THE OTHER 9/11 ~~ IN CHILE

The CIA seems to be infatuated with the date ….

Image 'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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To read the last words of Salvador Allende, Click HERE

IN PHOTOS ~~ THE LITTLE DOLLS OF GAZA’S DEAD CHILDREN

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Although they have only finished about 1/3 of our representations of the children murdered in Gaza the Granny Peace Brigade brought them to a demonstration organized by Jews Say No at the subway station on W. 96th St. and Broadway yesterday.  Jews Say No does this regularly in an effort to engage with the community and discuss what is happening in Israel/Palestine.  The reaction to the Gaza children representations was very strong.  Many people gave the Grannies a thumbs-up or came over to speak saying they were glad to see them there.  Several others were very passionate in their condemnation, screaming, calling the Grannies ignorant and anti-semites, and accusing them of pandering to people’s feelings.  For the most part the demonstrators didn’t respond to the attacks.  When there is one representation for each murdered child they will be taken to public places around the city and displayed.

As a sidenote, Palestinian children throughout Israel and the West Bank have been sending their ‘Eid Gifts’ to help the ‘little people’ still suffering in Gaza’s hospitals.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer … Commentary by Chippy Dee

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IN PHOTOS ~~ REMEMBERING THOSE MURDERED IN GAZA

 

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A SILENT VIGIL IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE 

PALESTINIAN PEOPLE OF GAZA   

WHY ARE WE GATHERING:

Shamefully, “over 50 Israeli-associated New York organizations” will be gathering then at the JCC on the UWS of Manhattan to “commemorate Israeli soldiers and civilians who lost their lives during ‘Operation Protective Edge,”‘ the bombing campaign of Gaza, without one mention of Palestinian lives lost. (see photo at bottom)

We are appalled at this blatant valuing of Jewish and Jewish Israeli lives over the nearly 2,000 Palestinians, including hundreds of children, who have been massacred by the Israeli army.  To express our opposition to a perverse ethic that values only Jewish lives and ignores Israeli war crimes, the siege of Gaza, and an ongoing brutal occupation, please join us in a silent vigil across from the JCC.  

WHAT WE WANT TO DO: 

 

We want to create a silent presence that says loudly and clearly, with our signs and banners and names of Palestinian dead, that many Jews and others on New York’s upper west side stand in solidarity with our Palestinian sisters and brothers and staunchly oppose a politics of ‘Israel right or wrong.’ 

co-sponsored by: Jewish Voice for Peace-NYC, Jewish Voice for Peace–Westchester,  Jews Say No!, Women in Black-NY 

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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The zionists mourn their own …. why shouldn’t we all mourn the almost 2,000 murdered Gazans?

NYC Jeweler’s Tribute to Slain IDF Soldiers

Boutique’s front window lists Israeli soldiers killed in recent Gaza operation

ROBIN WILLIAMS ….. HE MADE US LAUGH, HE MADE US CRY

And then he died :(

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Enjoy one of his funniest moments here

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And a more serious moment

Robbin Williams on picket lines during 2007 writers’ strike

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 Nanoo, nanoo, RIP XOX

EVERY NUMBER HAS A NAME IN GAZA

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Afraid that the names of those slaughtered by Israel would get lost in the staggering statistics of death, two women have set up the website Humanize Palestine (humanizepalestine.com) as an online memorial to Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks.

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Not just numbers: online memorial publishes names, faces of Palestinians killed in Gaza

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Asem Khalil Abed Ammar

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Qassem Talal Hamdan, 23, was killed on 13 July 2014 in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. An engineering student, his “dream was to be a successful engineer to build and develop his country.”

Iman Khalil Abed Ammar was just nine years old. She was killed on 20 July in the Shujaiya massacre along with her brothers, four-year-old Asem and thirteen-year-old Ibrahim.

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Qassem Talal Hamdan

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Mahmoud Abdel Hamid Elzowidi, 23, and Mohammad Khalid Jamil Elzowidi, 20, were among five members of their family killed on 19 July when Israel bombed their house in Beit Hanoun.

These are the names of just six of the more than 1,000 Palestinians known to have been killed in almost three weeks of relentless Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

On Saturday, during a twelve-hour “humanitarian truce,” the full extent of the mass destruction Israel has inflicted was revealed as people were able to re-enter neighborhoods such as Shujaiya, and dozens more bodies were pulled from under the rubble. Many people are still missing.

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Iman Khalil Abed Ammar

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Afraid that the names of those slaughtered by Israel would get lost in the staggering statistics of death, two women have set up the website Humanize Palestine (humanizepalestine.com) as an online memorial to Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks.

Bayan Abusneineh and Dana Saifan are both recent graduates of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and have both been active in Students for Justice in Palestine.

I spoke with Abusneineh, who told me that she and Saifan got the idea to start the project after seeing many graphic images of the bodies of Palestinians who had died violent deaths circulating through social media.

“Initially when everything was happening it was necessary for people to see these graphic images, to know the reality of what is going in Gaza,” Abusneineh explained. “But then I started thinking about those three Israeli settler youths who were kidnapped – their faces were everywhere. Generally, when Israelis are killed, their bodies are not shown. You only see smiling faces, and that creates empathy.”

Abusneineh said that Humanize Palestine was intended to serve first and foremost “as a reminder and memorial for our own community. People were already making an effort to put names out there, and we saw them sharing some of the images of friends and relatives when they were alive, so our project is another way to bring them together.”

But she also says she hopes that people outside the Palestinian community will “see it and understand better who Palestinians are. This is how they lived. This is how their lives were ended.”

I asked Abusneineh how she and Saifan verify the images, names and other information they publish on the site, and she talked about the process: “We started just compiling images about a week ago on a Google document and we realized we could make something bigger. We started going through Twitter, Tumblr, trying to get verification. People were sharing pictures of family members and we got into contact with them as well.”

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Mahmoud Abdel Hamid Elzowidi (left) and Mohammad Khalid Jamil Elzowidi

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“When we find someone circulating information, we try to find multiple pictures of the person matched to a name,” she explained. “We check to see if the name is on a list of casualties on a credible website. If we can’t find a match, we don’t use the image. We also try our best to match information up with stories published in the media. There have been a lot we didn’t use.”

Still the effort is not perfect, Abusneineh acknowledges, which is why she thinks it is crucial to see Humanize Palestine as a community effort. Several people have helped to refine, correct and track down information, and there is now an email address on the site for people to send in submissions.

“We’ve had a lot of people contribute pictures saying these are my cousins, this is their picture and this is what happened to them, and we’re hoping to put those up too.” Others have even sent in art work and poetry.

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Mustafa Abd El Hadi Abu Mur and Khaled Abd El Hadi Abu Mur

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The website also includes Palestinians who may have been combatants, such as brothers Mustafa Abd El Hadi Abu Mur, 20, and Khaled Abd El Hadi Abu Mur, 23 who, the site says, “died together in Rafah in defense of their nation.”

Abusneineh acknowledges that the site is a lot of work, but she sees value in it becoming a permanent memorial if the community effort can be built and maintained.

Although she agreed to speak to The Electronic Intifada in order to explain the goals of Humanize Palestine, Abusneineh says that she and Saifan have not put their own names on the website itself, “because we want the focus to be entirely on the people whose lives we write about.”

The website features not only Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza, but victims of Israeli army and settler attacks in the occupied West Bank as well.

“We don’t want it just to be when a huge massacre happens. People still die every day because of the occupation. So we hope to continue,” she says.

All images courtesy of Humanize Palestine.

