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Bush, Clinton, Obama to eulogise John Lewis at funeral | News

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When John Lewis is mourned, revered and celebrated at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday, he returns to a sacred place imbued with civil rights history.

The arc of Lewis’s legacy of activism will once again be tied to Ebenezer’s former Pastor Martin Luther King Jr, whose sermons Lewis discovered while scanning the radio dial as a 15-year-old boy growing up in then-segregated Alabama.

King continued to inspire Lewis’s civil rights work for the next 65 years as he fought segregation during sometimes bloody marches, Greyhound bus “Freedom Rides” across the South and later during his long tenure in the US Congress.

Lewis died on July 17 at the age of 80.

Former President Barack Obama will be attending Thursday’s funeral and is expected to address mourners, according to a person familiar with the arrangements who was not authorised to speak publicly.

A mourner shows a card as he waits for the coffin of John Lewis to arrive at the state capital in Atlanta [Brynn Anderson/AP Photo/Brynn Anderson]

Former President George W Bush’s office said the he and former First Lady Laura Bush will also attend.

“He was my hero,” Ebenezer’s senior pastor, the Reverend Raphael Warnock, said in an interview late on Wednesday. “He laid it all on the line, at the risk of life and limb.”

“He read the Gospel, and he actually believed it – love your enemies,” added Warnock, who will officiate the funeral.

When Lewis was 15, he heard King’s sermons on WRMA, a radio station in Montgomery, Alabama, he recalled in an interview for the Southern Oral History Program.

“Later I saw him on many occasions in Nashville while I was in school between 1958 and ’61,” Lewis said. “In a sense, he was my leader.”

King was “the person who, more than any other, continued to influence my life, who made me who I was,” Lewis wrote in his 1998 autobiography, Walking with the Wind.

By the summer of 1963, Lewis was addressing thousands of people during the March on Washington, speaking shortly before King gave his famous I Have a Dream speech. He spoke then about Black people beaten by police and jailed – themes that resonate vividly in today’s times.

“My friends, let us not forget that we are involved in a serious social revolution,” Lewis told the huge crowd on the Washington Mall.

“To those who have said, ‘Be patient and wait,’ we have long said that we cannot be patient,” he added. “We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now! We are tired. We are tired of being beaten by policemen. We are tired of seeing our people locked up in jail over and over again.”

In 1965, Lewis was beaten by Alabama state troopers in the city of Selma in what became known as Bloody Sunday.

Last Sunday, his coffin was carried across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. The wagon rolled over a carpet of rose petals on the bridge that spans the Alabama River.

On the south side of the bridge, where Lewis was attacked by the law officers, family members placed red roses over which the carriage rolled, marking the spot where Lewis spilled his blood and suffered a head injury.

Lewis was later awarded the Medal of Freedom by the nation’s first Black president in 2011.

He spent more than 30 years in Congress, and his district included most of Atlanta.

On Monday, a memorial service at the US Capitol in Washington drew congressional leaders from both parties. Lewis was the first Black legislator to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

On Wednesday he was lauded as a warrior and hero during a ceremony at the Georgia Capitol, where people paid their final respects to the civil rights icon in one of the last memorials.

Lewis was a member of Ebenezer, and “it was my honour to serve as pastor to John Lewis, a man of faith and a true American patriot who selflessly risked life and limb in the sacred cause of truth-telling and justice-making in the world,” Warnock said in a statement before the funeral.

“He was wounded for America’s transgressions, crushed for our iniquities and by his bruises we are healed,” Warnock added. “Today we weep. Tomorrow we continue the work of healing that was his life’s work.”





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

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Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

ChangeYouCanTrust

CountryBeforeSelf

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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?

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The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail

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Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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