Tag Archives: This day in history

Brief reflection on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination 

By ISAAC SANEY*

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

Today, April 4th, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. King’s influence and impact is profound and lasting, shaping a generation of Black activists, artists, and intellectuals. His assassination’s anniversary is, therefore, a time for serious contemplation of his legacy.

In the years following the 1963 March On Washington, he augmented his eloquent and poignant “I Have a Dream” vision with a deepening opposition to Washington’s foreign policy and to the economic system that produced aggression abroad and inequality and poverty at home. Continue reading

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History of International Women’s Day

Historic site in Copenhagen, Denmark where women from around the world gathered for the Second International Conference of Socialist Women in 1910 and passed the resolution establishing International Women’s Day.

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This day. Anniversary of Dresden fire bombing – Allied war crime prelude to the Cold War

(FILES) Photo dated 25 February 1945 sho

Aftermath of the 1945 bombing of Dresden, Germany by Allied forces – at the Old Market, following bombings on 13 February 1945 | WALTER HAHN/AFP/Getty Images

By DOUGAL MACDONALD

On the night of February 13-14, 1945, the British Royal Air Force (RAF) bomber command carried out two devastating attacks on the German city of Dresden. At the time, Dresden’s pre-war population of 640,000 had been swelled by the presence of an estimated 100,000-200,000 refugees. Seven hundred and twenty-two aircraft dropped 1,478 tons of high explosives and 1,181 tons of incendiaries on the city. The resulting firestorm destroyed an area of 13 square miles, including the historic Altstadt Museum. Shortly after noon on February 14, a fleet of 316 U.S. bombers made a third attack, dropping a further 488 tons of high explosives and 294 tons of incendiaries. On February 15, two hundred and eleven U.S. bombers made a fourth attack, dropping 466 tons of high explosives. [Dresden was attacked again on March 2, this time by the Americans alone. Mustang fighter escorts machine-gunned fleeing civilians while the heavy B-17s achieved the singular distinction of sinking a hospital ship on the Elbe, filled with injured from the earlier raids.–ed.]

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Today is Robbie Burns Day

Today (January 25) is Robbie Burns Day. 25 January 2016 marks 257 years to the day since Scotland’s national poet was born. His polemics against the exploitation, injustice and oppression of his time enraged the establishment and won him enduring love from the peoples of all lands.

burns_statue_Halifax.600x840

The statue of Robert Burns in Halifax’s Victoria Park Square is the centre of innumerable political rallies., as this one in October 2006 against the apartheid wall in Occupied Palestine | Photo courtesy of and copyright 2006, Howard Harawitz, All rights reserved.

One of his best poems, also the basis of the great German revolutionary song of 1848, Trotz Alledem:

Is There For Honest Poverty / A Man’s A Man For A’ That (1795)

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an’ a’ that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that.
Our toils obscure an’ a’ that,
The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
The Man’s the gowd for a’ that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an’ a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man’s a Man for a’ that:
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that;
The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
Is king o’ men for a’ that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca’d a lord,
Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
He’s but a coof for a’ that:
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
His ribband, star, an’ a’ that:
The man o’ independent mind
He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an’ a’ that;
But an honest man’s abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
Their dignities an’ a’ that;
The pith o’ sense, an’ pride o’ worth,
Are higher rank than a’ that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a’ that,)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,

Shall brothers be for a’ that.
Translation
Is there for honest poverty
That hangs his head, an’ a’ that
The coward slave, we pass him by
We dare be poor for a’ that
For a’ that, an’ a’ that
The rank is but the guinea’s stamp
The man’s the gowd(gold) for a’ that
What though on hamely(homely) fare we dine
Wear hoddin grey(course wollen cloth), an’ a’ that
Gie(give) fools their silks, and knaves their wine
A man’s a man, for a’ that
For a’ that, an’ a’ that
Their tinsel show an’ a’ that
The honest man, though e’er sae poor
Is king o’ men for a’ that
Ye see yon birkie(fellow) ca’d a lord
Wha struts an’ stares an’ a’ that
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word
He’s but a coof(fool) for a’ that
For a’ that, an’ a’ that
The man o’ independent mind
He looks an’ laughs at a’ that
A prince can mak'(make) a belted knight
A marquise, duke, an’ a’ that
But an honest man’s aboon( above) his might
Gude(good) faith, he maunna( must not) fa’ that
For a’ that an’ a’ that
Their dignities an’ a’ that
The pith o’ sense an’ pride o’ worth
Are higher rank that a’ that
Then let us pray that come it may
(as come it will for a’ that)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth
Shall bear the gree( have priority) an’ a’ that
For a’ that an’ a’ that
It’s coming yet for a’ that
That man to man, the world o’er
Shall brithers( brothers) be for a’ that

Preview YouTube video Is There For Honest Poverty (For A’ That) – Andy M. Stewart

Is There For Honest Poverty (For A’ That) – Andy M. Stewart

 

FURTHER READING ON THIS WEBSITE: 

Robbie Burns, Grand Falls, Mackenzie and Gaza

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Centenary of the Halifax Explosion: Time to disturb the sleep of the unjust

Act of God, the harbour pilot, the navy?

The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy: Inquiry and Intrigue

John Griffith Armstrong
(Vancouver: UBC Press, 2002)
Hardcover, 256 pp, 6 x 9 inches, 16 b/w photos, maps
Index, Bibliography and Chapter end-notes
ISBN 0-7748-0890-X
$39.95
New in Paperback: July, 2003
ISBN 0774808918 $24.95

Reviewed by GARY ZATZMAN*

Painting of the Halifax Explosion

Was it an “accident”? Did the harbour-pilot do it? Why did the British Admiralty send such a dangerous ship into the harbour of Halifax in the first place? Why was it diverted from New York? Why did the Americans and the French load explosive cargo in such a way? How much did the navy know – and when did they know it? The Halifax Explosion of 6 December 1917, the most destructive man-made explosion before the dropping of The Bomb, left half the population homeless, levelled residential areas of the working class, the poor, parts of the African-Nova Scotian community at Africville and the Mi’kmaq community at Tufts Cove, discredited the reputations of a number of officials and continues to inflame controversy to this day. John Griffith Armstrong’s The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy: Inquiry and Intrigue heaps another faggot on this fire. Focusing on the official inquiry following the disaster, Armstrong clarifies the role and responsibility of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). Continue reading

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On the anniversary of the Halifax Explosion: The organization of the city as a war port is the ‘business’ best adapted for profit

Painting of the Halifax Explosion

Infamy of the massacre of the Canadian people in Halifax

December 6th is the centenary of the horrific Halifax Explosion of 1917 – the largest explosion in history before the infamous devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by US atomic bombs in 1945. The tragedy is being marked by an intensive program of events and initiatives, including scores of books, exhibits, radio and TV programs, memorial meetings in Halifax and Boston, and a stamp issued by Canada Post.

The following article by Tony Seed reports on a paper presented by anti-war activists in Halifax in 1983 and expands on it for this publication. On this date, we pay our deepest respects to the families of all those who died as a result of this disaster. Continue reading

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This Day. Faris Awdah martyred

Seventeen years ago the Palestinian hero, Faris Awdah (Fares Udah), 13, was martyred while facing Israeli occupation tanks during an attack on the outskirts of Gaza City on 29 October 2000. The youth survived the encounter with the tank only to be assassinated by an Israeli sniper a week later on November 8th under the pretext the youth was a “terrorist”. Faris was memorialized on the front cover of the acclaimed Dossier on Palestine (Shunpiking Magazine, Halifax, 2002).

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