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Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majes...
Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Bangkok
By Fabio Polese
26 Oct 2017

Bangkok, 26 oct 2017 On the occasion of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majestic the Late King Bhumibol (Rama IX) of the Kingdom of Thaiand, millions people have gone down the streets of the capital, Bangkok, for the last homage to their father Bhumibol, the King much loved by the Thai people.

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Darkness for Nepal's Earthquake Survi...
Kathmandu, Nepal
By vincenzo floramo
10 May 2015

On April 25, 2015 a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, killing thousands and leaving the country struggling to recover. Two weeks later, survivors experienced another two major earthquakes, leaving them in an uncertain situation, where nature seemed to decide their fate without warning. The most dramatic times come at night when the city streets and mountain paths are wrapped in darkness. If the earth starts trembling, sleep can betray you. People sleep outside, stay up to maintain security in their neighborhoods or just suffer from insomnia and stay awake out of habit. Today, Nepal is living a nightmare, even during the day, where continuos aftershocks remind people that their home stands on the seismic hot zone where the Indian plate collided with the Eurasian plate - giving birth to the Himalayas.

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Kathmandu
By vincenzo floramo
10 May 2015

People left homeless by the earthquake still sleep in the open air in Nepal's capital Kathmandu. More than a half-million tents are needed for the huge numbers of people forced from their homes by Nepal's devastating earthquake.

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Kathmandu
By vincenzo floramo
10 May 2015

A building lies in ruin between the ancient Durbar Square quarter of Kathmandu and the tourist area Thamel. The total numbers of foreigners who fell victim to the earthquake are still unknown.

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Kathmandu
By vincenzo floramo
09 May 2015

A victim of the earthquake stands outside a tent in the Durbar Square area, the ancient historical city center of Kathmandu. Durbar Square was one of the areas of the capital most damaged in the earthquake.

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Kathmandu
By vincenzo floramo
09 May 2015

Groups of citizens in Bhaktapur organize night shifts working as security guards around the city to avoid robberies inside abandoned houses.

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Kathmandu
By vincenzo floramo
09 May 2015

A statue of the monkey-god Hanuman stands intact between the ruins of Kasthamandap temple and Durbar square.

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Kathmandu
By vincenzo floramo
09 May 2015

Entire areas of the ancient city of Kathmandu remain in danger of collapsing in aftershocks. Many roadblocks are in place to avoid people walking through.

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Kathmandu
By vincenzo floramo
09 May 2015

The Nepali army has closed the entry to Durbar square in Kathmandu from 7pm to 6am for security reasons.

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Kathmandu
By vincenzo floramo
09 May 2015

A Nepali army officer walks during a nighttime rain storm in Durbar square. As the rainy season is approaching in Nepal, the danger of more landslides and collapsed buildings is increasing.

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Kathmandu
By vincenzo floramo
09 May 2015

Displaced people camp right in front Durbar Square. Nepal's Government fired a "warning shot" at landlords, saying any property owner who tried to profit from a devastating quake that left thousands of families homeless would face legal action.

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Bhaktapur
By vincenzo floramo
06 May 2015

In Bhaktapur, a portrait remains intact on the wall of a destroyed house after the violent earthquake struck Nepal on April 15th.

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Bhaktapur
By vincenzo floramo
06 May 2015

Two drunk friends walk together late at night between the rubble of downtown of Bhaktapur, now mostly destroyed.

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Bhaktapur
By vincenzo floramo
05 May 2015

Resident of Bhaktapur hold a candlelight vigil in remembrance of three young friends that died together under the rubble after the earthquake on the 25th of April.

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Bhaktapur
By vincenzo floramo
04 May 2015

Earthquake victims warm themselves around a fire amid the ruins of the ancient city of Bhaktapur, Nepal, a UNESCO Wold Heritage Site.

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Kathmandu
By vincenzo floramo
04 May 2015

Family members of a deceased person shave their hair following tradition after the body of their relative has been cremated at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu.

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Kodari
By vincenzo floramo
30 Apr 2015

Dozens of people sleep in the open air in Kodari on the Tibet Chinese border. Thousands of people have remained blocked for more than a week in the area.

