Re-name Selma Edmund Pettus bridge, petition


This video from the USA says about itself:

Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama (March 7, 1965).

From change.org, about Alabama in the USA:

Petitioning U.S National Park Services and 2 others

Remove Selma’s KKK Memorialization: Rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge

Fifty years ago, the Voting Rights Movement marched through Selma and over the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The marches across the bridge led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and today the bridge is a symbol of nonviolent victory for change!

Unfortunately, the bridge is STILL named after a man who served as Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan, was a Confederate General, and was later elected as a United States Senator.

The bridge was the site of “Bloody Sunday”. On March 7, 1965, hundreds of nonviolent protesters attempted to march from Selma to Montgomery for their right to vote. But as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were met by Alabama state troopers and deputized civilians who were armed with billy clubs, tear gas, and cattle prods and attacked the marchers and drove them back to Brown Chapel Church.

How could a landmark that holds so much significance for the civil rights movement be named after a man who not only supported slavery, but held one of the highest positions within the Ku Klux Klan?

It’s time for the state of Alabama, the city of Selma, and the National Park Service to remove a KKK leader’s name from the historic bridge.

Selma and the Voting Rights Movement altered the course of history forever, and Selma has done too much for this country to remain unchanged. Selma is currently 80% African American, with a black mayor and majority African American local city officials. The name Edmund Pettus is far from what the city of Selma should honor. Let’s change the image of the bridge from hatred and rename it to memorialize hope and progress.

Please sign our petition calling on Selma and Alabama leaders and the National Park Service to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

German Pegida Islamophobic fuehrer Bachmann, Hitler copycat


Pegida leader Lutz Lutz Bachmann posing as Adolf Hitler lookalike

Apparently, for German Pegida Islamophobic leader Lutz Bachmann, his present long criminal record is not long enough yet. He wants to emulate the biggest criminal of all time, Adolf Hitler.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Germany’s Pegida chief Lutz Bachmann ‘poses as Hitler’ with the caption: ‘He’s back!

The leader of the right-wing anti-immigration group has since deleted his Facebook profile

Adam Whitnall

Wednesday 21 January 2015

The leader of the German right-wing political movement Pegida has come under fire after it was claimed he posed as Hitler in a Facebook post with the caption: “He’s back!”

Lutz Bachmann is the leader and most recognisable figurehead of the “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West” group, which has attracted up to 25,000 people to its anti-immigration marches in Dresden.

But in an online article entitled “The Two Faces of Lutz Bachmann”, the Dresden Morgenpost reproduced pictures which it claimed were from his Facebook profile showing him posing “in the style of Adolf Hitler”, as well as another from December 2012 of a Ku Klux Klan member and the slogan: “Three Ks a day keeps the minorities away.”

The images were all allegedly posted by Bachmann long before Pegida came to prominence with its first major marches in September. The leader, who insists his group’s views are “moderate”, reportedly deleted his Facebook profile after he was contacted by Morgenpost.

One of the newspaper’s readers, whose name was not revealed, provided screenshots which she claimed showed a Facebook conversation where Bachmann seemed to say there was no such thing as a “real war refugee” and describe immigrants as “cattle” and “garbage”.

“He spoke in a derogatory manner about other people who didn’t live up to his ideas,” she said. “When I challenged him, he blocked my profile.”

The “Hitler” picture has since appeared on the front page of Germany’s Bild, and Bachmann has not denied that it appeared on his page. …

Read more:

Anti-Islam demos spark furious right-wing power struggle

‘Pegida’ movement attack migrant youths

Angela Merkel: ‘They have hatred in their hearts’

See also here.

Update: The founder of the PEGIDA movement has stepped down, following a furore over an image of him on Facebook sporting a Hitler-style toothbrush mustache. Lutz Bachmann had at first tried to laugh off the image as a joke: here.

Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann steps down over Hitler photograph: here.

United States House majority whip’s links to nazi David Duke


Pictures from Japanese neo-Nazi Kazunari Yamada’s website show him posing with Shinzo Abe’s internal affairs minister, Sanae Takaichi, and his party’s policy chief, Tomomi Inada. Photograph: Guardian

Recently, ministers of the Rightist government in Japan posed for photos with the fuehrer of Japan’s nazi party, everyone smiling.

Still more recently, something similar happened in England, with the violent ‘Britain First’ nazi party, posing for photos with the Ukip party.

Now, something similar in the USA.

By Gabriel Black in the USA:

US House majority whip spoke at white supremacist conference

31 December 2014

On Monday, Republican Representative Steven Scalise, the House majority whip and third most powerful GOP member of Congress, confirmed through an advisor that he spoke at a Louisiana conference called by white nationalist and neo-Nazi leaders in 2002. The exposure comes a week after Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) pleaded guilty to felony tax fraud and days before the new Republican majority takes control of the House.