REMEMBERING LOVE IN TIME OF CRISIS

As the madness continues, we must remember those that opposed it before it even started. Juliano Mer-Khamis was one of those …. For him, for his mother, STOP THE MADNESS NOW!
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Portrait of Juliano Mer-Khamis
Portrait of Juliano Mer-Khamis
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It matters not to me who actually pulled the trigger on the gun that killed Juliano. In reality, he was killed by the occupation that he so despised. An occupation that is responsible for the creation of monsters on both sides of the wall, monsters so full of hatred and venom that any one of them could be the guilty party. A part of all of us was murdered that afternoon in Jenin by that monster.
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Juliano was the embodiment of the anti occupation. He could not hate Jews because he was one. He could not hate Palestinians because he was one. He was genetically designed to love. But, obviously he was hated by some for being one or the other. It is sad that a man such as this did not live to see his dreams become a reality. Two nations sitting side by each in PEACE. It will happen dear Comrade…. this we promise you.
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Juliano and I shared a special bond, his parents were Communists as were mine, as are my son’s, as were his. This unique background establishes a very special relationship. This is a concept that can only be felt  by those who grew up in similar circumstances. I am not implying that we were a part of an exclusive fraternal order, but am saying that unless one actually wore the proverbial ‘red diaper’, one could not share the sentiments that I am speaking of. His death affected me personally as if a close member of my family died. In the terms I spoke of, in fact, Juliano was my brother.
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Juliano Mer-Khamis was mourned on both sides of the wall, in the two nations that he so proudly belonged to.  If you haven’t watched the following video, you must. You will get a good idea what a special man Juliano was, what a special woman his mother Arna was, and the love that both had for their people. You will see how evil the occupation is and how good those that oppose it are. It’s truly a special video about a special situation.
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ANTI WAR ACTIONS IN NEW YORK THIS WEEK

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Sent by our Associates Chippy and Bud

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NYC Rally For Israel, Pro-Palestinian Protesters Counter-Demonstration

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And on Friday …

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In the words of our beloved friend and the martyr Vittorio Arrigoni:

“Stay human”
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SONGS FOR THE THREE MARTYRS

First see yesterday’s post … MISSISSIPPI BURNT DOWN 50 YEARS AGO TODAY

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Here are some songs written to celebrate their lives and honor their deaths, as well as one Yiddish song, “Donna Donna,” written a quarter-century earlier but profoundly appropriate, I think, to the day. The performers are Tom Paxton; Simon & Garfunkel; Harry Belafonte (singing a Pete Seeger-Frances Taylor song); Joan Baez; Richard and Mimi Farina (she was Joan Baez’s sister); Nechama Hendel; and wrapping it up, one of my favorite Phil Ochs songs, “Here’s to the State of Mississippi.” All the songs were written by the performers except where noted. (Originally appeared AT)

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Tom Paxton: “Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney.”

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Harry Belafonte: “Those Three Are on My Mind.” (Written by Pete Seeger and Frances Taylor. Hear Pete singing it here.)

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Simon and Garfunkel: “He Was My Brother” (for Andrew Goodman, their friend and classmate at Queens College).

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Richard and Mimi Farina: “Michael, Andrew and James.”

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Nechama Hendel: “Donna Donna” (the Yiddish original, by Aaron Zeitlin and Sholom Secunda). (For Joan Baez’s famous performance of the English version [“…Calves are easily bound and slaughtered, never knowing the reason why, but whoever treasures freedom like the swallow has learned to fly”] click here.)

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Phil Ochs: “Here’s to the State of Mississippi.”

MISSISSIPPI BURNT DOWN 50 YEARS AGO TODAY

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Fifty years ago the State of Mississippi was burning …. burning with the same hatred that we see in the State of Israel today. Three young men went missing the summer of 1964. Two of them were Jewish, the third was African American. 

Fifty years ago today Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney were murdered in cold blood by active members of the KKK.

But 50 years after Freedom Summer, we once again need to cause some trouble. The tragedy of the “Mississippi Burning” murders became a travesty of justice when only a handful of the perpetrators were convicted on federal charges, none spending more than a half-dozen years in prison because the state wouldn’t pursue a murder prosecution.

Time for a FREEDOM SUMMER THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE WORLD!

Below is a report from the younger brother of Andrew Goodman …. let us never forget the bravery of these young men and the many others that gave their lives for the Freedom of others. Let us never forgive those that snuffed out those lives.

 

‘Freedom Summer’ 2014

50 years after the murder of my brother, Andrew Goodman, voter rights still threatened.
David Goodman
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The Andrew Goodman Foundation
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Fifty years ago, on June 21, 1964, my older brother, Andrew Goodman, was murdered near Philadelphia, Miss. He and his colleagues Michael Schwerner and James Chaney were ambushed by more than a dozen members of the Ku Klux Klan, including the county’s deputy sheriff. They were taken to an unmarked dirt road and shot, one by one. Their bodies weren’t discovered for 44 days, a mystery and a tragedy that continues to elicit raw emotions even a half-century later.

It happened on the first day of Freedom Summer, an effort by the black leadership to flood Mississippi with northern college students who would help register African-American voters.

At the time, barely 7% of Mississippi’s black residents were registered to vote. In eight of the 13 mostly black counties in the state, not a single African American had ever voted. A century after the Civil War, they remained disenfranchised — citizens without a voice. It was more than segregation; it was subjugation. Something had to be done.

A daring initiative

The 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project was a bold initiative. Given the widespread hatred of “outside agitators,” it was an act of remarkable bravery by all who participated.

As the late Maya Angelou wrote in the foreword to My Mantelpiece, the recently published posthumous memoir of my mother, Carolyn Goodman, “Those three young men represent 300,000 young men and women who dared, who had the courage to go to the lion’s den and try to scrub the lion’s teeth.”

When 20-year-old Andy asked my parents for permission to volunteer in Mississippi, their urge to protect their son was trumped by the understanding that he was a spiritual reflection of themselves and their willingness to take action. His death devastated my family, but the brazenness of the act also shocked the nation. Sadly, it was largely because two of the three victims were white.

In fact, as officials searched through the forests and swamps of Mississippi, they discovered many black lynching victims who simply had been ignored because their tragic fate had become commonplace. So the case, which inspired the movie Mississippi Burning, lit a fire for the cause. It is no coincidence that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed the following year.

Yet here we go again. Last year, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of that landmark piece of legislation, and immediately a number of states moved to implement laws that would essentially reduce voter turnout among minority groups. Dubious claims ofvoter fraud are being used to once again disenfranchise a portion of the population.

In 1964, black would-be voters were turned away by intimidation and poll tests. Now, voter ID requirements and limited voting hourswill disproportionately turn away, or inconvenience, low-income and minority voters. It is a more sophisticated and insidious form of voter suppression.

Not letting go

Something has to be done. After Andy’s death, my mother devoted the rest of her life to ensuring that he did not die in vain. She formed The Andrew Goodman Foundation, celebrated youth activists, and worked tirelessly for voting rights and human rights (she was even arrested during a protest at age 83).

As the estimable Rep. John Lewis put it, “She got in trouble. … It was necessary trouble. And she inspired many of us to continue to get in trouble.”

But 50 years after Freedom Summer, we once again need to cause some trouble. The tragedy of the “Mississippi Burning” murders became a travesty of justice when only a handful of the perpetrators were convicted on federal charges, none spending more than a half-dozen years in prison because the state wouldn’t pursue a murder prosecution.

It wasn’t until 41 years later that the ringleader of the group wasconvicted of three counts of manslaughter. My 89-year-old mother testified at the trial, a trial that happened because a few determined folks, inside and outside of Mississippi, wouldn’t let it go.

So we cannot let this new movement — these cynical and sinister attempts to disenfranchise Americans — go. If it takes an act of “outside agitation,” so be it. If it requires courage, we can summon it. If it means replacing cynicism with optimism and apathy with action, we can accomplish it. After all, there is a tiny hamlet right next to Philadelphia, Miss. It is a town called Hope.

David Goodman is The Andrew Goodman Foundation president.

JUNE 19th,1953 ~~ WAITING FOR THE LIGHTS TO DIM

America watched it live …

For Michael and Robbie ….

