With Nationwide Protests Against Police Brutality, Activists Declare: “Black Spring” has Begun

‘The war on Black people in Baltimore is the same war on Black people across America,’ declares grassroots organizers Ferguson Action.

by: Lauren McCauley

Fueled by the announcement on Friday that six police officers would be charged for their role in the tragic death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, activists are holding a national day of protest on Saturday to amplify the growing call for racial justice and end to police brutality against people of color.”#BlackSpring has begun,” event flyers announced. Last week, in the wake of Gray’s death and the local protests and police crackdown that followed, solidarity demonstrations began springing up in cities across the country, with many more expected for the weekend.On Saturday, demonstrations are planned for over 25 cities, including: Boulder, Colorado; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Cleveland, Toledo, and Columbus, Ohio; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Wilmington and Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Albany and New York City, New York; Knoxville, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; Orlando and Tampa, Florida; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky; Providence, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; Richmond, Virginia; Los Angeles, California; Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Toronto, Ontario in Canada.And in Baltimore, protesters will march from the Gilmore Homes housing projects where Gray was arrested and end with a massive rally at City Hall.”This is not a Baltimore issue. This is an American issue,” Atlanta resident James Camper, who drove ten hours to participate in the Baltimore rally, told Washington Post reporter Justin Jouvenal.While some reports say that the day of action is being dubbed a “victory rally” after news that local police officers are being charged for Gray’s death, others say that the one instance of accountability does not erase the countless examples of discrimination and harm with impunity against Black communities.”The war on Black people in Baltimore is the same war on Black people across America,” declares grassroots organizers Ferguson Action. “Decades of poverty, unemployment, under-funded schools and police terrorism have reached a boiling point in Baltimore and cities around the country.”Organizers say that after the meager reforms—including the promise of more police body cameras—that came following the protests last fall, communities are calling for real, structural change. Their demands, they say, “speak to a world where all Black Lives Matter.”

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Source: With Nationwide Protests Against Police Brutality, Activists Declare: “Black Spring” has Begun | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

40 Years After Vietnam War, Prime Minister Decries ‘Barbarous Crimes’ of US

The US ’caused immeasurable losses and pain to our people and country,’ said Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung

by: Sarah Lazare

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung speaks at a military parade as part of the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam, April 30, 2015. (Photo: Reuters/kham)At a ceremony on Thursday to mark the 40th anniversary of the end of what the Vietnamese call the War of American Aggression, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung sharply denounced the “barbarous crimes” committed by the United States.”They [the U.S.] committed countless barbarous crimes, caused immeasurable losses and pain to our people and country,” Dung said to the crowd of state leaders, war veterans, and civilians gathered in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon.”Our homeland had to undergo extremely serious challenges,” he added.At least three million Vietnamese people were killed in the war, which also took the lives of 58,000 U.S. military service members.The chemical weapon known as Agent Orange, deployed heavily by the U.S. military forces, continues to cause birth defects and take life in Vietnam. According to the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, approximately three million Vietnamese people have faced deadly sickness, disability, and disease as a result.The U.S. has never compensated Vietnamese people for the destruction caused by Agent Orange or the war at large.

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Source: 40 Years After Vietnam War, Prime Minister Decries ‘Barbarous Crimes’ of US | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

It’s On: Bernie Sanders to Announce Bid for Presidency on Thursday

Sanders, the longest-serving Independent member of Congress, will reportedly run as a Democrat

by: Common Dreams staff 

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at a luncheon at the National Press Club on Monday, March 9, 2015 in Washington. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)

Sources reported Tuesday afternoon that U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), will officially launch a bid for the White House—as a Democrat—on Thursday.Sanders will release a short statement on that day and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks, according to Vermont Public Radio.A Democratic source close to the senator confirmed to The Hill that Sanders will announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in a statement later this week, before heading back to his home state for a campaign kick-off event early next month.VPR reports:Sanders’ entry into the Democratic race ensures that Hillary Clinton will face a challenge to win the support of the liberal wing of the party.Sanders’ basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished.

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Source: It’s On: Bernie Sanders to Announce Bid for Presidency on Thursday | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community