Organized by the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO), the 2002 conference was led by ex-Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke. Duke “told reporters in 2000 that white people in America were facing a ‘genocide,’ and wrote in a letter to the Shreveport Times that European Americans were ‘internally displaced people’ deserving of refugee status and government protection,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

This video from the USA says about itself:

30 December 2014

Republican Steve Scalise, a congressman from Lousiana, spoke to the “European Unity and Rights Organization”, a group formed by white supremacist, and former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.

The Gabriel Black article continues:

Duke, who soon after the conference pleaded guilty to mail fraud, moved to Moscow in the early 2000s “to struggle against people of other colors and Jews,” the SPLC notes.

A writer for EURO’s now nonfunctioning website, Ian Mosley, wrote in 2007, “The beautiful Germany of the 1930s with blonde children happily running through every village has been replaced with a multi-racial cesspool. Out of work Africans can be seen shuffling along the same streets, which used to be clean and safe in the days of the National Socialists.”

EURO’s 2002 conference in Metairie, Louisiana was titled the “2002 National/International EURO Workshop on Civil Rights.” Duke addressed the conference from Europe. In Louisiana, Duke’s protégé, Vincent Breeding, led the proceedings.

According to the Louisiana politics blog, CenLamar, which first broke the story, Breeding, whose real name is Bruce Alan Breeding, was previously a member of National Alliance. National Alliance’s leader Dr. William Pierce wrote Hunter, a 1989 novel whose protagonists carry out a bombing nearly identical to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The book was found among Timothy McVeigh’s possessions and is purported to have influenced him.

The Washington Post reported that Scalise’s “political circle” was working around the clock Monday night trying to describe Scalise’s 2002 actions as the work of a “disorganized and ill-prepared young politician who didn’t pay close attention to invitations.” Scalise told the local Times-Picayune, “For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like this is insulting and ludicrous.” According to Scalise’s political team, Scalise would not have attended the event had he known its political content.

In fact, Scalise was a featured speaker at the event. A write-up on the white-supremacist site stormfront.org in 2002 , titled “A New Breeding of National Activism,” features Scalise’s speech prominently, not even mentioning Duke’s or Breeding’s remarks.

A large portion of the report discusses then-State Representative Scalise, who “brought into sharp focus the dire circumstances pervasive in many important, under-funded needs of the community at the expense of graft within the Housing and Urban Development Fund, an apparent give-away to a selective group based on race.”

This is a significant quote because it punctures whatever claim Scalise has to being innocent of the politics of the event. Scalise, according to this attendee, put forward a racialist understanding of state politics that supported the white-nationalist agenda of the conference. Later, EURO gave support for Scalise’s run for the 1st Congressional District of Louisiana, stating, “If Duke does not make the election for whatever reason, this gentleman would be a good alternative.”

The Washington Post reports that local organizations were well aware of the conference back in 2002, with a local sports team worried about staying at the same hotel as the conference, fearing for the safety of their African American members. In the words of Lamar White, who publishes CenLamar, “Unless Steve Scalise is totally incompetent, he knew exactly where he was headed when he parked his car in the lot in front of the Landmark Best Western.”

These revelations underscore a dirty secret of American politics, concealed by the mass media and both of the principal political parties, namely the intimate connections between the Republican Party and extreme rightwing and fascistic organizations.

In 1999 it was revealed that Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), a member of the house Judiciary Committee and one of the prosecutors in the Clinton impeachment trial, was a keynote speaker at a convention of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). The CCC is a white supremacist group with ties to the Ku Klux Klan and neo-fascist groups.

During this same exposure, Trent Lott, the Senate Majority Leader, and Republican from Mississippi, was revealed to also have links to the CCC. In the CCC’s publication, The Citizen Informer, various racist, anti-Semitic, and fascistic diatribes have been penned. One CCC columnist wrote in 1998, “Any effort to destroy the race by a mixture of black blood is an effort to destroy Western civilization itself.” In 2002, Lott expressed regret that Strom Thurmond, of the segregationist States Rights Party, did not win the 1948 presidential election.

This author also recommends:

Networks fail to report Republican ties to racist groups: A curious silence
[20 January 1999]

SPLC Hatewatch: Rep. Scalise’s denials are not believable: here.

SCALISE’S FUTURE UNCERTAIN “The scandal over Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise’s 2002 speech to a white supremacist group has so badly damaged his image inside the House Republican Conference that he faces serious questions over his political future, according to interviews with multiple aides and lawmakers — including some Scalise allies. Scalise’s job as House majority whip remains safe — and Speaker John Boehner has publicly backed him — but he may be too toxic for some Republican circles.” [Politico]

House Republicans re-elect Congressional whip with ties to neo-Nazi group: here.