Then …

Robert and Michael Rosenberg sons of Julius and Ethel

Now …

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Sketches of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg presented to their sons by the artist Pablo Picasso
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Looking back at the day ..

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By Steve Amsel
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It was a Friday evening, 61 years ago today, that I sat in my bedroom waiting for the lights to dim. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were about to be electrocuted in Sing Sing Prison and I imagined the powerful surge of power causing a brown out in our own home. When that didn’t happen, I thought to myself that perhaps there was a stay of execution …. but I was wrong. Despite the protests, despite the appeals from world leaders, the couple was put to death just one minute before the Sabbath entered, as not to violate the sanctity of the day. It was a reminder of Christ’s execution, also rushed as not to violate the Sabbath.
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Many of us were told that they were innocent of the charges of espionage. We were told that they were the ‘first victims of American fascism’. We were told decades later that this might not have been the case.
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They left behind two young sons, Michael and Robert, one my age and the other two years younger. I could not imagine what these two were going through and could not comprehend how the government rendered them orphans with the flick of a switch.
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June 20, 1953

By Michael Kaufman (FROM)

 

We’re at Aunt Sadye and Uncle Joe’s house in Far Rockaway. A lot of the other uncles and aunts on my father’s side are there. The grownups all have serious looks on their faces. I can’t hear most of what they’re saying because they are talking more quietly than usual… but every once in a while one of them gets angry and the voices get louder. No one notices me in the next room reading the Daily Mirror newspaper.

I am 7 years old and a good reader. But I am disappointed because Aunt Sadye forgot to give me cookies and milk like she always does when we go there. I love the milk at their house because they keep it so much colder in their Frigidaire than we keep it at our house.

“This wouldn’t have happened if they weren’t Jewish,” I hear my father say just as I noticed a picture of the two boys, Michael and Robert. Robert is 7. Like me. He has a crewcut like mine and, hey, he even looks like me. Michael is 9. He has a crewcut too. The words under the picture say the boys are “playing quietly” but their faces look sad.

I look at the picture of the lady. She reminds me a little of my mom. Dark eyes, dark hair, even the look on her face. The man with the mustache doesn’t look like my father… more like my Uncle Joe. I hear a grownup — maybe my father or Uncle Willie — ask, “Did you read the Reuben book?”

“Not yet, but it won’t change my mind… they’re guilty alright.” Was it Uncle Joe who said that? Sidney? But as I read the words on the page, the talking and arguing in the next room becomes an unintelligible buzz.

 

First they put the man, Julius, in the electric chair… and he was dead. Then they put the lady, Ethel, but she did not die. It says a “wisp of smoke” came out of the top of her head but she was still alive. I look at her picture and try to imagine how she might look with smoke coming out of her head. Then another jolt of electricity and more smoke from her head… and she still didn’t die! It took three more jolts and more than five minutes to kill the lady who reminds me of my mother. The newspaper says they were “red spies.”

89rose27I don’t say anything to my parents during the drive home to Oceanside in the 1952 Buick. They don’t say much either. I feel sad for Michael and Robert. I feel bad about what happened to their parents, especially about the way their mother died. I wonder if my parents are red spies and if they will get put in the electric chair someday like the Rosenbergs.

 

Michael Kaufman of Warwick, NY has been a sportswriter, investigative reporter, and medical writer for more than thirty years. His work has appeared in SportCrawdaddyBlack SortsHockeyWoman’s WorldHealth, and the Daily World (writing as “Michael Jay”), and in several anthologies and textbooks. He is a regular contributor to the blog Zest of Orange.

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From Jewish Currents*

June 19: The Rosenbergs Are Executed

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Happier Times …

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Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by electric chair in Ossining, New York on this date in 1953, despite worldwide appeals for clemency. Their two-year trial for conspiracy to commit atomic espionage on behalf of the USSR was a media sensation that heightened both American anti-communism and the fear and paranoia of American communists — some third of whom were Jewish, like the Rosenbergs — to fever pitch. The deeds for which the Rosenbergs were convicted took place during World War II, when the U.S. and the USSR were military allies in the anti-Nazi struggle — and while independent investigations and Soviet-era secret cables did indicate, decades later, that Julius Rosenberg participated in espionage, his wife Ethel was, at worst, a witness to her husband’s deeds rather than an active participant. Nevertheless, trial judge Irving Kaufman declared them both to be responsible for “putting into the hands of the Russians the A-Bomb years before our best scientists predicted Russia would perfect the bomb” and therefore responsible for “the Communist aggression in Korea, with the resultant casualties exceeding 50,000 and who knows but that millions more of innocent people may pay the price of your treason.” The Rosenbergs’ young sons were orphaned by the execution and were then adopted by songwriter Abel Meeropol and his wife Anne. To read Ethel’s final letter to her sons, as well as her letter about refusing to confess to any crimes, as well as contemporaneous commentary by newspapers, international personages, and writers for Jewish Currents, click here.

“I continue to maintain my innocence for the sole reason that I am not guilty of the charge.” —Ethel Rosenberg, letter to their attorney, June 8, 1953

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A song written by Abel Meeropol from another bygone era …

BELLA CIAO RUBY DEE

Another great human being took leave of us on Wednesday ….. once again asking the unanswered; WHERE ARE THE REPLACEMENTS FOR THESE WONDERFUL PEOPLE?  WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE!!

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G. Paul Burnett/The New York Times

Ruby Dee, one of the most enduring actresses of theater and film, whose public profile and activist passions made her, along with her husband, Ossie Davis, a leading advocate for civil rights both in show business and in the wider world, died on Wednesday at her home in New Rochelle, N.Y. She was 91.

Her daughter Nora Davis Day confirmed the death.

A diminutive beauty with a sense of persistent social distress and a restless, probing intelligence, Ms. Dee began her performing career in the 1940s, and it continued well into the 21st century. She was always a critical favorite, though not often cast as a leading lady.

Her most successful central role was Off Broadway, in the 1970 Athol Fugard drama, “Boesman and Lena,” about a pair of nomadic mixed-race South Africans, for which she received overwhelming praise. Clive Barnes wrote in The New York Times, “Ruby Dee as Lena is giving one of the finest performances I have ever seen.”

Her most famous performance came more than a decade earlier, in 1959, in a supporting role in “A Raisin in the Sun,” Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark drama about the quotidian struggle of a black family in Chicago at the dawn of the civil rights movement. Ms. Dee played Ruth Younger, the wife of the main character, Walter Lee Younger, played by Sidney Poitier, and the daughter-in-law of the leading female character, the family matriarch, Lena (Claudia McNeil).

Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee in “A Raisin in the Sun,” which opened on Broadway in 1959. Creditvia Photofest

 

Ruth is a character with far too much on her plate: an overcrowded home, a troubled husband, a young son, an overbearing mother-in-law, a wearying job and an unwanted pregnancy, not to mention the shared burden of black people everywhere in a society skewed against them. Ms. Dee’s was a haunting portrait of a young woman whose desperation to maintain grace under pressure doesn’t keep her from being occasionally broken by it.

The play had 530 performances on Broadway and was reprised, with much of the cast intact, as a 1961 film. On screen, Edith Oliver wrote in The New Yorker, Ms. Dee was “even more impressive” than she was onstage. “Is there a better young actress in America, or one who can make everything she does seem so effortless?” Ms. Oliver wrote.

The loyal but worried loved one was a role Ms. Dee played frequently, in films like “The Jackie Robinson Story” (in which she played the wife of the pioneering black ballplayer, who starred as himself) and “No Way Out,” a tough racial drama in which she played the sister of a prison doctor (Mr. Poitier).

Over the course of Ms. Dee’s career, the lives of American blacks, both extraordinary and ordinary, belatedly emerged as rich subject matter for mainstream theater productions and films, and black performers went from being consigned to marginal and often belittling roles to starring in Hollywood megahits.

