline. We must now follow Dr. King’s example and form a United Front Against Austerity and injustice.

Paul Adams is your humble servant and a follower of Jesus Christ. Read other articles by Paul Adams here.

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