Nazis and the Republican Party: here.

Murdered United States civil rights activists get Medal of Freedom


This video from the USA is called Angela Lewis On Her Father, James E. Chaney, & The Mississippi Burning Case. 8/4/2014.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Barack Obama presents Medal of Freedom to 19 activists including murdered civil rights campaigners

Tuesday 25th November 2014

US PRESIDENT Barack Obama presented the Medal of Freedom to 19 activists yesterday.

The group receiving the country’s highest civilian honour included actor Meryl Streep and singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder.

Posthumous medals were awarded to six individuals, among them civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were murdered in 1964 in Mississippi by the Ku Klux Klan.

However, the honour made their relatives uneasy.

They warned it could relegate the racial equality movement to history when it was still as relevant as ever.

“You know, the struggle in this country probably started with the first revolt on a slave ship and it continues now,” said Mr Schwerner’s widow Rita Bender.

And Mr Chaney’s sister, the Rev Julia Moss, said the award should be for all of those killed during the civil rights struggle.

“It’s really about all the families,” she said.

“It’s about the history of the pain of the African-American experience in Mississippi.”

Ku Klux Klan interview on BBC


This video from the USA is about the Ku Klux Klan and lynching.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Protests were also held outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House in Belfast yesterday over the publicly funded corporation’s decision to interview a Ku Klux Klan member on Wednesday’s Good Morning Ulster programme.

Belfast Trades Council and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Youth said the BBC’s decision beggars belief.

“The KKK are renowned for lynching people because of the colour of their skin. There can be no justification for these racist, divisive, reactionary beliefs nor should they be given the oxygen of publicity by the largest broadcaster on these islands,” they said.

Ku Klux Klan murder in Mississippi, USA, fifty years ago


This music video from the USA is called 12-string Guitar: Goodman Schwerner And Chaney (Including lyrics and chords). Written by Tom Paxton.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Murder in Mississippi

Saturday 21st June 2014

PETER FROST recounts a triple murder of civil rights activists in the US Deep South 50 years ago today

HALF a century ago this week on the night of June 21 1964 three brave young civil rights’ workers, James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner, were shot dead at close range by a police-led lynch mob.

Many of the murderers were members of the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in the little town of Philadelphia, Mississippi.

So who were these murder victims and why did they die?

Chaney was born in Meridian, Mississippi in 1943. At the age of 15, he and other black high-school students started wearing NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) badges. It was a brave act. His segregated school suspended him.

In late 1963, he signed up with the Congress of Racial Equality (Core) in Meridian. He organised voter education classes, introduced Core workers to local church leaders and used his local knowledge and contacts to help visiting Core volunteers.

In 1964 he organised a meeting between Mickey Schwerner, local leader of Core, with leaders of the Mt Nebo Baptist Church. Schwerner talked to the church members and encouraged them to use the church for voter education and registration.

Schwerner was white and Jewish. Born in New York in 1939, he studied sociology at Columbia University where he became involved in the struggle for civil rights.

He joined and later led a Core group on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. With his wife Rita he volunteered to work for National Core in Mississippi.

As soon as they reached Mississippi the Schwerners were targeted by the Ku Klux Klan.

This didn’t stop them establishing a Core community centre in Meridian.

Goodman was also white, Jewish and from New York. He too was born in 1939. His family and community had a long tradition of social justice. After college and a brief career as an actor, he switched to anthropology and his political awareness grew.

In 1964, Goodman volunteered to work on the Core Freedom Summer project to register blacks to vote in Mississippi.

By mid-June, Goodman joined Schwerner and Chaney in Mississippi, but already some unsavoury southern folk had their eye on these three young men.

The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission was strongly opposed to integration and civil rights. It paid agents to spy on anyone, especially northerners, suspected of activism.

Records, kept secret until opened by court order in 1998, revealed the state’s deep complicity in the murders of Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney.

State investigator AL Hopkins passed on information about the three men, including car registration numbers, on to the local sheriff who was deeply implicated in the murders.

On the morning of June 21, 1964, the three men set out for the little Mississippi town of Philadelphia where they were to investigate the recent burning of a black church helping with voter registration.

By the end of the day the three men would be cut down by a police-led Klan lynch mob.

Their murders sparked national outrage which forced the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), itself racked by racism and close to many of the white supremist organisations in the southern states, to reluctantly start an investigation.

J Edgar Hoover had no sympathy with civil rights groups and activists. President Lyndon Johnson had to use indirect threats of political reprisal to force Hoover to investigate.