Ms. Dee went from being a disciple of Paul Robeson to starring with Mr. Poitier on Broadway. She was a featured player in the films of Spike Lee and an Oscar nominee for a supporting role in the 2007 movie “American Gangster,” about a Harlem drug lord (Denzel Washington); she played a loving mother who turned a blind eye to her son’s criminality.

But Ms. Dee not only took part in that evolution; through her visibility in a wide range of projects, from classics onstage to contemporary film dramas to television soap operas, she also helped bring it about.

In 1965, playing Cordelia in “King Lear” and Kate in “The Taming of the Shrew,” she was the first black woman to appear in major roles at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Conn. In 1968, she became the first black actress to be featured regularly on the titillating prime-time TV series “Peyton Place.”

She appeared in two of Mr. Lee’s earliest films, “Do the Right Thing” and “Jungle Fever.” (On Thursday, Michelle Obama tweeted about Ms. Dee: “I’ll never forget seeing her in ‘Do the Right Thing’ on my first date with Barack.”)

Ms. Dee picketed Broadway theaters that were not employing black actors for their shows and spoke out against film crews that hired few or no blacks.

Having made her name in films that addressed racial issues, she began seeking out more of them. She collaborated with the director Jules Dassin on the screenplay for “Up Tight!,” a 1968 adaptation of “The Informer,” Liam O’Flaherty’s 1925 novel set after the Irish civil war. (It had also been filmed by John Ford.) Mr. Dassin and Ms. Dee shifted the tale of betrayal among revolutionaries to 1960s Cleveland; Ms. Dee played a welfare mother who helped feed her family by resorting to prostitution.

She also lent her voice and presence to the cause of racial equality outside show business. She was an active member of the Congress of Racial Equality, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

At the Tony Awards ceremony on Sunday, Audra McDonald, in accepting her sixth acting award for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” acknowledged Ms. Dee as one of five black women whose shoulders she stands upon. (The others were Holiday, Maya Angelou, Diahann Carroll and Lena Horne.)

A revival of “Raisin in the Sun,” now playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theater on Broadway, the same stage as the original production, won three Tonys, including one for Sophie Okonedo, who plays Ruth Younger. In a statement, Ms. Okonedo called Ms. Dee “one of my heroines.”

Ruby Ann Wallace, as she was known when she was born in Cleveland on Oct. 27, 1922, grew up in Harlem. The third child of teenage parents, she was reared mostly by her father, Marshall Wallace, who became a waiter on the Pennsylvania Railroad, and his second wife, the former Emma Amelia Benson, a college-educated teacher who was 13 years older than he. Ms. Dee described her as a strict but loving mother, a stickler for elocution and the person who introduced her to poetry, music and dance.

By the mid-1940s, when she graduated from Hunter College, Ms. Dee was already a working actress, having appeared on Broadway and in productions of the American Negro Theater, then a fledgling professional company housed in the basement of the Harlem branch of the New York Public Library.

She had also been married, in 1941, to the singer Frankie Dee Brown. The marriage dissolved within four years, but it gave Ms. Dee the name by which she would be known for the rest of her life.

She made her Broadway debut in December 1943 in a short-lived play called “South Pacific,” unrelated to the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that came along more than five years later. In 1946 she joined the cast of a Broadway-bound play called “Jeb,” about a black soldier who has lost a leg in World War II and discovers that his sacrifice for his country is of little value in the face of the racism he encounters on his return home.

Hired as the understudy for the role of Libby, the title character’s loving girlfriend, Ms. Dee not only replaced the original actress in the role before opening night but also fell in love with the star, Ossie Davis. The show lasted for nine performances, the relationship nearly 60 years, until Mr. Davis’s death in 2005. They married in 1948.

Besides her daughter Nora, Ms. Dee is survived by another daughter, Hasna Muhammad; a son, the singer Guy Davis; a sister, Angelina Roach; and seven grandchildren.

The partnership between Ms. Dee and Mr. Davis was romantic, familial, professional, artistic and political, and they jointly received the National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton.

During their careers they performed together many times, including in “Raisin,” when Mr. Davis took over the stage role of Walter Younger from Mr. Poitier, and in “Purlie Victorious,” Mr. Davis’s own broad satire about a charismatic preacher in the Jim Crow South, on Broadway in 1961 and in the 1963 film version, “Gone Are the Days!”

In 1998 they published a joint autobiography, “With Ossie & Ruby: In This Life Together,” to commemorate their 50th wedding anniversary. The book is remarkable for its candor, not only about their careers and upbringings but also about their intimate lives, together and apart, and their reflections on race relations, politics and art. Told in separate, alternating voices, it was a book-length public conversation that testified to a lifelong private one.

Ms. Dee and Mr. Davis stood together, far to the political left, on behalf of numerous causes. They spoke out in the 1950s against the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and against the persecution of American Communists (and purported Communists) in the investigations by Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee. When, under the McCarran Internal Security Act, the government revoked the passport of Robeson, the great black actor, singer and outspoken socialist, they helped organize the campaign to have it restored.

They were friends and supporters of both the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, whose eulogy, after his assassination in 1965, was delivered by Mr. Davis. On Aug. 28, 1963, the day of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which culminated in Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Ms. Dee and Mr. Davis were the M.C.’s of the entertainment event at the foot of the Washington Monument that preceded the march to the Lincoln Memorial. They raised money for the Black Panthers. They demonstrated against the Vietnam War.

In 2005 Ms. Dee received a lifetime achievement award from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

“You can only appreciate freedom,” she said then, “when you find yourself in a position to fight for someone else’s freedom and not worry about your own.”

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BECAUSE OF YURI KOCHIYAMA ….

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*Yuri Kochiyama, in 1999, hosted activists in Harlem.CreditNicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

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Tributes continue to pour in for this remarkable giant of a woman ….

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One regular reader of this Blog commented the following on my post about Yuri …

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WHERE ARE THE REPLACEMENTS FOR THESE WONDERFUL PEOPLE?  WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE!!   

Jim Rivers

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Such truth in so few words …

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Tributes that are appearing on Tumbler …

Yuri Kochiyama (1921-2014) was a Japanese American activist who organized and fought for the liberation of all people. Her life & work continue to illuminate & inspire generations of organizers working for justice in the U.S. & around the world. This is how we choose to remember her & honor her legacy.

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See all of the tributes HERE, and add your own as well …

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This tribute FROM

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Who was Yuri Kochiyama? A Tribute in Words, Photos, and Video

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“Don’t become too narrow. Live fully. Meet all kinds of people. You’ll learn something from everyone. Follow what you feel in your heart.”  –

 

Through photos, videos, interviews and a timeline, BK Nation honors the life of Yuri Kochiyama, one of the most important activists of the 20th century. Once imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp during World War II and later raising a family in the housing projects of Harlem, Kochiyama’s activist career was ignited by the Black liberation movement and her friendship with Malcolm X. In addition to her involvement with the Black liberation and Civil Rights movements, Kochiyama was an advocate for nuclear disarmament, Puerto Rican nationalism, and youth empowerment. In 1988, she and her husband Bill won reparations and an apology for Japanese Americans imprisoned during World War II with the passage of the Civil Liberties Act. No matter her own ethnic background, Kochiyama joined the struggles of a diverse array of peoples. Her commitment to justice for any and all who faced oppression is truly remarkable, and she will always be remembered as an outstanding role model and courageous leader. – Ben Weitz, BK Nation Writer

TIMELINE: The Life of Yuri Kochiyama

VIDEOS

INTERVIEWS

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Yuri Kochiyama at Malcolm X’s side after he was gunned down in 1965 at Harlem’s Audubon Hotel

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And from The New York Times

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Her granddaughter Akemi Kochiyama confirmed the death.

Mrs. Kochiyama, the child of Japanese immigrants who settled in Southern California, knew discrimination well by the time she was a young woman. During World War II she spent two years in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in Arkansas, a searing experience that also exposed her to the racism of the Jim Crow South.

