March 31 is Cesar Chavez’s birthday, and three states, including California, officially recognize Cesar Chavez Day as a holiday. Here’s a photographic look at the life and work of the late activist, whose campaign to organize farm workers still inspires.Top photo: Chavez speaks to members of the United Farm Workers during a rally in the Imperial Valley on Feb. 2, 1979. Credit: Steve Fontanini / Los Angeles Times. Bottom photo: Chavez speaks at the United Farm Workers political endorsement conference in Los Angeles on Sept. 7, 1980. The conference endorsed Jimmy Carter. Credit: Los Angeles Times.
This Day in History: Sharpeville Massacre (Human Rights Day SA).
On March 21, 1960, South African police officers opened fire on a crowd of black protesters who had surrounded a police station in Sharpeville, killing 69 people.
The Sharpeville protests began over South Africa’s pass laws, which required black South Africans to carry passbooks with them any time they traveled out of their designated home areas. The African National Congress, the leading anti-apartheid organization of the era, planned for an antipass campaign to begin March 31, 1960. The Pan Africanist Congress, a more militant offshoot of the A.N.C., organized a campaign that would begin 10 days before the A.N.C.’s.
On March 21, Pan Africanist leaders in Sharpeville assembled a demonstration of 5,000 to 7,000 people, in part through intimidating locals to join. In the morning, they led the protest to the Sharpeville police station, where they demanded to be arrested for not carrying passes. Police reinforcements arrived during the incident.
South Sudanese judges Wednesday ordered seven opposition leaders to return to face trial for treason, alongside four allies whose trial for allegedly trying to overthrow the president has already begun. The seven leaders, arrested after fighting broke out in December 15 and including the powerful former justice minister John Luk Jok, were released last month in Kenya. South Sudan’s government has been at war with rebel groups since mid-December when a clash between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to sacked vice president Riek Machar snowballed into full-scale fighting across the world’s newest nation. The four on trial in Juba are Pagan Amum, former secretary general of the ruling party, ex-national security minister Oyai Deng Ajak, former ambassador to the United States Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, and ex-deputy defence minister Majak D’Agoot.
Nuevo Laredo, Mexico - Ruben Flores, 64, sits inside his one-room office. He types letters for people who can’t write. He opened his stall in 1964, just across from the city’s municipal building. For nearly 50 years he’s helped people with everything from taxes to government forms, but his favorite letters to write are love letters. To him the border has changed a lot over time and today he says it makes it harder for people to get visas and for tourists to enter his city.
Throughout the years he’s seen a lot of life pass by and has many memories. One of his fondest — the night he and his friends went to see the Beatles in ‘A Hard Days Night.’ “I remember the day like it was yesterday,” said Flores, with a wide grin.
And yes, he really said that, believe me I didn’t prompt the pun. Half his answers were in Beatles lyrics.
Israeli firm markets drones to US police for “crowd control at a political rally.”
This week, Tunisia passed a truly historic constitution widely heralded as a progressive and monumental document.
Here’s just some of what these brave elected representatives agreed upon in the face of strong pressure from the more extreme factions of their parties:
- Guaranteed equality between men and women
- A constitutional mandate for environmental protection, only the third country in the world to do so
- A declaration that health care is a human right, with preventative care and treatment for every citizen
- A democracy with civil laws that respects freedom of religion
- An established right to due process and protection from tortureIn one stroke,Tunisia’s become more democratic than many Western countries have been for years.
This is a revolution of democracy and a great victory for human rights — and the more we recognize that, the more Tunisia can shine as an example for the Western and the Arab world!
Congratulate the Legislators!
MESSAGE FOR TUNISIAN LEGISLATORS: We , the citizens of the world, applaud your bravery in making a strong commitment to universal human values in your constitution. People deprived of democracy around the world look to you to set the example of human rights and democratic principle — hold true to the promises made in this revolutionary document!