It took FBI agents 44 days to find the three bodies in an earthen dam near the murder site.

In the early 1960s, Mississippi along with most of the US south was virtually an apartheid state with total segregation and no rights or democracy for black citizens.

Local politicians defied and ignored Supreme Court rulings. The white Mississippi establishment used bombings, murders, vandalism and intimidation to discourage local blacks demanding civil rights.

One of the most powerful racist groups was the 10,000-strong White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan was determined that blacks should not get votes, equality in education or anything else.

Schwerner and Chaney spoke to the congregation at Mount Zion Methodist church in Longdale, Mississippi. Their speech was about setting up a freedom school and encouraging blacks to register to vote.

The Klan’s angry response was to burn down the church and beat up members of the congregation.

So it was that on that fateful day Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner set off to investigate the destruction of the church. They understood the dangers and warned comrades “if we’re not back by 4pm start looking for us.”

Their decision would prove to be fatal. As they entered the Philadelphia city limits their station wagon had a flat tyre.

Deputy Sheriff Cecil Ray Price called up the highway patrol. When they arrived they promptly arrested the three civil rights campaigners.

It was 10pm before the three were released. As they drove off they realised they were being followed by a sheriff’s vehicle, a highway patrol car and other packed vehicles.

While they were in jail a lynch mob had been assembled and three murders had been planned.

Just two weeks before the murders nearly 300 White Knights gathered near Raleigh, Mississippi, to hear Imperial Wizard Bowers warn Klan members about the “nigger-communist invasion of Mississippi.”

Goodman and Schwerner were shot at point-blank range by Klan member Alton W Roberts. Roberts also shot Chaney in the head after another man James Jordan shot him in the stomach.

After the three men were killed, their bodies were loaded into their station wagon and were driven to an earth dam where Herman Tucker was waiting for the arrival of the lynch mob. He buried the bodies using a bulldozer. It had all been planned earlier in the day.

After the bodies were buried, Sherriff Price told the group: “Well boys, you’ve done a good job. You’ve struck a blow for the white man. Mississippi can be proud of you. You’ve let those agitating outsiders know where this state stands. Go home now and forget it.”

FBI director Hoover initially ordered a small local search but Attorney General Robert Kennedy had other ideas. He sent in 150 federal agents from New Orleans. The FBI eventually offered a $25,000 reward — worth about $190,000 today.

Mississippi officials resented the outside attention and continued the cover-up. County Sheriff Lawrence Rainey told the media: “They’re just hiding and trying to cause a lot of bad publicity for this part of the state.”

The Mississippi governor Paul Johnson threw in a red herring by suggesting that “they could be in Cuba.”

Finally five months later the FBI accused 21 Mississippi men of conspiracy to injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.

Still the Mississippi state officials refused to prosecute the killers for murder. The federal government charged 18 of the accused — not with murder but the much lesser crime of conspiring to deprive the three of their civil rights.

Those found guilty on October 20, 1967 were Cecil Price, Klan Imperial Wizard Samuel Bowers, Alton Wayne Roberts, Jimmy Snowden, Billey Wayne Posey, Horace Barnett and Jimmy Arledge.

Less than harsh sentences ranged from three to 10 years. Exhaustive appeals meant the seven did not go to jail until March 1970. All were out by 1976.

Sheriff Rainey was acquitted. Two of the defendants, EG Barnett, a candidate for sheriff, and Baptist minister Edgar Ray Killen, had been strongly implicated in the murders by witnesses but the jury came to a hung verdict — a lone juror stating she “could never convict a preacher.” The federal prosecutor decided not to retry them.

In 1989, on the 25th anniversary of the murders, the US Congress honoured the three murdered men. Senator Trent Lott and the rest of the Mississippi delegation refused to vote for it.

In 2005, over 40 years after the murder, a Mississippi grand jury finally indicted Killen on three counts of manslaughter, not murder. He was sentenced to three consecutive terms of 20 years.

It was the first and only time the state of Mississippi, rather than the federal authorities, took action against any of the racists involved in the killings.

National outrage over the murders swayed public opinion and this was an important factor in the introduction of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Today in the southern states of the US as well as here in Europe racist ideas are still to be heard. Brave people are still fighting racism in all its forms, and wherever those battles are fought the names of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner live on as an inspiring example to us all.

This Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of one of the most heinous crimes carried out during the long struggle to destroy the barriers of Jim Crow segregation in the American South. On the night of June 21, 1964, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, participants in the Freedom Summer campaign that aimed to add tens of thousands of disenfranchised African Americans to the voter rolls in the state of Mississippi, were murdered by a gang of Ku Klux Klansmen: here.