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Modern-day March on Washington begins with civil rights rally in Selma

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NAACP leaders launched a 40-day march across the U.S. South on Saturday with a rally in Selma, Alabama, drawing on that city’s significance in the 1960s civil rights movement to call attention to the issue of racial injustice in modern America.

Organizers of “America’s Journey for Justice” want to build momentum behind a renewed national dialogue over race relations prompted by the killing of a number of unarmed black men by police officers over the past year.

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National Association for the Advancement of Colored People leaders at the rally urged marchers to honor the memories of New York’s Eric Garner and Cincinnati’s Samuel DuBose, two of the unarmed black men killed in the police confrontations.

The march, which would cover nearly 900 miles, began on Selma’s historic Edmund Pettus Bridge, where police beat peaceful marchers with clubs and doused them with tear gas in 1965. The infamous confrontation was a catalyst for the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act, signed into law 50 years ago this week.

After two aborted attempts, civil rights activists led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. eventually marched to the state capital of Montgomery to build support for the legislation, which seeks to protect the rights of minority groups to cast ballots.

“We know we can do the distance because our lives, our votes, our jobs and our schools matter,” said Cornell William Brooks, president and chief executive of the NAACP, one of the oldest and largest civil rights groups in the United States.

“Let us march on, let us march on, let us march on till victory is won,” Brooks chanted before leading the crowd, two by two, across the bridge.

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Organizers say the outcry triggered by the recent police killings, including the shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, needs to be channeled into a long-term commitment to bring about change.

“We can continue to be serially outraged, or we can engage in an outrageously patriotic demonstration with a commitment to bringing about reform in this country,” Brooks said before the rally.

The march will feature “teach-ins” and other events in five states – Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia – as it makes its way to the nation’s capital, where organizers hope to draw thousands at a final rally on Sept. 16.

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The NAACP aims to bring attention to racial injustice across issues like policing, public education, incarceration, voting rights and income inequality.

Brooks said the NAACP will look to mobilize thousands by the time it arrives in Washington, working with organizations representing labor unions, environmentalists, women’s advocates and Judeo-Christian religious leaders.

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‘Dead wrong’: House Dems release scathing rebuttal to White House’s widely panned legal brief

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The Trump White House's latest defense of the president ahead of his impending impeachment trial has been widely panned, and has even sparked speculation that Trump himself had a hand in writing it due to its low-grade legal analysis.

A legal brief filed by President Donald Trump's lawyers late last week called impeachment proceedings "constitutionally invalid," even though impeachment is literally a part of the Constitution, and also accused Democrats of engaging in a "brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election," even though Vice President Mike Pence would take over in the event that Trump was removed by the Senate.

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Religious wars: Trump’s administration is pushing a Christian nationalist agenda — but activists are fighting back

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Last Thursday, Jan. 16, was Religious Freedom Day. As befits his mendacious nature, Donald Trump "honored" it by promoting two policies profoundly at odds with the original meaning of what religious freedom is all about: a license to discriminate with federal funds, both in employment and in provision of services, and new pressure on public schools to allow student prayer and religious use of school facilities.

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White nationalist speaker heckled for denying Holocaust at Virginia gun march: ‘You are literally a neo-Nazi’

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A white nationalist speaker who has been affiliated with neo-Nazi rhetoric was caught on video denying the Holocaust at a pro-Second Amendment march in Richmond, Virginia.

The remarks were made by former Proud Boy Jovanni Valle, who goes by the name Jovi Val. Video clips of Valle's speech were shared on Twitter by writer Robert Evans.

"You wear a swastika and walk down the street," a man can be heard telling Valle. "You took it off and now you are like, oh no. You are denying the existence of the Holocaust."

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