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This week at a glance.

Feb 20

•Teachers fight back
•U.S. says no to no nukes
stand up

Feb 21
•Communist Manifesto
•Malcolm X assassinated
•Harrisburg Seven
•Libyans defect

Feb 22

•White Rose
•Anti-nuke plant civil disobedience
•Anti-anti-immigration outrage

Feb 23
•Nuclear-free Wales
•Goodbye Qaddafi

Feb 24
•José Martí
•Labor for peace
•Farmer says no to the draft
•Berrigan released
•Sandra Flute
Feb 25
•General strike against Nazis
•General underestimates Vietnamese resolve
•Congress moves to limit war
•MidEast Day of Rage

Feb 26
•And the Freedom Award goes to . . .
•Weapons inspectors in U.S.

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February 20, 1942

The vast majority of teachers in German-occupied Norway refused to comply with the forced Nazification of the school system. The government had ordered display of the portrait of German-installed Minister President Vidkun Quisling (formerly head of Nasjonal Samling, the Norwegian fascist party) in all classrooms, revision of the curriculum and textbooks to reflect Nazi ideology, and teaching of German to replace English as their second language.

The teachers organized and 12,000 of 14,000 nationwide wrote the same letter on this day to the education department refusing membership in the newly formed Nazi teachers’ association. Two days later clergy throughout the country read a manifesto against Nazi control of the schools.

How the teachers pushed back

Vidkun Quisling (on right), Germany’s puppet leader in Norway,
allowed Germany to invade his country and declared himself Prime Minister.

In Norway his name has become synonymous with traitor.

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February 20, 1956
The U.S. rejected a Soviet proposal to ban nuclear weapons tests and deployment. The U.S. continued atmospheric nuclear testing in the South Pacific and Nevada until 1963.

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February 20, 2011
Nearly 40,000 pro-Democracy Moroccans demonstrated peacefully in 57 towns and cities across the country. Though there was sporadic violence later that night, Interior minister Taeib Cherqaoui called the earlier efforts “the healthy practice of the freedom of expression.”

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February 21, 1848
“The Communist Manifesto,” written by 29-year-old Karl Marx with the assistance of Friedrich Engels, was published in London (in German) by a group of German-born revolutionary socialists known as the Communist League.

Friedrich Engels Karl Marx

The political pamphlet — arguably one of the most influential in history — proclaimed that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles," and that the inevitable victory of the proletariat, or working class, would put an end to class society forever.

Read the Manifesto

Karl Marx
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February 21, 1965

Malcolm X, an African-American nationalist and religious leader, was shot and killed in New York City by Black Muslims with whom he had broken the year before, as he began to address his Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City’s Washington Heights. His home had been firebombed just a few days earlier. He was 39.

Radio story on the late Manning Marable’s biography,
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinventiion

More on on Malcolm's assassination

" You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom."

--"Prospects for Freedom in 1965," speech, January 7 1965.

"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom."

- Malcolm X

Malcom X
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February 21, 1972

The trial began for Father Philip Berrigan and six other activists (the "Harrisburg Seven") in Pennsylvania. They were charged with conspiring in an alleged plot to kidnap Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Proceedings later ended in a mistrial.

Remembering Fr. Philip Berrigan
Daniel Berrigan, above, and his brother Philip in the documentary, "Investigation of a Flame." The film focuses on the Catonsville action.

"I see little difference between the world inside prison gates and the world outside.
A million million prison walls can't protect us, because the real dangers --- militarism, greed, economic inequality, fascism, police brutality --- lie outside, not inside, prison walls."
- Philip Berrigan

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February 21, 2011

Two Libyan Air Force fighter pilots defected to the Mediterranean island of Malta rather than carry out orders they had received to bomb civilian countrymen. Two helicopters with seven others landed in Malta to escape the violence. Colonel Muammar Qadaffi had ordered the attacks in attempt to quell the growing protests against his 42-year dictatorship.
Libya’s ambassadors to China, India, Indonesia and Poland, as well as Libya's representative to the Arab League and most, if not all, of its mission at the United Nations resigned the same day.


