Human rights campaigner touring the UK
by Tommy Breslin
As the Olympic torch tours the UK in the build up to the London 2012 Olympics, so too does the Mexico 1968 Olympian John Carlos.
The most enduring and powerful image of the Olympics was forged when Tommie Smith, Peter Norman and John Carlos took to the medal winners podium. As the star spangled banner rang around the stadium, Tommie Smith and John Carlos lowered their head and raised their clenched fists to demonstrate against racism, unemployment, poverty and other forms of oppression. Peter Norman proudly wore the ‘Olympic Project for Human Rights’ badge.
Prior to the Olympics, over 2200 people had been massacred in Mexico City following student protests against repression and police violence. Earlier in the year in the USA, Martin Luther King had been assassinated. Racism was endemic throughout the USA.
The three Olympians wanted to make a powerful statement and bring global attention to their cause. That moment has been frozen in time and continues to be an inspiration to people around the world.
John Carlos said on his website, "Coming to the UK on the eve of the Olympics is a very exciting opportunity for me to talk with the new generation about why we did what we did back in 1968. When Tommie Smith and I raised our fists on that medal platform at the Olympics, we knew that we would catch hell but we didn't care. We didn't care because we wanted the coming generations to live and breathe as full citizens with equal rights. I was just concerned with right and wrong. We went out there for humanity. We are here 44 years later because the fight is still to be won."
Following his motivating talk in Edinburgh, John Carlos gave Show Racism the Red Card time to interview him.
Watch the full interview on our You Tube Channel
John Carlos has a website full of information, it can be found at: