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Alice Walker said of the civil rights movement: ‘It gave us history and men greater than ­presidents … It gave us hope for tomorrow. It called us to life.
Fifty years on, the civil rights act has remade US politics
On 21 June 1964 three young civil rights activists, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman, went to investigate the burning of a black church near Philadelphia, Mississippi. It was the Freedom Summer. Young idealistic and militant whites and blacks from north and south came to the state with the most vicious reputation for racial violence, to register black voters and challenge civil rights abuses. That afternoon, deputy sheriff Cecil Price stopped their car and took them in, ostensibly for a speeding violation. While they were in his custody he alerted local Klan members. When the men were released that night, Klansmen – organised by Edgar Ray Killen – followed them, murdered them and buried them in a nearby earthen dam.


Greek newspapers in Athens after the European parliament elections. ‘In six countries, socialist-oriented groups critical of neoliberal globalisation got double figures, including Syriza, which topped the poll in Greece.’ Photograph: Louisa Gouliam
Who's in control – nation states or global corporations?
The night in 2002 when Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won his landslide victory in Brazil's presidential elections, he warned supporters: "So far, it has been easy. The hard part begins now." He wasn't wrong. As head of the leftwing Workers' party he was elected on a platform of fighting poverty and redistributing wealth. A year earlier, the party had produced a document, Another Brazil is Possible, laying out its electoral programme. In a section entitled "The Necessary Rupture", it argued: "Regarding the foreign debt, now predominantly private, it will be necessary to denounce the agreement with the IMF, in order to free the economic policy from the restrictions imposed on growth and on the defence of Brazilian commercial interests."
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