From LaCrosse to Milwaukee, from Antigo to Minocqua, Wisconsin will be honoring Martin Luther King this year with events calling attention to the civil rights leader's commitment to nonviolence and labor rights.

Governor Walker's attack on collective-bargaining rights for state workers has made King's pro-union work particularly relevant to Wisconsinites these days. In Madison, Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice will be screening "At the River I Stand," a documentary film about King's last days, spent in Memphis working in support of striking sanitation workers. Mahlon Mitchell, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin (PFFW) will speak in Spring Green and Minocqua on the theme of "Union Rights are Civil Rights."

King's vocal opposition to the Vietnam war and his belief in nonviolence as a method of conflict resolution will be the subject of a talk in Antigo by Will Williams, a Vietnam combat veteran and member of Vets for Peace. "When I went to Vietnam I was a hardcore troop, and I believed what I was doing there was the right thing. And I was a good soldier," Williams says. "But now I'm a soldier for peace." Williams, who was featured in a documentary on Wisconsin Public Television and in a nationally released documentary, "The Good Soldier," says, "War has never been or never will be a tool to bring peace to anyone involved."

A complete list of events is below, check Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice Events Calendar for updates.

1/16 Monday, 4 pm Antigo Community's Martin Luther King Day Celebration. At the Boys and Girls Club of Langlade County, 411 Superior St.  Guest speaker: Vets for Peace member Will Williams. Middle school and high school students present their work for the MLK Art and Essay Contest.
Contact: James Spychalla, Antigo People for Peace,

1/16 Monday, 7 pm “2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration” At English Lutheran Church, 1509 King Street. The work and heritage of Martin Luther King, Jr. continues to grow in significance as each new generation engages the non-violent struggle for civil rights, economic justice and peace-making. And the Holiday Celebration is a great opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the values undergirding his dream of a more just and compassionate world.
Contact: Curtis Miller, AMOS Organizer at  608-487-3552 or June Kjome at

1/12 Thursday, 7 pm Screening of "At the River I Stand" at First Unitarian Society, 900 Univ. Bay Dr. The first of a series of educational offerings by Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice, this documentary recounts the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s role in advocating for their rights. A discussion will follow the screening, light refreshments will be provided.
Contact: Rabbi Renee Bauer, 608-255-0376,

1/16 Monday, 6:00 pm 27th Annual Madison & Dane County King Holiday Observance, "Democracy Undone: Reclaiming Our Civil Rights" at Overture Center, Capitol Theater, 201 State Street. Featured Speaker: Rev C.T. Vivian, a friend and lieutenant of Rev. King, he helped found the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference, and helped organize the first sit-ins in Nashville in 1960 and the first civil rights march in 1961. Rev. Vivian rode the first "Freedom Bus" into Jackson, Mississippi, and went on to work alongside Rev. King in Birmingham, Selma, Chicago, Nashville, the March on Washington, and elsewhere throughout the country. His work on the St. Augustine campaign helped lead to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.

1/16 Monday noon - 1 pm Anti-ROTC Vigil in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, meet at Marquette University on 16th St. & Wisconsin Ave.
Contact: Don at 342-0158

1/16 Monday 1 pm-4 pm Dr. Martin Luther King Day Justice Program and March – Milwaukee. Meet at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.  Join Peace Action and the Milwaukee Justice Coalition for a commemoration of Dr. King's call to confront poverty and economic injustice. 1:00pm- Program Indoors honoring: Father James Groppi and Father Matthew Gottschalk with special Guests: Peggy Rozka and Congressperson Gwen Moore & 2:30pm- March to the Dr. King Statue and Open microphone.

1/16 Monday, 7pm "Union Rights are Civil Rights" Lakeland Union High School. Featured Speakers: Mary Bell, President of WEAC and Mahlon Mitchell, President, Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin
Contact: Candy Sorensen, 715-892-2997

Spring Green:
1/15 Sunday 1:30 pm Mahlon Mitchell on "Union Rights are Human Rights" in the library of Spring Green Elementary School, 830 W. Daley Street. Mahlon Mitchell, who at age 33 in 2011 was named the first African American president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin (PFFW), will be the guest speaker at the annual River Valley observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. An ad hoc group of River Valley residents coordinates the event.
Contact: David Giffey, 574-2198.
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