Newswire: Confederate War Monument vandalized to read ‘They Were Racists’

The monument in Nashville’s Centennial Park lists the names of more than 500 Confederate soldiers.

By Nina Golgowski

Defaced Nashville Confederate monument

A Tennessee monument honoring hundreds of Confederate soldiers was painted over the weekend to read “They were racists.”
Police said the vandalism, which was discovered Monday in Nashville’s Centennial Park, likely occurred sometime late Sunday. Metro Nashville Police Department Capt. Chris Taylor told the Tennessean there are surveillance cameras in the park that authorities will review.
The parks department removed the red paint, some of which had been splashed across the monument, a police spokesperson told HuffPost on Tuesday.
Park and city officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The bronze monument, called the Confederate Private Monument, features a single Confederate soldier. He is seated above a plaque listing the names of more than 500 members of the Frank Cheatham Bivouac, a camp that was named after a Confederate general following the war. It was commissioned in 1903 and dedicated in 1909, according to the Smithsonian’s website.
This type of vandalism is rare, Taylor told the Tennesseean.
“The parks do experience vandalism, usually it’s tagging, more of a neutral nature. This is more focused, obviously, with a political statement associated,” he said. “A political-nature vandalism hasn’t happened in at least seven or eight years.”
There has been a rise in vandalism to Confederate War memorials across the country amid growing protests to have them removed.
A monument erected in 1903 for Confederate soldiers in Austin, Texas, was similarly painted earlier this month with the word “RACISTS.”
A monument to a Confederate commander in Harrisonburg, Virginia, was also found vandalized with eggs, raw meat and other substances, according to local station WHSV.
In April, a monument honoring Confederate soldiers in a cemetery in Durham, North Carolina, was found vandalized for the second time. That monument was erected in 2014 by the Durham camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the News Observer reported.
People examining the vandalism in Nashville’s park on Monday expressed shock and disappointment while speaking with a local reporter.
“I don’t think that this helps anything. I don’t think this moves the conversation forward. This is just someone who wanted attention,” Meehan Rahman, who was visiting Nashville from Pennsylvania, told 5 News.
“People don’t take the time to think about it but there were controversial figures in the Civil War that were unfortunately racist and then there were men who were just following what their state believed in and they were just soldiers,” he said. “It’s like, not everyone who was fighting in the union was fighting for civil rights.”

Newswire : Poor People’s Campaign mobilized in DC this week

News Analysis: By Jesse Jackson

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and Rev. Dr. William Barber II

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – This week in Washington, the powers that be are hearing from a vital
new democratic force in this country.
For three days, the Poor People’s Campaign will bring poor and low-wage Americans to the nation’s capital to call for a moral renewal in this nation. They will question many of those who are seeking the Democratic nomination for president. Congressional hearings will showcase their Poor People’s Moral Budget.
Their actions should be above the fold of every newspaper in America; they should lead the news shows and fill the talk shows. A movement for common sense and social justice is building, putting every politician on notice: lead or get out of the way, a new moral majority is building and demanding change.
As the co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign, the Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, write in their forward, this movement is not partisan. It calls not for liberal or conservative reforms, but for a moral renewal. It is not a deep-pocket lobby. It is mobilizing the 144 million Americans who are poor or one crisis away from poverty into a “new and unsettling force” to “revive the heart of democracy in America.”
This movement launched on Mother’s Day in May 2018. In 40 days, it triggered 200 actions across many states with 5,000 nonviolent demonstrators committing civil disobedience, and millions following the protests online. Forty states now have coordinating committees build a coalition of poor people and people of faith and conscience across lines of race, religion, region and other lines of division.
They are morally outraged that the richest nation in the world would in a “willful act of policy violence” condemn 140 million — more than 40 percent of the population — to live in poverty or near poverty. This includes 39 million children, 60 percent — 26 million — of African Americans, 64 percent — 38 million — of Latinos, more than one-third — 66 million — of white Americans.
These realities — and the extreme inequality that scars this society — pre-date the Trump administration, but now Trump is fanning increasing policy violence against the poor. In response, the Poor People’s Campaign is doing deep organizing and power building among the poor, turning them from victims to subject actors in history.
This week, the campaign releases their Poor People’s Moral Budget. It details authoritatively that the cost of our current inequality, the cost of mass poverty is far greater than what it would cost to invest in people, put them to work at a living wage and guarantee basic economic and political rights. It costs society big time to not provide health care or quality education or clean water and air, to suppress voting rights and to keep wages low.
The moral budget is detailed and authoritatively sourced. The numbers are clear, as is the conclusion.
As the document concludes, “We have been investing in killing people; we most now invest in life. We have been investing in systemic racism and voter suppression; we must now invest in expanding democracy. We have been investing in punishing the poor; we must now invest in the welfare of all. We have been investing in the wealthy and corporations; we must now invest in the people who build this country.”
This is not a time for incremental change, but for fundamental transformation of our priorities and our direction. The budget details large reforms — from automatic voter registration, a living wage, health care for all, quality education from pre-k through college, investment in clean energy and modern infrastructure. It details how these and other reforms can be easily afforded by fair taxes on the wealthy and corporations and by ending our effort to police the world.
The Poor People’s Campaign picks up the unfinished work of Dr. Martin Luther King. It realizes that ending the policy of violence on the poor at home cannot be achieved without challenging the costly endless wars and constant arms buildup that only make us less secure. It understands that change will come not from the top down, not from our corrupted big money politics, but from the poor, the worker, people of conscience coming together to revive our democracy and to change our course.
In these troubled times, the promise of this new force is powerful. Across the country, working and poor people are beginning to move. If this movement can continue to grow, it will transform our politics. And it is the only force that can.