February 22, 1943

Sophie Scholl, a 22-year-old White Rose (Weisse Rose) activist at Munich University, was executed after being convicted of urging students to rise up and overthrow the Nazi government.

There are many memorials in Bavaria and Germany to Sophie and her group, the White Rose, but little is known outside of Germany. They were medical students who organized nonviolent resistance to Hitler, and were arrested for printing and distributing anti-Nazi flyers.

Sophie, her brother Hans, a former member of Hitler Youth who started White Rose, and Christof Probst, the three young people in the photo, were executed. Few White Rose members survived the war which is why the story is not well known.

Film made about Sophie Scholl’s courage & watch the trailer

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February 22, 1974

Farmer Sam Lovejoy toppled the weather tower for a proposed nuclear power plant in Montague, Massachusetts.
This was the first act of civil disobedience against the dangers of nuclear power in the U.S. Lovejoy turned himself in to the police, was tried but not convicted.

Sam Lovejoy
The full story of Sam Lovejoy’s action

Ballad of Sam Lovejoy by Rob Skelton

"If nuclear power plants are safe, let the commerical insurance industry insure them. Until these most expert judges of risk are willing to gamble with their money, I'm not willing to gamble with the health and safety of my family.."

- Donna Reed

February 22, 1997

Nearly 35,000 marched in Paris against a new anti-immigration bill. Many of the demonstrators chanted "First, second or third generation, we are all children of immigrants." Another 5,000 movie directors, writers, painters, actors, translators, journalists and teachers signed petitions pledging civil disobedience.

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February 23, 1982

Wales declared itself a nuclear weapons-free zone.
Its last nuclear power plant, Wylfa at Anglesey with two reactors, was shut down completely in 2015.

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February 23, 2011

Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, fell to rebels after three days of violent clashes with the forces of brutal dictator Colonel Muammar Qaddafi.
“He is gone. A dragon has been slain,” cried Ahmed Al-Fatuuir outside the secret police headquarters. “Now he has to explain where all the bodies are.

Graffiti showing a caricature of Gaddafi reading,
'The Monkey of Monkeys of Africa', a reference to his self-declared title 'The King of Kings of Africa'.

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February 24, 1895

José Martí, a Cuban revolutionary, poet, journalist and teacher, began the liberation struggle against Spanish control. He had been forced out of Cuba repeatedly (to Spain) for his opposition to colonial rule, and spent 15 years in the U.S. organizing the revolution just before returning home.

José Martí

I Cultivate a White Rose
By José Martí
I cultivate a white rose
In July as in January
For the sincere friend
Who gives me his hand frankly.
And for the cruel person who tears out
the heart with which I live,
I cultivate neither nettles nor thorns:
I cultivate a white rose

read about José Martí

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February 24, 1965

District 1199 of the health care workers’ union (now Service Employees International Union) in New York City became the first U.S. labor union to officially oppose the war in Vietnam.
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February 24, 1966

Barry Bondhus, classified 1-A (fully eligible) for the draft during the Vietnam War, dumped two buckets of manure in file drawers at the Elk River, Minnesota, draft board. A farmer’s son (one of ten brothers) from Big Lake who acted with the full support of his parents, he was charged with destruction of government property.
Father and son, Tom and Barry Bondhus, united in their opposition to the draft.
Photo: Pete Hohn, Minneapolis Tribune

His father, Tom, wrote a declaration of war on the government over their insistence on forcing his boys into the army. He said he was prepared to die to protect his sons but eager to negotiate.“My opinion is that since our constitution guarantees: Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness; and because the army denies all three; the draft is not lawful.”
Barry, sometimes referred to as “the Big Lake One,” who listed his race as “human” on the draft forms, served 14 months in jail and prison for his action.