The Araniko Highway connecting Kathmandu and China has been obstructed at various points as result of landslides provoked by the earthquake.

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Kodari
By vincenzo floramo
30 Apr 2015

Nepali tourists sleep inside their car in a popular spot in Kodari village near the Chinese border. Truck drivers and families on holiday have been stuck for more than week due to the earthquake.

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Bhaktapur
By vincenzo floramo
29 Apr 2015

Groups of citizens in Bhaktapur organize night shifts working as security guards around the city to avoid robberies inside abandoned houses.

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Bhaktapur
By vincenzo floramo
29 Apr 2015

A victim of the earthquake sleeps outside on the road as a result of the damage his home suffered in the quake. More than three-quarters of the buildings in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, are uninhabitable or unsafe.

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Kathmandu
By vincenzo floramo
28 Apr 2015

An earthquake victim stands in front of the fire near her home in Bakhtapur.

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From Integration to Ferguson: A Look ...
Ferguson, MO, United States
By Lola García-Ajofrín
14 Jan 2015

SPANISH TEXT AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

VERSION FRANCAISE DISPONIBLE SUR DEMANDE

 

Sixty years after the case that ended legal segregation in American schools, former students who started the protests speak of the current state of race in the US.

The 60th anniversary of the end of the “separate but equal” doctrine that allowed legal segregation in American schools, 2014 could have been a time for celebration. However, far from it, the year ended with new incidents that reopened the debate about racism in America.

In a stall on 125th Street in Harlem, New York, a merchant sells black shirts donning a slogan in white: "I Can’t Breathe," the last words of Eric Garner, a black man arrested for selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island who was suffocated during his arrest by a white police officer. His case was similar to that of Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was killed by a white police in Ferguson, Missouri. In both, the policeman in question was absolved, sparking protests across the nation.

Shortly after the two separate verdicts for the cases of Brown and Garner, a 70 year-old verdict that led to the execution of a 14 year-old black man, the youngest condemned in US history, was overturned. He was innocent. The year ended with the murder of the police officers Rafael Ramos and Liu Wenjian in Brooklyn by a citizen who justified his attacks on social media networks, saying he was avenging the recent deaths of black men by killing white policemen.

2014 could have been a year to celebrate the racial history of the US. It was the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement, and the 60th anniversary of the end of 'separate but equal' which allowed segregation in schools, and the US’s first black president was in the middle of his second term in the White House. Far from celebrations, however, the year ended with people talking about racism.

What happened and what did not in some sixty years? We returned to the scene.

 

60 years After Topeka

"For a little girl, it didn’t make sense that blacks and whites didn’t deserve to study together," Mickie Garrington, 65, says.

She was one of the students of the Robert Russa Moton school for black children, in Farmville, Virginia who in 1951, organized a student strike. 70% of the applicants of "Brown vs. Topeka" were organizers of the protests that shook the school and the nation. Sixty years later, the school is a museum, and some of the former students who still live in the town are anonymous heros with white hair and grandchildren.

Like every Monday, they and other neighbors of Prince Edward County come to the museum to celebrate their traditional brown bag lunch, a meeting where everyone packs a lunch gathers to discuss specific topics relevant to the community. An intact blackboard in an office at the museum reminds one that the room, not so long ago, was a classroom. On the board, "This is your moment. Seize it” is written in chalk. The bathrooms, although renewed, still retain their former look and so does the auditorium. The former students talk about how they lived in the days of their youth.

“As our school was designed for 180 children, and we were 450 children, there wasn’t enough room for all of us,” Joy Speakes recalls. “The County built three chicken coops to host us. When it rained, the water seeped through the roof, and we had to hold the umbrella for the whole lesson not to get wet - nothing to do with the school for white children, just a few blocks away, with a cafeteria and a gym.”

Speakes is one of the students who participated in the protest, now a slender 71 year-old lady who wears suit pants and a ponytail and is the head of the development committee of the Moton Museum.

The classrooms were "more suitable for chickens than for children," says associate director of the museum, Justin G. Reid.

