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‘That same fight’: DC civil rights march commemorates MLK’s dream | News

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Tens of thousands of people gathered in Washington, DC on Friday to denounce racism, protest against police brutality and commemorate the anniversary of the 1963 civil rights march when Martin Luther King Jr made his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech.

In his iconic address, King lamented “the unspeakable horrors of police brutality” and envisioned a reality, a future where his children would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character”.

Kimberly Jones, a Black woman from Illinois, was one of hundreds of marchers in Washington DC, lining up to enter the National Mall.

“Fifty-seven years later we are still fighting that same fight,” Jones said, “the fight for equality.

“I’m angry, I’m frustrated, and I’m disappointed,” she said.

Participants lining up to attend the March on Washington on Friday August 28, 2020, at the Lincoln Memorial on the 57th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech [AP Photo/Alex Brandon] 

The march comes at the end of a summer rocked by nationwide protests and racial unrest over police killings of Black people – sparked by the death of George Floyd, who died in late May after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.

Civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network began planning for the march back in June in the wake of Floyd’s death.

Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, civil rights attorney Ben Crump and the relatives of an ever-growing list of police killings in recent years, including Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor – are expected to take the stage. 

The protest, called the “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks,” gained new urgency in recent days, after police shot another Black man, Jacob Blake, multiple times in the back at close range in front of his children in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake’s father, who is to speak said his son has been paralysed.

“I’m sick and tired of everything that’s been going on,” said Martin Johnson from Baltimore. “Police shootings of Black people continue to happen no matter what we say.”

After the speeches at the Lincoln Memorial, participants will march to the nearby Martin Luther King memorial.

Temperature checks

People attending the March on Washington, have their temperatures checked before entering the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, on the 57th anniversary of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech [AP Photo/Julio Cortez] 

But unlike the historic 1963 event, when more than 200,000 people took part to demand equality and an end to racial segregation, this year’s march comes in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, a disease that has killed more than 180,000 Americans and has disproportionately affected Black people.

Participants were required to wear masks and temperature checks were conducted at the entrance. Hand sanitiser and face masks were being distributed by volunteers.

Organisers say they expected 50,000 to attend the march in Washington, DC after shuttle buses from coronavirus hotspots were cancelled. But hundreds of thousands will tune in to the virtual commemoration featuring civil rights activist Reverend William Barber. It will also include a lineup of politicians, entertainers and celebrities.

Sharelle Jackson, from New Orleans, Louisiana whose own daughter had contracted the virus earlier this summer, said she was determined to come, despite the risks.

“This is so important, I will be as safe as possible, wear a mask, social distance and use hand sanitizer,” she said, “it’s a sacrifice that needs to be made for the change that we require.”

The event is also taking place during a fraught political moment, following national conventions by the Democratic and Republican parties over the past two weeks.

Trump, who is running for a second term in office on a law-and-order platform, has not denounced Blake’s killing and on Thursday announced that he has dispatched federal forces to quell the protests in Kenosha. 

But Trump is trailing Democratic challenger Joe Biden in most opinion polls ahead of the November 3 election. 

Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, recorded a three-minute video on Twitter, which is expected to be played during the march. 

She said if civil rights activists from the 1960s were here today, they “would share in our anger and frustration as we continue to see Black men and women slain in our streets and left behind by an economy and justice system that have too often denied Black folks our dignity and rights”. 

“They would share our anger and pain, but no doubt they would turn it into fuel,” Harris said. “They would be lacing up their shoes, locking arms and continuing right alongside us to continue in this ongoing fight for justice.”

Groups of people, all wearing masks were slowly gathering on the grass around the reflection pool early Friday morning, with handmade posters resting on their laps, while listening to the first speakers taking the podium.

Speakers talked about the importance of justice, reparations for Black people, police reforms, and referenced John Lewis, the late lawmaker who spoke at the 1963 march. They spoke of hope and of the importance of voting in November’s election.

Water bottles and energy drinks were being distributed, on what was expected to be a hot and humid day.

Victor Radcliffe who came from Dallas, Texas, said that it was deeply meaningful to him to come on this day to demand equality and change, as well as commemorate King’s vision.

“Fifty-seven years ago Martin Luther King was out here, and we’re still fighting for that dream,” Radcliffe said, “but the reality is, we’re still living a nightmare.”





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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