Perspective on the case and the Bondhus family more than 50 years later

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February 24, 1972

Daniel Berrigan (one of the "Catonsville 9") was released after 18 months of a three-year term. He went to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where his brother Phil Berrigan was on trial, also for anti-Vietnam War activities [see February 21, 1972].

Investigation of a Flame, a film about the Berrigan brothers and the Catonsville 9

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February 24, 2012

Syndicated talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh began a three-broadcast-day-long campaign attacking Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke (rhymes with book) for her testimony before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
The previous week she had been invited to testify on the subject of federal requirements for contraceptive coverage in health insurance policies before the Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Instead, Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) declared her testimony inappropriate (she is past president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice), instead hearing from five men. Committee member Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney asked, “Where are the women?”
Fluke talked about the high cost of contraception and the non-pregnancy-related importance of such medications for some women.
Limbaugh spent six hours on air demeaning her personally and derided her as a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

Watch Sandra Fluke’s testimony:

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February 25, 1941

A general strike was called in Amsterdam to protest Nazi persecution of Jews under the German Nazi occupation. The previous weekend 425 Jewish men and boys had been imprisoned (only two survived the war). Truck drivers, dock and metal workers, civil servants and factory employees — Christians, Liberals, Social Democrats and Communists — answered the call and brought the city to a standstill. The work stoppages spread to Zaanstreek, Kennemerland and Utrecht.
Two days later the strike was called off: nine people were dead, 50 injured and another 200 arrested, some of whom were to die in the concentration camps.
The Dokwerker” is a statue by sculptor Mari Andriessen in Amsterdam’s Jonas Daniel Meyer Square commemorating the February 1941 strike. It is frequestly the rallying point for demonstrations against racism.

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February 25, 1968

Discussing the war capacity of North Vietnam, a country that had been fighting for its independence for 23 years and had just staged the massive, successful Tet Offensive, U.S. General William C. Westmoreland stated, "I do not believe Hanoi can hold up under a long war."
He was replaced as commander in Vietnam less than four months later.
Vietnam commander General William Westmoreland meeting with President Lyndon Johnson
Westmoreland’s life and career

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February 25, 1971

Legislation was introduced in both houses of Congress to forbid U.S. military support of any South Vietnamese invasion of North Vietnam without prior congressional approval. This bill was a result of the controversy that arose following the invasion of Laos by South Vietnamese forces.
On February 8, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam had launched a major cross-border operation into Laos to interdict activity along the Ho Chi Minh Trail and destroy the North Vietnamese supply dumps in the area. The Ho Chi Minh Trail, named for the leader of North Vietnam, was an informal network of jungle trails down which supplies came from the north, supplying insurgents and troops in the south.
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February 25, 2011

A Day of Rage saw demonstrations across the Middle East. Protesters in Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, and Bahrain showed their support variously for an end to corruption and income inequality, political reform and better public services, and the replacement of long-running dictatorships with democratic regimes.
Day of Rage in Taiz, Yemen
Reports from throughout the region


February 26, 1966

Four thousand picketed outside New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel as President Lyndon Johnson received the National Freedom Award. As Johnson began his speech in defense of his Vietnam policies, James Peck of the War Resisters League jumped to his feet and shouted, "Mr. President, peace in Vietnam!"
Julian Bond in 1966

On the streets, meanwhile, activist A.J. Muste presented the crowd's own "Freedom Award" to Julian Bond, who had been denied his seat in the Georgia legislature for refusing to disavow his opposition to the war, and for his support of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.

"Martin Luther King belonged to another transcendent generation. A generation born into segregation; a generation freed from racism's restraints by their own efforts; a generation equally determined to see their way as free women and men."

- Julian Bond

February 26, 1998

Libby Davies

An international Citizens' Weapons Inspection Team, led by Canadian Member of Parliament Libby Davies (NDP-Vancouver East), was denied entry to determine the presence or absence of weapons of mass destruction at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Washington, nuclear submarine base, just 12 km (7 miles) from Seattle and less than 60 km (37 miles) from Canada.

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