On April 23, 1951, a 16 year-old student, Barbara Rose Johns, secretly organized a student strike. Barbara died of cancer in 1991 without any acknowledgment. Her little sister, Joan Johns Cobbs, now 76 years-old, recalls this moment.

"I was thirteen then, and I remember the fear of the possible consequences of going on strike,” she said. She never told her about her sister’s plans for the strike, but says, “sometimes she talked about the differences between our school and the white children’s school.” The strike lasted for two weeks.

“Have you ever suffered from racism as an adult?” we asked Joan Johns six decades later. The answer is concise: “Yes, especially looking for work and home,” she answers.

"I was 10, so I really did not think about the consequences,” Speakes said. “I think the only thing that scared me was that my grandparents would scold me for missing class.” She remembers this detail with a half smile. "It all happened so fast. We never thought of changing history, we just wanted a better school.”

"It was a time of great fear,” Allen Edwilda Isaac adds. He was 13 years old at that time. “My mother lost her license to teach in the State of Virginia and she had to go to North Carolina to work. Our parents were very strong people.”

After the strike, Barbara Rose Johns wrote a letter to the law practice of Spottswood Robinson and Oliver Hill, members of the NAACP, asking them to take the case. The lawyers agreed under two conditions: that students got their parents’ support and that they should be ready to challenge the constitutionality of segregated education. The NAACP joined the case "Davis v Board of Education of Prince Edward County" to the other four cases, and they won.

There were seventeen states with mandatory segregation for schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. That day, after the ruling in "Brown v Board of Education of Topeka," school segregation became unconstitutional.

The name "Brown" referred to Oliver Brown, one of the African American parents represented by lawyers from the NAACP.

“The case was not filed on behalf of my sister, as is sometimes thought, but our father just agreed to join this group," Cheryl Brown, Oliver’s daughter says. “The NAACP organized parent groups, except for in Virginia, the only place where students organized themselves.”

 

Virginia does not integrate

Virginia's case was exceptional, not only for the protests, but because faced with the ruling in “Brown v Board of Education of Topeka” in 1956, the Virginia General Assembly empowered the governor to close some public schools rather than integrate. As the court's decision concerned only public schools, "segregationists managed to fund private schools," Reid said. In Virginia, public schools were closed for almost five years between 1959 and 1964.

Mickie Garrington, now 65, was one of the students affected by the closure.

"When my parents told me, I felt so bad because I really liked the school,” he said. “Even though it was segregated and the facilities were bad, I loved going. The decision did not make sense for a 10 year old girl. ‘You can not go to school because white people think you do not deserve to go to class with them;’ for a girl it didn’t make sense!" she exclaims.

Garrington finished high school thanks to the "free schools" which opened in 1963, however she recalls, "Some of my classmates were older when they reopened and never went to school."

Finally, in 1969, Virginia public schools opened their doors to black and white children. It had been 13 years since the Davis case.

 

Six decades later

Since the student strike, the Supreme Court ruling, and integration, some things have changed in the US. However, in numbers, racism and segregation are not over. The numbers are specifically striking in education. 43% of Latinos and 38% of African Americans attend "intensely to segregated schools," where minorities represent between 90% and 100% of students, according to a report of Human Rights Project at the University of California (2012).

African American students are suspended and expelled from class three times more than their white peers (16% vs. 5%), according to the latest report from the Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education. The study found racial discrimination in all areas, whether in expulsions from class or school, or transfers to other centers. It also found that black children attended schools where teachers had the least experience and are the worst-paid.  The study further revealed that at the university level, whites over 25 are more likely than blacks to complete an undergraduate degree (34% vs. 21%).

"As a kid, the only thing that black people could do with white people was work and pay, pay and work,” Rev. Samuel Williams, a former student of Robert R. Moton school, said. “We were born under a white patriarchal control. That is no longer like that, but it is not over. You see how black people are still treated by the people of this country, including how they speak about the President.”

Although African Americans represent 12.6% of the US population, they make up nearly one million of the total of 2.3 million people incarcerated in the country, according to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). And together, African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though both make up approximately one quarter of the US population.