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Farrakhan opens Detroit Freedom conference

April 22, 2004 at 8:14 PM

DETROIT, April 22 (UPI) -- Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Thursday welcomed Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan to the city's third annual Freedom Institute weekend.

Farrakhan, 70, delivered a 90-minute keynote address to more than 1,500 people at Cobo Hall, deploring the "sad spiritual condition" of African Americans and the hypocrisy of the Iraq war, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Farrakhan said President George W. Bush "lied to the Congress and is sending our babies to die in Iraq." But he said people should not give presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry a free ride.

The Freedom Institute's National Town Hall Meeting Saturday will feature nationally syndicated conservative political columnist Armstrong Williams, U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Tenn., Third World Press publisher Haki Madhubuti, Judge Greg Mathis and others.

New York activist Al Sharpton will be at a public policy luncheon. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, Teamsters president James P. Hoffa, Service Employees International Union head Andrew Stern, AFSCME national Treasurer and Secretary Bill Lucy and Food and Commercial Workers International Union President Joe Hansen will join a national labor leader's breakfast.

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