In Historic Ruling, Kenyan Court

Voids President’s  Re-Election: Orders New Vote

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NAIROBI, Kenya — In a historic ruling and a first in Africa, Kenya’s Supreme Court nullified on Friday the re-election of a sitting president, ordering a new vote to be held within 60 days after finding that the outcome last month had been tainted by irregularities.

A new election was ordered to be held October 17. It was a stunning moment for Kenya, one of Africa’s most populous nations, and for democracy in general. Kenya’s disputed presidential election in 2007 set off bloodshed that left at least 1,300 people dead and 600,000 displaced around the country.

But this time, figures across the Kenyan political landscape, including the president whose victory was wiped away, appeared to accept the decision and called on supporters to do the same. Both the opposition leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta called for calm. The ruling also offered a potent display of judicial independence on a continent where courts often come under intense pressure from political leaders, analysts said.

“It’s a historic moment showing the fortitude and courage of the Kenyan judiciary,” said Dickson Omondi, a country director for the National Democratic Institute, a nonpartisan organization that supports democratic institutions and practices worldwide. He said it was the first example in Africa in which a court nullified the re-election of an incumbent. The election on Aug. 8 was conducted peacefully and was largely praised by international observers. But David Maraga, the court’s chief justice, declared the result “invalid, null and void” after siding with the opposition, which had argued that the vote had been electronically manipulated to assure a victory for President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr. Kenyatta, 55, had been re-elected with 54 percent of the vote, easily surpassing the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff. His main challenger, Raila Odinga, 72, who petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify the election, had received about 44 percent, a difference of about 1.4 million votes. A parallel tally by domestic observers endorsed the official result.

The Supreme Court decision came as a surprise, even to Mr. Odinga and his supporters, who had complained about election irregularities. A top election official in charge of voting technology was killed about a week before the election, and although the casting of ballots went smoothly, the electronic transmission of vote tallies was flawed. -.NYT

A MESSAGE FROM DICK GREGORY 1932-2017

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Dick Gregory, the comedian and activist who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health, has died. He was 84. Gregory died late Saturday in Washington, D.C. after being hospitalized for about a week, his son Christian Gregory told The Associated Press. He had suffered a severe bacterial infection.

As one of the first Black standup comedians to find success with white audiences, in the early 1960s, Gregory rose from an impoverished childhood in St. Louis to win a college track scholarship and become a celebrated satirist who deftly commented upon racial divisions at the dawn of the civil rights movement. “Where else in the world but America,” he joked, “could I have lived in the worst neighborhoods, attended the worst schools, rode in the back of the bus, and get paid $5,000 a week just for talking about it?”

Gregory’s sharp commentary soon led him into civil rights activism, where his ability to woo audiences through humor helped bring national attention to fledgling efforts at integration and social equality for blacks. Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey tweeted, “Dick Gregory’s unflinching honesty & courage, inspired us to fight, live, laugh & love despite it all.”

THE MESSAGE from therealdickgregory

As I approach my 85th revolution around the sun this year, I wonder why has it been so difficult for humankind to be kind. So difficult to be loving and lovable. For my militant brothers and sisters, please don’t misconstrue loving and lovable to be weak or submissive. Love will always be triumphant over hate. I know I will not be here forever, nor do I desire to be. I have seen progress like most cannot appreciated because they were not there to bear witness. I dedicated my life to the movement. By doing so, I never thought I’d still be here. So many of my friends are not here. They were cut down by a system of hatred and evil. The reality is far from perfect, but profoundly better than what daily reality was for my generation. Young folks if you are wise you would talk less and spend more time listening to the elders who saw evil up front and personal every day. #howlong I’ve been asking this question for over 40years! How long before we realize our Universal God given potential? We have made immeasurable progress that cannot be debated. That said, we still have a long way to go. I have no desire to see this all the way through, the dreams I dreamed about 60 years ago have definitely been realized. To young folks of all ethnicities I say #staywoke not as a catchphrase but as a lifestyle. Most of the things that are killing us are in our minds and our daily routines. The way we thing, the “food” we eat and the water we drink or so often don’t drink. While so many go out and protest the small evils, the big evils are ever present and welcomed into our homes. From the top to the bottom of my heart I say #staywoke Love you to life, Dick Gregroy.  

( this message was written by dick gregory and posted on his social network to his followers )

White Supremacy Terrorism: Carrying Tiki torches, a group of white supremacists partake in a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.The group gathered to protest Charlottesville's plan to remove relics of its Confederate past - specifically a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

White Supremacy Terrorism: Carrying Tiki torches, a group of white supremacists partake in a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.The group gathered to protest Charlottesville's plan to remove relics of its Confederate past - specifically a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” -James Baldwin

The violence that erupted in Charlottesville last weekend has been the face of America since the beginning of time and no one knows that better, or has experienced the hatred and destructive, evil force of racism and bigotry greater, and longer, than Black people in this country. White nationalists and right-wing protesters who have converged on Charlottesville, Virginia, have been using a Nazi rallying cry "blood and soil." The group gathered to protest Charlottesville's plan to remove relics of its Confederate past, such as a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The "blood and soil" chants began Friday night when torch-bearing protesters marched at the University of Virginia and clashed with counterprotesters.

More white nationalist protesters continued the cries during Saturday's gatherings. White Supremacy Terrorism: Carrying Tiki torches, a group of white supremacists partake in a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.The group gathered to protest Charlottesville's plan to remove relics of its Confederate past - specifically a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. MADE IN AMERICA ‘Charlottesville Is Just the Beginning’? Emboldened and proclaiming victory after a bloody weekend in Virginia, white nationalists are planning more demonstrations to promote their agenda following the violence that left a woman dead and dozens injured.

The University of Florida said white provocateur Richard Spencer, whose appearances sometimes stoke unrest, is seeking permission to speak there next month. And white nationalist Preston Wiginton said he is planning a “White Lives Matter” rally at Texas A&M University in September. Also, a neo-Confederate group has asked the state of Virginia for permission to rally at a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond on Sept. 16, and other events are likely. "We’re going to be more active than ever before,” Matthew Heimbach, a white nationalist leader, said Monday. James Alex Fields Jr., a young man who was said to idolize Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in high school, was charged with killing a woman by slamming a car into a group of counter-protesters at the white nationalist rally Sunday in Charlottesville, Va. Fields, 20, who recently moved to Ohio from his home state of Kentucky, was held without bail on murder charges. He was photographed at the rally behind a shield bearing the emblem of the white nationalist Vanguard America, though the group denied he was a member.

The U.S. Justice Department said it will review the violence, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions told ABC that the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer, 32, met the definition of domestic terrorism. A neo-Nazi website that helped promote the gathering said there will be more events soon.