Next Level Leaders contributes to support E-911 building

Shown L to R: Corey Cockrell Next Level Leaders, Iris Sermon, E911 Executive Director Latanya Cockrell- Fowler and Johnny Isaac E911 Board  Chair

Corey Cockrell and Latanya Cockrell-Fowler, officers of Next Level Leaders, a charity connected to the Rivers Edge Bingo, presented Johnny Isaac, Board Chair and Iris Sermon, Executive Director of E-911 with a check for $3,000 towards furniture for their new building.
The new E-911 building is located on Highway 43 behind the Department of Human Resources Building. The building is a block and concrete structure, a part of which is designed as a storm shelter, to withstand hurricane and tornado winds in excess of 150 miles per hour.
Iris Sermon explained, “We had a CDBG grant from the State of Alabama, through the Greene County Commission to build our new building which will house our countywide emergency dispatch system as well as other critical emergency services. After the state required us to change and strengthen the specifications of the building, we did not have enough money to complete construction, radio equipment and furnishing the new facility.”
Johnny Isaac said, “ We are still expecting the County Commission to pave around our building and create parking spaces as part of their matching contribution to the CBDG grant.
We are also hopeful we can find funds for $200,000 of new radio dispatching equipment we will need to upgrade our E-911 services for Greene County.”
Sermon pointed out that the dispatching equipment for Greene County costs as much or more to serve a widely dispersed rural county area as well as the same system serving thousands of people in a concentrated municipal area. “We are looking for sympathetic supporters who want to see E-911 be successful and effective and will help us with our radio tower, dispatching and other needs at E-911,” said Sermon.
Persons, businesses and organizations interested in contributing toward E-911 should contact Iris Sermon at 205-372-1911.

County Commission approves proposal to curb Beaver population in the county

The Greene County Commission acted on various considerations at its monthly meeting held Monday, June 10, 2019. The commission approved Lee’s Wildlife Services’ proposal to trap and remove Beavers under designated roads where Beaver dams are erected. According to engineer Branch, nine sites have been targeted. Branch explained that this is a situation we have to continuously manage in the county.
According to action taken at the meeting, the Commission will be seeking to fill a part-time labor position for the Solid Waste Department as well as a van driver for the Eutaw Nutrition Site.
The commission also acted on the following:
Approved an ABC license for Atkins’ Bar-B-Q.
Approved the county’s contract renewal with Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Approved Mr. J.E. Morrow to serve on the County Board of Equalization.
Approved Ms. Dotha Williams to serve as District 5 representative on E911 Board.
Tabled appointment to E911 Board for District 2.
Approved Engineer Willie Branch’s request to submit HRRP application.
Authorized Engineer Branch to proceed with allocating remaining federal funds for infrastructure.
Approved travel for CFO to County Government Institute June 19-20, 2019 in Prattville; and travel for office manager to ACCA Annual Convention August 20-22, 2019 in Perdido Beach.
Approved the finance report, payment of claims and budget amendments.
The CFO reported the following bank balances as of May 19, 2019: CitizenTrust Bank – $3,410,113.02; Merchants & Farmers Bank – $1,957,146.20; Bank of New York – $955,253.61; and CD. Bond Investments – $932,332.28

School board hires new administrators for Robert Brown Middle School

At its monthly meeting held Monday, June 10, 2019, the Greene County Board of Education approved the superintendent’s recommendations for Principal and Assistant Principal at Robert Brown Middle School. Shwanta Owens, of Hueytown, AL was selected as Principal and Brittany Harris of Demopolis, AL was selected as Assistant Principal. Each will be offered a one year contract commencing July 1, and July 24, 2019 respectively.
Ms. Shwanta Owens’ current position is Director of Early College, University of Alabama at Birmingham. She serves as the liaison between Woodlawn High School, UAB and other Early College Partners. Previously she has worked as a teacher in various public school systems in Alabama in the area of language arts. She holds a Master of Arts Educational Leadership; Alabama Educational Specialists Degree; Master of Arts Secondary Education Language Arts and a Bachelor of Arts Secondary Education Language Arts.
Ms. Brittany D. Harris’ current position is as First Grade Teacher at Southview Elementary School, Tuscaloosa, AL. She has taught previously in elementary schools in Mississippi. She holds an Educational Specialist Degree in Instructional Leadership; Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership; Master of Education in Elementary Education; Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.
Other personnel services acted on by the board included the following:

