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You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines, or for in-depth stories that expose government and corporate abuses of power. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation, all without ads, government funding or corporate underwriting? This is only possible with your support. Right now every donation to Democracy Now! will be doubled by a generous supporter. This means if you give $25 today, Democracy Now! will get $50 to support our daily news hour. Please do your part. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in the coming year. Thanks so much. -Amy Goodman
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Tens of thousands of people traveled to Selma, Alabama, this weekend for the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday.” On March 7, 1965, hundreds of peaceful voting rights activists were attacked by police, crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge as they attempted to march to Montgomery. Fifty years later, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder were among those to acknowledge voting rights remain “under siege.” Watch our full special broadcast from Selma and Montgomery, Alabama.
Protests were held in Madison, Wisconsin, over the fatal police shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager. Tony Robinson was shot dead Friday night after Madison police say Officer Matt Kenny forced his way into an apartment following a “disturbance.” Police say they had responded to reports of a man running in and out of traffic. But after a Justice Department probe found deep racial bias among Ferguson, Missouri, police, Brandi Grayson with the Young, Gifted and Black Coalition said Madison also has a problem.
Brandi Grayson: “If the issue of racial disparities and racial injustices aren’t dealt with, that we will soon have a Ferguson on our hand, we said it. We said it. We have numbers that’s three times as worse as Ferguson. We are worse than the whole country, and everyone keeps denying that we have a problem. We have a 19-year-old black boy, dead, shot five times in the chest, unarmed, with no answers.”
A recent Race to Equity report found African Americans in Madison’s Dane County made up less than 9 percent of the youth population, but nearly 80 percent of local kids sentenced to the state juvenile prison.
The commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Selma marches also coincided with International Women’s Day, a day first declared by the Socialist Party of America and now celebrated with thousands of events around the world, from Nepal to New York. In Mexico City, the mothers of 43 students missing since September after a police attack in Guerrero joined the Women’s Day march.
María Elena Guerrero: “I want to thank you for joining the movement of women and the mothers of the disappeared of Ayotzinapa. In these five months that we have struggled against the government, our pain has been converted into rage. We are in this struggle to find our sons alive, because they took them alive.”
In Nigeria, the militant group Boko Haram has reportedly pledged loyalty to the self-proclaimed Islamic State, after recently embracing their tactics, including beheading videos. Meanwhile, a series of bombings attributed to Boko Haram killed 54 people and injured more than 140 on Saturday in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri.
A U.S.-led airstrike has reportedly hit an oil refinery held by the Islamic State in Syria, sparking a massive fireball. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports about 30 people have been killed.
In Iraq, a Canadian soldier has been shot dead and three of his colleagues injured by Iraqi Kurdish forces in a so-called friendly fire incident. The death of Sgt. Andrew Joseph Doiron marks the first Canadian casualty in the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State.
In Colombia, tens of thousands of people have marched with President Juan Manuel Santos in support of government peace talks aimed at ending the 50-year conflict with FARC rebels. The march came a day after the two sides wrapped up the latest round of peace talks in Havana, Cuba, with a new plan to work together to clear landmines from rural areas.
In Russia, authorities say a former Chechen police officer has confessed to a role in the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. A second man has also been charged, three others have been detained, and another reportedly blew himself up during a confrontation with police in Chechnya. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said the suspect who confessed had objected to cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad printed by French magazine Charlie Hebdo. But Nemtsov’s allies and relatives expressed suspicion, saying Nemtsov was killed for criticizing Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
The shooting of the Gaza fisherman comes amid heightened tensions after Palestinian leaders in the West Bank vowed to halt security coordination with Israel due to Israel’s withholding of tax revenue. Israel has withheld $127 million in taxes — about two-thirds of the Palestinian budget — in protest of Palestinian moves to join the International Criminal Court. Meanwhile in Tel Aviv, tens of thousands rallied against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right Likud Party ahead of his re-election bid on March 17.
In Canada, another so-called bomb train laden with crude oil has derailed in northern Ontario, marking at least the fourth fiery derailment in North America in three weeks. The train laden with oil from Alberta caused a massive fire and a shroud of black smoke. Five cars went into the Makami River. Meanwhile, fires were still burning in Illinois after a train carrying oil from North Dakota derailed Thursday. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns the spill threatens the Mississippi River.
The pioneering documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles has died at the age of 88. Best known for his cinéma vérité style in films including “Grey Gardens” and “Gimme Shelter,” Maysles also founded the Maysles Documentary Center, a media education and independent film forum in Harlem.