A few years after the war, she married William Kochiyama, whom she had met at the camp, and the couple moved to New York in 1948. They spent 12 years in public housing in Manhattan, in the Amsterdam Houses on the Upper West Side, where most of their neighbors were black and Puerto Rican, before moving to Harlem.

The couple had become active in the civil rights movement when Mrs. Kochiyama met Malcolm X for the first time at a Brooklyn courthouse in October 1963. He was surrounded by supporters, mostly young black men, when she approached him. She told him she wanted to shake his hand, to congratulate him, she recalled in an interview with The New York Times in 1996.

“I admire what you’re doing,” she told him, “but I disagree with some of your thoughts.”

He asked which ones.

“Your harsh stand on integration,” she said.

He agreed to meet with her later, and by 1964 Mrs. Kochiyama and her husband had befriended him. Early that year Malcolm X began moving away from the militant Nation of Islam, to which he belonged, toward beliefs that were accepting of many kinds of people. He sent the Kochiyamas postcards from his travels to Africa and elsewhere.

One, mailed from Kuwait on Sept. 27, 1964, read: “Still trying to travel and broaden my scope since I’ve learned what a mess can be made by narrow-minded people. Bro. Malcolm X.”

The following February, Mrs. Kochiyama was in the audience at the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan waiting to hear Malcolm X address a new group he had founded, the Organization of Afro-American Unity, when there was a burst of gunfire. She ran toward the stage.

“I just went straight to Malcolm, and I put his head on my lap,” she recalled. “He just lay there. He had difficulty breathing, and he didn’t utter a word.”

A powerful photograph of her holding him accompanied an article about the assassination in the March 5, 1965, issue of Life magazine.

Mrs. Kochiyama was born Mary Yuriko Nakahara on May 19, 1921, in San Pedro, Calif. An outgoing student in high school, she played sports and wrote for the school newspaper. She said in interviews that she was mostly unaware of political issues until her father, Seiichi, was taken into custody by the F.B.I. shortly after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Although ill, Mr. Nakahara, a successful fish merchant, was held and interrogated for several weeks before being released on Jan. 20, 1942. He died the next day. By the spring, the rest of the family was among the 120,000 Japanese-Americans sent to internment camps across the country.

In the 1980s, the Kochiyamas sought government reparations for Japanese-Americans who had been interned. In 1988, Congress approved a plan to pay $20,000 to each of the estimated 60,000 surviving internees.

Besides her granddaughter Akemi, her survivors include a daughter, Audee Kochiyama-Holman; three sons, Eddie, Jimmy and Tommy; eight other grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Another son, Billy, died in the 1970s, and a daughter, Aichi, died in 1989.

Her husband died in 1993. He had been interned in Arkansas before he joined the all-Japanese 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which became one of the most decorated units in American military history.

In the 1960s and ’70s, the sofa in the Kochiyamas’ apartment was regularly occupied by activists in need of a place to sleep. Years later, Mrs. Kochiyama helped organize campaigns to free activists and others whom she believed had been wrongly imprisoned, including Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther and radio journalist sentenced to death in the killing of a Philadelphia police officer in 1981. In 2012, his sentence was reduced to life without parole.

Mrs. Kochiyama, who never graduated from college, read constantly and widely. On Tuesday, her granddaughter Akemi opened for the first time a journal of favorite quotations that Mrs. Kochiyama had collected and given to her several years ago.

“There were so many different writers and thinkers,” said Akemi Kochiyama, who is pursuing a doctorate in cultural anthropology. “It’s Emerson, it’s Keats and Yeats and José Marti. It’s political thinkers. It’s Marcus Garvey. It’s everything.”

Mrs. Kochiyama was an inspiration herself. For its 2011 album “Cinemetropolis,” the Seattle hip-hop group Blue Scholars composed a song about her. The refrain: “When I grow up I want to be just like Yuri Kochiyama.”

A BARELY KNOWN WOMAN OF VALOR PASSES ~~ RIP YURI KOCHIYAMA

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Her name was never a household word to most of us, but it definitely should have been …

The life history of Yuri Kochiyama is the life history of the American Civil and Human Rights Movements.

Truly a Woman of Valor, she died on Sunday at the age of 93.

Her story follows … (FROM)

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Yuri Kochiyama dead: Japanese American human rights activist and close Malcolm X ally dies aged 93

 In 1963, she became friends with radical Nation of Islam activist Malcolm X, who inspired her work on black nationalism. She was famously with Malcolm X at the very end of his life. He was shot by assassins during a speech in New York City on 21 February 1965. Kochiyama rushed towards X’s wounded body and held his head in her lap – a moment famously immortalised in black-and-white photograph (seen in the image below).
 The Nobel Peace Prize-nominated civil rights campaigner also fought for political prisoners, Puerto Rican independence and nuclear disarmament
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Yuri Kochiyama, a lifelong champion of civil rights causes in the United States, has died.

The Japanese-American activist, who was with Malcolm X during his final moments, passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 93, her family have confirmed.

Kochiyama, who was born Mary Yuriko Nakahara in 1921, grew up in the small town of San Pedro in California. Her family were forced to relocate to an internment camp with thousands of other Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

It was at the Jerome Relocation Center in Arkansas where she first met her late husband Bill Kochiyama, who served as a soldier in the Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

They married after the Second World War had ended and moved to New York City to start a family together. It was living side-by-side with poor African-American and Puerto Rican families in the neighbourhood that initially inspired her career in activism.

In 1963, she became friends with radical Nation of Islam activist Malcolm X, who inspired her work on black nationalism. She was famously with Malcolm X at the very end of his life. He was shot by assassins during a speech in New York City on 21 February 1965. Kochiyama rushed towards X’s wounded body and held his head in her lap – a moment famously immortalised in black-and-white photograph (seen in the image above, left).

In the 1970s, she staged several demonstrations – including the takeover of the Statue of Liberty, to highlight the plight of Puerto Rican independence. She was part of a group who successfully demanded the release of five Puerto Rican nationalists who had been held for over 20 years.

She was also a prominent figure in the Asian American movement that gathered pace after the Vietnam War protests, and mentored scores of young activists in the art of protest.

In the 1980s, together with her husband, she pushed for a formal government apology to the Japanese-American internees and reparations through the Civil Liberties Act. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed it into law and $20,000 was awarded to each Japanese American internment survivor.

She also dedicated time to fighting for the rights of political prisoners and campaigning against nuclear disarmament.

Kochiyama was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize during the “1,000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005”.

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Bella Ciao Dear Comrade


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Watch a recent discussion with Angela Davis …

WATCH WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS ~~ THEN AND NOW

For Maya Angelou OBM

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THEN …

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NOW …

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And a letter from Rachel Corrie OBM …

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I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS OF FREEDOM …

BELLA CIAO MAYA ANGELOU

An Angel she was ….. truly one of my favourites.

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Maya Angelou, celebrated US poet and author, dies aged 86

Angelou, who was also prominent in the civil rights movement, died at home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Jessica Glenza in New York FOR

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Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou in 2008. Photograph: Gerald Herbert/AP

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Maya Angelou, the American poet and author, died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Wednesday. She was 86.

Her son, Guy B Johnson, confirmed the news in a statement. He said: “Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension.

“She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love.”

Johnson said Angelou “passed quietly in her home” sometime before 8am on Wednesday.

Bill Clinton, at whose inauguration Angelou read her On the Pulse of the Morning, said in a statement: America has lost a national treasure, and Hillary and I a beloved friend.”

Angelou’s failing health was reported as recently as Tuesday, when she canceled an appearance honoring her with a Beacon of Life Award because of “health reasons”. The ceremony was part of the 2014 MLB Beacon Award Luncheon, in Houston, Texas, part of Major League Baseball’s Civil Rights Games.

Last month, forced to cancel an appearance at a library in Arkansas, she wrote: “An unexpected ailment put me into the hospital. I will be getting better and the time will come when I can receive another invitation from my state and you will recognize me for I shall be the tall Black lady smiling. I ask you to please keep me in your thoughts, in your conversation and in your prayers.”

Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson, in St Louis, Missouri, in 1928. She described in an NPR interview how her brother’s lisp turned Marguerite into Maya.Contribute

She survived several personal trials: she was a child of the depression, grew up in the segregated south, survived a childhood rape, gave birth as a teenager, and was, at one time, a prostitute.

She wrote wrote seven autobiographies, including the 1969 memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and was a playwright, director, actor, singer, songwriter and novelist.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was an indictment of the racial discrimination she experienced during her childhood. “If growing up is painful for the southern black girl,” she wrote, “being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult.”

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings has had a wide appeal, particularly to younger female readers and continues to appear on school and university reading lists in the US and the UK.

In 1993, she read On the Pulse of the Morning at President Clinton’s first inauguration, a performance that made the poem a bestseller. The poem celebrates the diversity of ethnic groups in the US, and calls on the nation to leave behind cynicism and look forward to a new pride in itself, and a new dawn for the country.

Clinton on Wednesday said he would “always be grateful for her electrifying reading … and even more for all the years of friendship that followed.”

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Angelou was a long-time Clinton supporter. One month before his inauguration, she told the New York Times: “Since the election, I have found it easier to wake up in the morning,” and “there seems to be a promise in the air.”

And her loyalty to Hillary Clinton has been steadfast, even as Barack Obama campaigned to be America’s first black president.

“I made up my mind 15 years ago that if she ever ran for office I’d be on her wagon. My only difficulty with Senator Obama is that I believe in going out with who I went in with,” she told the Guardian.

And as news of her death spread, actors, writers, directors, activists and politicians tweeted thankful and mournful notes reacting to Angelou’s passing.

JK Rowling called her “utterly amazing”; Lena Dunham thanked Angelou for “your power, your politics, your poetry. We need you more than ever.”

Angelou had lived in North Carolina since the early 1980s, when she became a professor at Wake Forest University, a private liberal arts college. A statement from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem called Angelou “a national treasure whose life and teachings inspired millions around the world”.

The mayor of Winston-Salem, Allen Joines, said the town would probably remember Angelou best for her commitment to health and theatre.

She supported the founder of the National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, and eventually became its first chairperson in 1989. In 2012, the Maya Angelou Women’s Health and Wellness Center opened in the city. A street in Winston-Salem is named after Angelou.

Despite her many accomplishments, the mayor said small moments seemed to touch the poet.

In April 2008, the town threw Angelou an 80th birthday party. Despite entertainers and speakers present at the party, the mayor said, “The thing that seemed to touch her the most was a group of little kids.”

 

WHAT WE TEND TO FORGET ON MEMORIAL DAY

News37

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Memorial Days

By Tom Karlson

they sang and prayed,
naming that day in May, Decoration day
they dis-interred 257 Union men
mass graved, dumped, piled
broken bodies twisted,
a Charleston North Carolina Guernica
forgotten men dug up, re-interred
with honor, memory, celebration
by 10,000
in 1866 that first Memorial Day
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it is
Memorial Day 2010
the Turkish flotilla
bringing aid to Gaza
the attack, nine dead,
Americans, Turks
no aid delivered
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Memorial Day1937,
steelworkers striking Little Steel,
strikers with families march toward the Republic steel mill gate
police-guards open fire
ten dead
thirty shot
one hundred clubbed
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today we are at Jones beach
it is Memorial Day
we are fifty souls
remembering our dead, the dead
hundreds of Long Islanders
thousands of North Americans
more than a million Iraqis and Afghanis
families stroll past
some look, others see without vision
all have come to eat, drink
and celebrate that insatiable beast
today the Blue Angles
spin flip dive swoop
begging boys and girls to sign up
the navy, the marines want you
as we call out the named and nameless
let us remember these days
past, present, and future

A MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR PALESTINE

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Yesterday, Israel came to a standstill for two minutes in remembrance of its fallen soldiers and victims of terrorist attacks …

It is truly sad for any nation or people to commemorate the memory of those who died before their time by the horrors of war or terrorism.

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Today, Israel celebrates 66 years of independence as Palestinians remember their own victims of terror … and the Nakba

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Just a few of our precious fallen angels ….

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There were more …. many more ….

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A report FROM

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‘Israel killed 1,335 Palestinian kids’

 

A recent UN report confirms that at least 1,300 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces since the outset of the al-Aqsa uprising in 2000.

The United Nations office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a report that 1,335 Palestinian children were shot dead as a result of Israeli air and ground attacks or indiscriminate gun fire by Israeli soldiers, a Press TV correspondent reported on Saturday.

“The international community should offer protection for Palestinian children so that they can have a better social and educational environment,” said Amjad Shawa, Coordinator of Palestinian NGO Network.

According to the Palestinian ministry of health, 15 children have been killed in Gaza alone since the beginning of 2011 — three of them while playing in front of their house.

“The children were just playing out in the street like the way they always did and then all of a sudden rockets were fired towards them. They were killed just because they were playing,” the victims’ uncle Yaser Alhelou said.

In 2006, Israeli artillery fire hit the Athamna family house in northern Gaza, killing 16 family members, including seven children.

Human rights groups have also condemned Israeli policies towards Palestinian children.

According to UNICEF, Israeli policies have put the lives of more than 1.9 million Palestinian children in danger.

They also face the constant threat of death, injury, displacement, detention, psychological distress and low educational attainment.

On Tuesday, three children were injured by a piece of unexploded Israeli ordnance that went off in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Gaza is currently riddled with unexploded ordnance, left over from Israel’s war on the blockaded coastal enclave at the turn of 2009.

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And, what about a moment of silence for those who were forced to flee their villages, many of which were completely erased from the map …. UNTIL NOW;

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Palestinians can NOW find their village … thanks to Zochrot

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Since 2002 Zochrot has been promoting Israeli Jewish society’s acknowledgement of, and accountability for, the ongoing injustices of the Nakba and the reconceptualization of Return as the imperative redress of the Nakba, and a chance for a better life for the entire country’s inhabitants. Zochrot challenges the Israeli Jewish public’s preconceptions, and promotes awareness, political, and cultural change within it to create the conditions for the Return of Palestinian Refugees and a shared life in this country.

iNakba is a trilingual mobile app (Arabic, Hebrew and English) based on GPS Navigation technology. This app allows users to locate and learn about Palestinian localities destroyed during, and as a result of, the Nakba since 1948.

The application provides coordinates and maps of Palestinian localities that were completely ruined, destroyed, obliterated after their capture, partially demolished, or remained standing but were depopulated and their residents expelled. The app also provides historical information and includes video clips and photographs of these localities. The app is interactive; it allows users to add pictures of the destroyed localities, as well as share their comments and follow updates about selected localities.

We Need Your Help!

Not all the destroyed or depopulated localities are represented by video clips or photographs. Some of the coordinates provided may be inaccurate or incomplete. Zochrot is constantly augmenting the information about all the demolished localities, and we invite users to help us by adding photographs, video clips, updates, and/or corrections. Please send comments and audio-visual corrections and additions to: inakba@zochrot.org, or via the app’s “Contact Us” link.

Further Development

The iNakba app is currently only available for iPhones, but we are developing versions for additional devices while updating and expanding the information with the help of iNakba users.

Zochrot is grateful to Netaj company in Nazareth for their professionalism in developing iNakba.

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Palestine WILL rise from the ashes one day soon, but let us stand today to remember the horrors inflicted upon them.

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BELLA CIAO PAUL ROBESON Jr.

Mr. Robeson in 1998, accepting a Grammy for his father.CreditRichard Drew/Associated Press

Paul Robeson Jr., who worked to preserve the legacy of his father, the actor, singer and civil rights advocate, since his death almost four decades ago, died on Saturday in Jersey City. He was 86.

The cause was lymphoma, his daughter, Susan Robeson, said.

