A massive march and rally are planned for this Saturday, Aug. 13 in Harlem. The Millions March will be held along the Malcolm X Boulevard corridor, starting at 110th Street. Under the banner of “Pan-Africanism or Perish,” the day’s focus will be on three leading issues: ending the bombing of Libya, ending the illegal economic sanctions in Zimbabwe and ending Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s destruction of education, housing and healthcare.

Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan will be the keynote speaker.

In an interview with the Amsterdam News, the minister encouraged tri-state area residents to attend in great number to hear words of wisdom, encouragement and practical solution building.

Farrakhan laid out the key issues that will be dealt with on Saturday:

“Sister Viola Plummer and the December 12th Movement, along with many of our nationalist brothers and sisters, see the effort of the Western nations in the bombing of Libya and their step toward the recolonization of the Continent of Africa. There is a relationship between what Western nations are doing to Libya and Africa and what is being done to the Black, Brown and white poor in America. We must address this in America.”

March convenors will hold a press conference on Thursday, Aug. 11 at noon at the National Black Theatre, 2031 Fifth Ave. at the corner of 125th Street. Speakers will include Plummer, Min. Abdul Hafeez Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, Shaka Cousins of the All African Peoples Revolutionary Party, radio personality Bob Law and others.

Farrakhan and other speakers will lay out the case for Libya’s Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. They will touch on Somalia and the famine in the Horn of Africa and the snatching up of Africa’s essential resources by outside nations.

And the current burning of cities in Britain by disaffected youth is something folks on this side of the pond should pay close attention to, said the minister.

“The budgetary problems of England, America, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Canada…are forcing these governments to use austere measures to try and balance their budgets. These austere measures usually are made on the backs of the poor, and so the killing of a young Black man in London was a trigger that ignited the passion of the dissatisfied people of the United Kingdom.

“With what was signed into law by our president, with trillions of dollars cut, with no taxation of the rich to help, these cuts will be on the back of poor and middle class whites. Blacks and Browns of America are fast becoming the new poor. Unfortunately, what we see in England, Greece and Israel will be going on in America.”

You think so, Minister?

“I know so.”

Does the United States government know this?

“Yes, they do. This is why they are firing teachers and hiring more police and dressing them like soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, giving them automatic weapons with armor piercing bullets-because they know the poor will rise because they can’t take it.”

Farrakhan qualified his predictions, saying that, “If you study the Bible and the Qur’an, all of these things are written. It is prophecy. May God help us. Unfortunately, we have reached a time of trouble like there never was since there was a nation and a time.”

Back to Saturday: a united front of far-reaching grassroots organizations has come together. The Millions March in Harlem Coalition comprises many leading national and international organizations that have fought for African peoples’ human right to self-determination for decades.

“Not only I, but every speaker that will come and each performer that will perform will be feeding the public that which inspires us to do better and rise higher in our pursuit of freedom, justice and equality,” Farrakhan assured the Amsterdam News.

As for the young people who might be thinking about wiling their time away doing other things on Saturday, the Chicago-based minister insisted, “Our young people are in turmoil because we as the elders are enamored by the wealth of the modern pharaoh. Unfortunately, we have neglected to plan effectively for our future in the time of pharoah. God allowed the elders to die in the wilderness because of their cowardice and love of pharaoh, and he took their children and it was they who inhabited the promised land. We as elders should be directed by them.”

It won’t be a talk shop but a rallying of the spirit and sense of purpose. not unlike that felt in the aftermath of Farrakhan’s 1995 Million Man March. “Our people will be energized to want to unite with each other, respect each other, love each other more. With our unity, there will be nothing that we will not be able to accomplish.”

Harlem will be the spot on Saturday.

“In the Bible, it says, ‘My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge,’” said Farrakhan. “So on Saturday-God willing-much knowledge will be imparted. For those who attend-and it is free of charge-to sacrifice a few hours to become more knowledgeable may help us to discharge our duties to self and family in a better way.

“God willing, I will be able to visit with Brother Gil Noble [the ‘Like It Is’ host is currently in critical condition after suffering a major stroke]. He is a great soldier and a great helper. To lose him would be a great loss.”

For more information, contact Millions March in Harlem at (718) 398-1766 or www.millionsmarchharlem.com.