Category Archives: Memorials

Gaza Journalists Killed by Israel Honored on World Press Freedom Day

“To claim these deaths are accidental is not only incredulous, it is insulting to the memory of professionals who lived their lives in service of truth and accuracy,” said one expert.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-3-2024 by Common Dreams

World Press Freedom Day: Gaza journalists remember slain colleagues. Screenshot: YouTube

As the international community marked World Press Freedom Day on Friday, journalists and advocates across the globe mourned and celebrated those killed in Israel’s ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip.

The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has publicly identified at least 97 media workers killed since Israel launched its retaliatory war on October 7: 92 Palestinian, three Lebanese, and two Israeli reporters.

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Rwandan genocide, 30 years on: Omitting women’s memories encourages incomplete understanding of violence

A father is searching for his missing child using ICRC assistance during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Photo: British Red Cross/flickr/CC

By Anneliese M. Schenk-Day, Ohio State University. Published 4-5-2024 by The Conversation

The eruption of violence that Rwanda experienced beginning on the evening of April 6, 1994, continues to haunt the central African nation 30 years on – it has also changed the country’s gender dynamics.

The genocide resulted in hundreds of thousands of men being killed, with many more fleeing the country or being incarcerated. It left a previously male-centered society with hundreds of thousands of female-headed households. Of course, women were also subjected to the violence itself, with many killed and between 250,000 and 500,000 raped in the three months of genocide.

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Instead of Holocaust Museum, Detour Signs Direct Israel’s Herzog to The Hague

“How is it possible that such a sacred space is being used to normalize genocide today?” asked one Dutch Jewish organizer behind the protest.

By Common Dreams. Published 3-10-24

Human rights activists of Amnesty International hold traffic boards showing the way to the International Criminal Court for the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog on March 10, 2024 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The President of Israel is in Amsterdam to open the Holocaust Museum. Photo: Trita Parsi/X

Human rights activists in The Netherlands greeted Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Sunday with large protests and directed him towards the International Criminal Court at The Hague over his nation’s alleged war crimes against the Palestinian people in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Herzog was in Amsterdam to attend the opening of the new National Holocaust Museum, but demonstrators said Herzog’s presence needed to be challenged given the large scale death and destruction that Israel’s military has unleashed in Gaza over the last five months.

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‘Don’t Just Quote Him’: US Agencies, Politicians Under Fire on MLK Day

“It’s that day of the year where people who don’t know anything about MLK, and would hate him if he were alive today, post the one or two MLK quotes they know.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking against the Vietnam War, St. Paul Campus, University of Minnesota on April 27 1967 Photo: Minnesota Historical Society/CC

U.S. politicians, agencies, and departments provoked intense criticism on Monday—Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States—for sharing select quotes from the civil rights icon while ignoring his messages about important issues including militarism, poverty, and racism.

King—who was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee—would have celebrated his 95th birthday on Monday.

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On 78th Anniversary of Hiroshima Bombing, Mayor Decries ‘Folly’ of Deterrence Theory

“Believers of proactive nuclear deterrence, who say nuclear weapons are indispensable to maintain peace, are only delaying the progress toward nuclear disarmament,” Hiroshima’s governor added.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 8-6-2023 by Common Dreams

The Memorial Cenotaph at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Photo: UNESCO

Local, national, and global leaders warned of the dangers of nuclear weapons as they commemorated the 78th anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima Sunday.

This year’s anniversary comes as the release of the film Oppenheimer has offered a high-profile reminder of the history of the atomic bomb and as nuclear tensions in the current day have heightened, in part due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At the start of the year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved their doomsday clock to 90 seconds to midnight.

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50 Years On, Legacy of Wounded Knee Uprising Lives in Indigenous Resistance

“We’re not the subjugated and disenfranchised people that we were,” said one Ponca elder who took part in the 1973 revolt. “Wounded Knee was an important beginning of that.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 2-27-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Comrade Stu/Twitter

As many Native Americans on Monday marked the 50th anniversary of the militant occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, participants in the 1973 uprising and other activists linked the deadly revolt to modern-day Indigenous resistance, from Standing Rock to the #LandBack movement.

On February 27, 1973 around 300 Oglala Lakota and members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), seething from centuries of injustices ranging from genocide to leniency for whites who committed crimes against Indians, occupied the hamlet of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation for more than two months. The uprising occurred during a period of increased Native American militancy and the rise of AIM, which first drew international attention in 1969 with the 19-month occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. Continue reading

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How the distortion of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s words enables more, not less, racial division within American society

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a cheering crowd in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 27, 1965.
Bettmann/Getty Images

 

Hajar Yazdiha, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Texas is just the latest conservative lawmaker to misuse the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to judge a person on character and not race.

In the protracted battle to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House, Roy, a Republican, nominated a Black man, Byron Donalds, a two-term representative from Florida who had little chance of winning the seat. Considered a rising star in the GOP, Donalds has opposed the very things that King fought for and ultimately was assassinated for – nonviolent demonstrations and voting rights protections. Continue reading

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Developers Found Graves in the Virginia Woods. Authorities Then Helped Erase the Historic Black Cemetery

The cemetery’s disappearance cleared the way for the expansion of a Microsoft data center, despite layers of federal and state regulations nominally intended to protect culturally significant sites.

by Seth Freed Wessler.  Published 12-16-2022 by ProPublica

Microsoft’s Boydton Data Center in Mecklenburg County. Photo: Data Center Knowledge

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

Nobody working to bring a $346 million Microsoft project to rural Virginia expected to find graves in the woods. But in a cluster of yucca plants and cedar that needed to be cleared, surveyors happened upon a cemetery. The largest of the stones bore the name Stephen Moseley, “died December 3, 1930,” in a layer of cracking plaster. Another stone, in near perfect condition and engraved with a branch on the top, belonged to Stephen’s toddler son, Fred, who died in 1906.

“This is not as bad as it sounds,” an engineering consultant wrote in March 2014 to Microsoft and to an official in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, who was helping clear hurdles for the project — an expansion of a massive data center. “We should be able to relocate these graves.” Continue reading

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Let’s spare a few words for ‘Silent Cal’ Coolidge on July 4, his 150th birthday

President Calvin Coolidge stands with members of a nonprofit group called the Daughters of 1812.
Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Chris Lamb, IUPUI

A woman sitting next to President Calvin Coolidge at a dinner party once told him she had made a bet that she could get him to say more than two words.

You lose,” replied Coolidge, who served as president from 1923 until 1929.

During a White House recital, a nervous opera singer foundered through a performance before Coolidge. Someone asked him what he thought of the singer’s execution. “I’m all for it,” he said. Continue reading

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Call Embraced for Prolonged Student Walkout Over Nation’s Refusal to Act on Guns

“How can we expect them to walk into the firing line every day?” asked one group in support for the proposal.

By Julia Conley  Published 6-1-2022 by Common Dreams

March for Our Lives in Manhattan, New York City, in March 2018. Photo: Rhododendrites/Wikimedia Commons/CC

As 21 families in Uvalde, Texas hold funerals for the 19 children and two adults who were killed in the shooting at Robb Elementary School last week, gun control advocates are grappling with the question of what it will take to stop gun violence, with some proposing that students and teachers hold the largest school walkout yet—one in which they would refuse to return to school until lawmakers pass far-reaching reforms.

With summer vacation approaching, Gal Beckerman wrote at The Atlantic Tuesday, “students should refuse to go back to school” in the fall without the passage of an assault weapons ban—a law which existed in the U.S. in the past and whose expiration correlated to a rise in mass shootings, according to researchers. Continue reading

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