Mr. Robeson wrote two books about his father and created an archive of his writing and films. He aimed to teach new generations about his father’s radical politics and criticized those he thought misrepresented his life, including a 1978 Broadway play starring James Earl Jones, which he protested.

Mr. Robeson worked for many years as a Russian translator and served as a personal aide to his father. In his later years, he wrote books about politics and race, as well as a two-part biography of his father.

He admired his father and noted their similar political views in an interview with The New York Times in 1993 when he published his first book, “Paul Robeson Jr. Speaks to America.”

“I follow in my father’s cultural tradition,” he said, “and like him, I am a black radical.”

Mr. Robeson was born on Nov. 2, 1927, in Brooklyn, the only child of Paul and Eslanda Robeson. As a boy, he traveled with his parents to Europe and lived with his grandmother in Moscow, where he became fluent in Russian and attended the same public school, he said, as Joseph Stalin’s daughter.

After his father’s death in 1976, Mr. Robeson began to collect his father’s correspondence, recordings and photographs for an archive, part of which is housed at Howard University.

When the play “Paul Robeson,” opened on Broadway in 1978, Mr. Robeson and several African-American leaders, including Maya Angelou and Julian Bond, published a letter in Variety calling it a “pernicious perversion of the essence of Paul Robeson.” The play, written by Phillip Hayes Dean, who died earlier this month, did not emphasize Mr. Robeson’s socialist views, they argued, in order to appeal to a mass audience.

The show closed after 77 performances, but it returned to Broadway in 1988 and 1995, with Avery Brooks in the title role. During the first revival, Mr. Robeson said that the production had improved but added, “I still feel the character as written is a counterfeit.”

Mr. Robeson served as a consultant for several films about his father, including a 1999 documentary for the PBS series “American Masters.”

His first book on his father, published in 2001, followed an earlier biography by Martin Duberman. It read “like Paul Jr.’s attempt to correct the story of his father’s life as told by Duberman,” a review in The New York Times said. “In the end, however, it adds little and omits a great deal from the earlier biography.”

Besides his daughter, Mr. Robeson is survived by his wife, Marilyn, and a grandson.

Mr. Robeson was tall and athletic like his father; both men played football in college. While they had much in common, he said one difference was that he was a member of the Communist Party from 1948 to 1962 while his father never joined the party. (During the McCarthy era, his father faced F.B.I. surveillance after he criticized the government.)

Asked whether it was difficult being in his father’s shadow, Mr. Robeson said that his father once told him: “If you want to be somebody, you’re going to have to be yourself. You can’t copy anybody else, especially me.”

“So I never remember having any need to compete with him,” Mr. Robeson said. “He gave me a sense of being my own man.”

Source

REMEMBERING AN ‘OSLO CRIMINAL’

Gideon Levy at his best ….

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Pundak, a noble man, did not call to account in his book those responsible for the failure of the Oslo Accords. He was not one for hate, bitterness or petty accounting, not even when he was forced to leave the Peres Center for Peace because he focused more on peace than on Peres.

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Shalom, ‘Oslo criminal.’ Late diplomat Ron Pundak was a peace hero

Alas, this great diplomat is now a ghost, just as another desperate attempt to blow life into the peace process is set to give up the ghost.

By Gideon Levy
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Ron Pundak.

Ron Pundak. Photo by Nir Keidar
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He was an “Oslo criminal,” perhaps the “Oslo criminal.” In a country where war criminals are heroes and peace heroes are criminals, Ron Pundak was a different sort of hero.

With the exception of Uri Avnery, who at 90 has just published the first part of his fascinating Hebrew-language autobiography — “Optimistic,” he titled it — Pundak was the most optimistic person I’ve ever met. He was an incorrigible optimist where peace was concerned, and no less an optimist about his long, cursed illness. A man full of hope who is no more.

Pundak was the youngest, and nearly the last, of the believers in peace. After him, the abyss. He wanted peace for peace’s sake, without pathos or guilt. Simply peace.

He wasn’t anti-Israel; he was a Zionist and a lover of Israel. He wasn’t an Arab-lover; he was clearheaded, one of the last few who still met with Arabs and saw them as equal human beings. Nor was he a romantic.

His dreams were realistic, even if they fit a reality much saner than the crazy one we’ve created here. Pundak didn’t miss a single initiative. He came to peace from a very patriotic place. The fire that burned in his soul was ignited not by injustice to the Palestinians but by the future of the country he loved and that never repaid him for his labors.

Fire? Pundak was a cool man, as befits someone who grew up in a Nordic home, a Scandinavian-Israeli. His father Herbert (later Nahum) was perhaps the only journalist in history to be the editor of two newspapers in two countries at the same time — Denmark’s Politiken and Israel’s Davar Hashavua. (And he also worked for the Mossad at one point.)

He and his wife Susie have now lost their second son. Their eldest, Uri, the great hope of Tel Aviv’s Ironi Aleph High School graduating class of 1970, died in the Yom Kippur War.

I remember Ron on the beach of the legendary Sinai resort Aqua Sun, another province of dreams that is no more. Only once did he join his sister Michal and the special group that vacationed there regularly. Not once during his stay did he take off his safari jacket or obligatory moccasins.

Ron didn’t like the sun and sand. Maybe it was no coincidence that two of the main Oslo architects, Pundak and Yair Hirschfeld, of Danish and Austrian descent, respectively, weren’t your typical backslapping Israelis.

Something went wrong with their Oslo. To his dying day, Pundak remained convinced that the problem was the execution, not the plan or vision. In his Hebrew-language book “Secret Channel” — like another work he published in 2013 presumably knowing his days were numbered — he describes the incredible, rocky path that he, Hirschfeld, Yossi Beilin, Uri Savir and a handful of others traversed on their way to Oslo. It was from there to the White House Rose Garden for the signing ceremony, to which Pundak was not invited.

Pundak, a noble man, did not call to account in his book those responsible for the failure of the Oslo Accords. He was not one for hate, bitterness or petty accounting, not even when he was forced to leave the Peres Center for Peace because he focused more on peace than on Peres.

Once, at a modest birthday celebration that Beilin held for Shimon Peres in his home, in a corner near the stairs, Ron sat on the floor — pale, bald, weak and clearly in pain. Even then he didn’t complain. I’ll never forget that sight. On April 11, 2013, one year before his death, Ron, with chilling precision, texted me: “Your op-ed should have been the front-page lead.” The op-ed was titled “A letter from a ghost.”

Now Ron is dead, a ghost, just as another desperate attempt to blow life into the moribund peace process is set to give up the ghost. The man who wrote in his book, without even a touch of cynicism or desperation, “Fundamentally, the chance for a peace agreement remains,” would surely find fragments of hope even in these dark days. Now Ron won’t speak either. No one will speak of peace in Israel anymore.

GUTHRIE ON SEEGER // PRECIOUS FRIEND

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Arlo Guthrie Remembers Pete Seeger: “He Would Just Wave His Hand, and You Could Hear People Singing”

The iconic folk singer shares memories of his colleague and friend

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Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger

AP Photo

Folksingers Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger during a memorial service for actor Will Geer in New York City on May 12, 1978

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When Pete Seeger died on Jan. 27 at the age of 94, the world lost more than a folksinger, more than a songwriter, more than a moral leader who gave a soundtrack to social causes for three generations. We lost an artist who was uniquely American, the product of a musical tradition that was passed down by hand. Seeger took the torch from musical greats like Woody Guthrie and passed them down to a new generation of musical legends, including Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp and Woody’s son Arlo, with whom Seeger played for 50 years.

Arlo Guthrie, a folk legend in his own right, spoke with TIME about his friend and music partner who inspired generations with his music and activism.

TIME: Can you tell us about the first time you met Pete Seeger?

