Michael Simmons delivering a speech at a rally of the Citizens Against the Far Right Movement in Hungary, protesting against planned neo-nazi demonstrations on August 15, 2009. Credit for the beautiful photo goes to our good friend JD.
Today, September 4, 2009, marks a 40 year anniversary in a life devoted to fighting for human rights. On September 4, 1969, Michael Simmons began a 30-month prison sentence for his conscientious objection to the Vietnam War. As a Black American, Michael faced a longer prison sentence than white conscientious objectors, because not only did he express a personal opposition to the war in Vietnam, he also fought hard against the oppression of Black Americans in the United States, and actively organized African American opposition against the war.
On this important anniversary, I invite Ráday Salon friends and fans to join me in commemorating Michael's commitment and courage
This week is Pride week in Budapest. The festival hosts film screenings and discussions during the week and will culminate in a march this Saturday. For more information on events, check out the Budapest Pride 2009 website. (Link goes to English version, but a Hungarian version is also available - just look for the Hungarian flag.)
Although the Budapest Pride march was once a fun-filled event, in the last two years it has become the focus of violent extremists, and will be carried on this year (as last year) under heavy police protection. To learn more about the history of the Pride march, and to see videos of attacks on last year's pride march, click the "continue reading" link below.