Amelia Robinson Takes Denmark by Storm
by Feride Istogu Gillesberg
Feride Istogu Gillesberg, a political activist with the Schiller Institute and the LaRouche Youth Movement, is also an independent candidate for parliament in Denmark.
In media interviews and meetings throughout her tour of Denmark, U.S. civil rights heroine Amelia Boynton Robinson described her lifelong role in fighting for social and economic justice, and also challenged people to look into the ideas and proposals of Lyndon LaRouche. Here, Robinson is on TV2 News, in Copenhagen. (Photo: EIRNS/Michelle Rasmussen)
Just two days after the Schiller Institute's conference in Kiedrich, Germany on September 15-16, Amelia Boynton Robinson, heroine of the civil rights movement in the United States, and Vice Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, came to Denmark. Hosted by the Schiller Institute there, her visit couldn't have been timed better. Just as Mrs. Robinson arrived, the Danish press began preparing to report about the mass protests against racial discrimination in Jena, Louisiana. With tens of thousands of demonstrators, these were the largest protests by black Americans since the 1950s and '60s, and in light of this, several major Danish media outlets decided to cover Mrs. Robinson's visit.
Through her interviews and meetings, Amelia Boynton Robinson, 96, not only passionately described her lifelong role in fighting for social and economic justice, but also tried to inspire her listeners to join the current fight being led by Lyndon and Helga LaRouche, and the international Schiller Institute (though not all media chose to include this in their coverage). As a result, Mrs. Robinson's love for humanity, personal courage, and inner drive to keep helping people to act in the cause of justice, were radiated throughout the country. Those who came into contact with her were truly touched by the presence of history, or as in a Danish metaphor, historiens vingesus, the gusts of air which result from the wings of history passing by.
On the eve of her arrival in Copenhagen, the Schiller Institute in Denmark quickly spread the word that Amelia Robinson was coming for a one-week blitz, and that sparked the interest of the press. On September 21, the biggest Danish TV station, DR TV1, broadcast a short interview with her at 9 p.m. prime time that same day. The next day, the second largest TV channel, TV2, broadcast a longer interview. Both TV channels prominently identified Mrs. Robinson as a civil rights leader and the vice chairman of the Schiller Institute in the United States. They reported that Amelia began the fight for the Voting Rights Act, and that she marched side by side with Martin Luther King. Pictures from Bloody Sunday, and Amelia lying unconscious on the ground, were shown on the broadcasts as well, along with the story that, despite Amelia Boynton Robinson's age, she is continuing the fight today.
The same day, TV2 News, TV2's 24-hour news channel, broadcast a 10 minute live interview. Amelia's message was that racism in the United States is still alive and spreading, and that there is one important aspect we have to look at, namely the economic crisis. Racism is worse today than in the 1960s, because the economy is worse off. People are losing their homes and their jobs, and even the banks are in trouble because of the speculators and the hedge funds. What should a family do when they have no food? People are forced to steal and break the law to be able to survive. This is happening in today's United States, and it is getting worse and worse, because the economy is collapsing.
She said that this crisis can be solved with a Franklin D. Roosevelt-style policy of putting people to work to rebuild the nation's infrastructure. We need to change the policies of the government, she said (the interviews can be seen at www.schillerinstitut.dk). This was rebroadcast several times. With these three TV news shows in the space of two days, all of Denmark got to know that Amelia Boynton Robinson of the Schiller Institute was in town.
Mrs. Robinson also toured Denmark, visiting Odense, the hometown of the famed author Hans Christian Andersen, and Aarhus, Denmark's second largest city. Accompanied by members of the LaRouche Youth Movement, Amelia visited the H.C. Andersen house, and the head curator of the museum there was honored to give her a guided tour through the new exhibition. He gave a very lively presentation about Andersen's life, his personality, his works, and the history of the time he lived. Amelia was asked to write in their VIP guest book, and received a gift from the museum.
In Aarhus, she held a meeting with a small group interested in the Schiller Institute. The next day, a reporter for Aarhus's second-largest daily newspaper, Aarhus Stiftidende, Henrik Havbaek Madsen, interviewed Amelia. There was front-page coverage the following day, announcing the article, accompanied by a large picture of her, with the headline "A Lifetime Battle ... Civil Rights." In the '60s, the paper reported, "she fought with Martin Luther King. Today she is saying that hate is alive and well. 97-year-old [sic] Amelia Boynton Robinson is visiting Aarhus and explains why hate and racism flared up in Jena, Louisiana, last week."
Inside the newspaper, there was a colored box, "Campaigning for a better world." The article reported: "There is an organization called the Schiller Institute, which has brought 97-year-old civil-rights activist Amelia Boynton Robinson from her home in Tuskegee, Alabama to Denmark. Amelia Boynton Robison is the vice chairman of the American branch of the Schiller Institute, which was founded in 1984 by Helga Zepp-LaRouche. The founder is married to the American economist, and former Democratic Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche, who already made a proposal for a new world economic order in 1975. And Amelia swears by Lyndon LaRouche's thinking. 'The world can be saved and poverty eliminated if that man were listened to,' she says. She is fighting persistently against what she sees as the Bush Administration's undermining of the American Constitution, and, despite her 97 years, she spends a lot of time flying around the world to give lectures." The article announced Mrs. Robinson's Copenhagen meeting, and gave the Schiller Institute's Danish homepage address.
Prepare Yourself for Taking Over!
Amelia went from one meeting and interview to the next, with the energy of a young spirit. She also spoke at a high school in Hellerup, outside of Copenhagen, addressing three classes of 100 pupils, from 15 to 19 years old. Meeting Amelia is like meeting living history. She went through her and her husband's fight, to get black Americans in Selma, Alabama to register to vote, and their cooperation with Martin Luther King to build the civil right movement. Amelia really reached inside the pupils' minds when she told them that they are here for a purpose. You have to be an example for others, and you have to be prepared to take political leadership, she told them. The youth were very attentive. In the discussion period, there were questions like, "Did you hate white people?" "How should we better integrate the immigrants in our society?" "Who do you support as the next U.S. President?" One pupil asked Amelia if racism is being used as a scapegoat, to which Amelia answered that the United States is being used as the scapegoat of Great Britain. Economically, Britain owns more than the United States. And when you look at the world, it is based on money.
Mrs. Robinson emphasized at the town hall meeting in Copenhagen and on other occasions, that the United States is built upon the idea that all men are created equal. And she herself represents that idea, contained in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal, and that men are endowed with unalienable rights, among which are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There is only one race, she said, which is the human race. We have to love our neighbor as ourselves. The secret of her longevity, she explained, is that she is busy loving.
In all the meetings, she challenged her audience to think differently, and to check LaRouche out, study his ideas and proposals, and take a stand. Because if people do not act against injustice, Amelia said, that is the same as being on the other side.
Amelia Boynton Robinson was capable of moving every human being she met to a higher level, even if they were made of stone. Listen to the wise words of Amelia Boynton Robinson: Join the fight.