Guthrie: I could if I could remember, but I was just a little kid, probably about 3 or 4 years old. I really have no actual date or time in my mind I can go back to and say, “This is when I actually met him.” My father had entered into the hospital part of his life in the mid 50s, which was about the same time I probably met Pete. My mother had introduced me to a lot of my father’s friends because she believed that I would get to know the guy my dad was better through his friends than just in the hospital visits.

When I thought about this later on in life, I realized that Pete and my father and that crowd of people that included Lead Belly, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee — all of these guys had grown up before recorded music. The songs that they knew circulated by word of mouth, not by radio or by records or any electronic media. They were handed down from one person to another, from generation to generation. It was not the kind of music you could take a course on; you couldn’t get a degree in it. Nobody went to school for it. It was the kind of music you heard around the campfire or hanging out with friends. It was very different from the music we were hearing on the radio.

What was it like to play with him?

Probably around 1968, when I was around 18, we did a concert together at Carnegie Hall. That is a tradition we continued, pretty much up until last November. Every year for about 30 years Pete and I had a regularly scheduled show the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. We took over that tradition about a decade ago without Pete, but every once in a while he said that he wanted to come and play.

I remember watching how he handled the audience. I wouldn’t have used the words master in those days, but he had an authority over the audience that allowed them to relax and sing along with him. My eyes just opened up and I couldn’t believe what was happening in front of me. He would just wave his hand, and you could hear people singing. Of course over the decades that I worked with him, I began to realize that this isn’t something you’re born with; it’s something you can learn. Other people have learned how to do that from him over the years. Anyone who has ever seen him knows what I’m saying, and someone who has not will find it hard to believe. It was almost as if he had some extra sense that allowed that kind of response. There’s no one else I have ever seen in my life that has had that, on any country, on any continent or in any city. Nobody came close.

He was well known for his banjo playing, but he also played the guitar very well. Did he have a favorite instrument?

It was whatever allowed the accompaniment to sound in the way he wanted. He also was a wonderful player of the recorder. There were moments in the concerts we did where he would play some Native American tune or an Irish tune, and you could hear a pin drop in a crowd that would fill some of these larger venues. You couldn’t hear a thing but this wafting air from that flute-like instrument, and it was just magic.

In later years he began to have difficulty singing. About 10 years ago, he must have been in his 80s, he said to me, “Arlo, I can’t do those big shows with you anymore. I can’t sing like I used to sing. I can’t play like I used to play.” I just looked at him and I said, “Pete, look at our audience. They can’t hear like they used to hear. It shouldn’t be a problem.” And he laughed and he said, “Maybe you’re right.” And every once in a while he would keep coming out, and that’s where he would transfer his own voice and say, “I can’t sing anymore, but you can sing.” And he would lead everybody in these songs. Those were wonderful times.

How did Pete approach writing songs?

He was the kind of songwriter who could remember a tune or a song that he’d heard somewhere in life, and he had a catalogue of hundreds of thousands of songs. I don’t know where the ones that he wrote came from, but I know that he had an awful lot to draw on that was part of his knowledge. He was quite a music scholar. Whenever I wanted information on a song, Pete was the first guy to go to: “where did this tune come from?” or “what about these lyrics?” and he’d say, “You know back in 1782, there was a guy…” and he’d know the names of the people who wrote the songs and where the songs originated. He was fascinated by it and it was natural for him. Every once in a while, as the occasion permitted or demanded, he would just come up with lyrics, write something and try it out.

Did you have a favorite Pete Seeger song?

Not really, although if I did, it probably wouldn’t be one of his most well known songs. He wrote some really hauntingly beautiful melodies. I’ve recorded some of the ones I always loved. And like any musician, he had songs and melodies that were important to him, but he didn’t think were for the public, and he would sing those and play those, either backstage or just goofing off with other people. There was a song called “Melody of Love,” and he just loved playing it. It felt good to play. There were songs like that that were part of our relationship that were never public.

Off the stage, what was it like to be in a room with Pete?

It was funny. I remember one time we went to play this venue Wolf Trap outside of Washington, D.C., which is one of these big, shed-type venues. We went downstairs to the dressing rooms before the sound check and there was food backstage, and there was a big chocolate cake sitting on the table. Pete he cut what I thought was a fairly reasonably sized piece of cake, then he left the piece and took the rest of the cake into the dressing room. He came out 20 minutes later with a big smile on his face, and he looked around and said, “Anyone want that last piece of cake?” His wife was yelling, “You can’t do that.” It was very funny.

Just recently he had gone into the hospital for some surgery. His kids called and asked if there was something I could do. I said, “Buy him a cake.” They were brought up to eat very healthy, so the Guthrie family sent a chocolate cake to Pete. Because at 84, who the hell cares? The man needs cake. After the surgery, his family went out and bought him another cake. It was not a very good idea to get between Pete and a cake, and no one ever did.

He has been noted for his heroism, standing up to the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955, especially when we look back on that episode with some distance. But at the time, it must have been a frightening experience to be hauled before Congress, refuse to testify and be held in contempt and nearly imprisoned. Did he ever talk about that time?

Not really to me personally. I was with him on occasions when reporters would bring that up. I have to tell you, though, just two days ago, somebody posted a release from the Kennedy Library of a letter I had written to President Kennedy about Pete. I have no memory of it; I must have been 13 or 14 years old. I said something like, “Dear Mr. President, do what you can for my buddy Pete.” So I was aware of it at the time, but I don’t remember him really talking about it very much.

I’m sure he didn’t look forward to those kinds of confrontations because he wasn’t a confrontational guy. But he would not back down, either. He wasn’t looking for trouble, but he wasn’t purposely avoiding it.

What do you think drove his lifelong effort for his many causes and convictions?

Pete had a real vision of what the country was about. He came from a long line of Puritan stock. His family had been in the country a very, very long time, and he had a sense of history. He wasn’t just a scholar of music; he was also a political scholar and a historical scholar. He loved the idealism of a nation founded on the principles he thought were important, and he spread that wherever he went.

I think to be asked about his religion, or about his beliefs, or about his political thoughts, was such an insult to him, because it was insulting to every American. He had a way of taking these personal events in his life and moving them forward so that they included everyone. If it had just affected him, he wouldn’t have said anything; he wouldn’t have written about it; he wouldn’t have made a big deal. But because it affected everyone, he was involved. I think that’s one of the things that motivated him about the environment, the war in Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement. Sometimes he was right; sometimes he was wrong, but he was right most of the time. And he set out to make the country in what he imagined it was meant to be, what it could be. Whatever was going on, he was there because he had a sense of how it impacted everyone. It was not just personal. It was America.

He said something wonderful a few years ago: “My job is to show folks there’s a lot of good music in this world, and if used right it may help to save the planet.” That seems to perfectly capture what he did with his life.

He really believed that the more people do things together, the quicker you can get things done. That is not a concept he invented; that’s a concept the United States invented. That’s why it’s called the United States. These commonwealths or provinces didn’t stand a chance against the big economies of the world. But together, they could do incredible things. Of course that’s history, but you have to apply that. So his fight for unions did not arise from some ideology. He saw that as being American.

A lot of people ascribe political reasons to his becoming involved in different causes, but they were bigger than that. They were not an ideology; they were part of his soul, and part of the American soul.

What will be the lasting legacy of Pete Seeger?

I think it’s too soon to tell, but I think for me personally it is the incredible feelings that can change a moment in time when people sing. When people voice their opinions together in song, or at a meeting, or in a congress, there are moments that change everything. I remember walking down the street with Pete and half a million other people at the rallies in the 60s and the empowerment that people felt singing together, walking together, standing side-by-side. It changed my life, and it changed everyone’s life who was there, whether they became singers or writers or insurance brokers. Whatever they did in life, those feelings remain an integral part of who they are. They know what’s possible because they were there to feel it. That is the legacy Pete leaves me personally.

 

The above appeared AT

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More Tributes to Pete can be found

Here

Here

Here

And Here

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Without Pete Seeger, the state of our union is far worse today than it was yesterday.

 

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