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Newcastle remembers visit of Martin Luther King

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The Tyne Bridge and more than 20 Tyneside roads are to be closed on Sunday as street performances celebrate worldwide civil rights achievements.The Freedom on the Tyne event marks the 50th anniversary of a visit to Newcastle by American civil rights campaigner Dr Martin Luther King.Five pageants setting off from different areas of Newcastle and Gateshead will converge on the bridge.Civil rights struggles in South Africa and India are also being marked.The Tyne Bridge will be closed to traffic from 13:00 GMT until 20:30, while 24 other roads will be closed or have restrictions at various times throughout the day.

In November 1967, Newcastle University gave Dr King an honorary degree – the only UK university to do so during his lifetime. The following impromptu acceptance speech would be his last public address outside of the US before his assassination almost six months later.Tim Supple, director of Freedom on the Tyne, said: “The iconic Tyne Bridge is a thrilling setting for the climax of this unique city-wide performance commemorating Martin Luther King and those who risked their lives to gain our freedoms.”The people of Newcastle and Gateshead are the stars of the performance showcasing epic civil rights struggles from across the globe. “Standing together on the Tyne Bridge in a moment of reflection and solidarity for civil rights is a powerful and striking image to send the world.”
Source: BBC Tyne and Wear