  • Approved the voluntary transfer of Drenda Morton, Librarian, from Robert Brown Middle /school to Librarian at Greene County High School; Fentress Means, part-time Physical Education Teacher at Eutaw Primary to Part-time Physical Education Teacher at Greene County High School.
  • Approved: Eutaw Primary School Re-hiring: Katlin Whittle, Part-time Visual Arts Teacher; Jacqueline Allen, Reading Tutor.
    *Approved Robert Brown Middle School Re-Hiring: Kotoya Quarrels, Math Teacher; Brittany January, Math Teacher; Katlin Whittle, Visual Arts Teacher; Rebecca Coleman, Computer Science; Alisa Ward, Elementary Teacher; Jacqueline Carter, Science Teacher.
  • Approved Greene County High School Re-hire: Elroy Skinner, Math Teacher; Ann Spree, Math Tutor; Twelia Morris, Secretary, Greene County Career Center.
  • Approved Re-Assignments: Garry Rice, Math Specialist, Greene County School System, Grades K-12; Fredrick Square, Lead Teacher, Assistant Principle, Greene County Learning Academy.
  • Approved Extended Contract: Willie Simmons, Principal, Greene County High School.
    Contract Personnel: Cynthia Crawford, Technical Support, Greene County Board.
  • Approved Resignation-Retirement: Timothy Gibbs, JROTC, Greene County High School, effective July 1, 2019; Glen Monroe, Senior Army Instructor, Greene County Career Center, effective July 1, 2019; Diana Bowen, Teacher, Eutaw Primary School, effective August 1, 2019.
  • Approved GCH Summer School Program: Angela Harkness, Teacher.
  • Approved Family Medical Leave/Catastrophic Leave: Regina Harmon, Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School.
  • Approved Salary Adjustments for: Sarah Hall, Secretary to the Superintendent; Tracy Hunter, Secretary, GCHS.
    Approved Supplemental Contract for: Sharon Washington, Special Projects; Linda Little, Cheerleader Sponsor, GCHS.
    The board approved the summer schedule June 2 through July11, 2019, and the following personnel for the 21st Center Community Learning Centers Summer Enrichment Program – Robert Brown Middle School: Andrea Perry, Director; Drenda Morton, Lead Teacher; Twelia Morris, Teacher Assistant; Vanessa Bryant, Teacher; Raven Bryant, Teacher; Miakka Taylor, Teacher; Alisia Allen, Teacher; Janice Jeames, Teacher; Mary Hobson, Teacher Aide; and Anika Batch, Teacher Aide.
    Eutaw Primary School: Keisha Williams, Lead Teacher; Tamecisha Abrams, Teacher; Pamela Pasteur, Teacher; Genetta Bishop, Teacher; Bernice Smith, Computer Lab Teacher; Shirley Noland, Librarian; Denise Horton, Teacher Aide.
    CNP Personnel for Summer Foods Service Program: Sandy Wilson, Gloria Lyons, Mary Hill, Amanda Askew, Rosie Davis, Tina Cherry.
    Under the Administrative Services, the board approved a 4-day work week for all extended employees beginning June 3 – July 26, 2019; approved CNP PACA purchasing agreement with Jefferson County Purchasing Division; approved 3 SRO contracts between Greene Board, Greene County Commission and Greene County Sheriff. The Resource Officers will be housed at Eutaw Primary, Robert Brown Middle and Greene County High Schools.
    The board approved the job description for Mathematical Specialist for the Greene County School System; approved request for Debate Team to attend Youth Leadership Training Conference in Washington, D.C. June 1-8, 2019; Approved payment of all bills and payroll.
    The Greene County Board of Education authorized the sale of the former Birdine School facility with designated acreage to the Town of Forkland with two contingencies: 1. The State of Alabama returning the Birdine property to the Greene County Board of Education. 2. Following an appraisal, the property is sold at fair market value.
    The board also authorized the superintendent and board president to prepare a deed to the Town of Boligee directing specific use of the former Paramount facility and delineating the parameters of educational competitors.

Newswire: Democrats hold hearing on White Supremacy

Newspapers with stories on white supremacy

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

House Democrats on Tuesday, June 4, grilled officials from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security during a hearing focusing on how the Trump administration is addressing the growing threat of violent white supremacist groups.
The House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties hearing, titled “Confronting White Supremacy: Adequacy of the Federal Response,” reportedly is the latest effort by Democrats to spotlight ways they say the Trump administration has systematically cut back on resources used to address threats from domestic extremists even as the FBI has reported a 30 percent to 40 percent rise in domestic terrorism cases 2. just since October.
The hearing included FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Michael McGarrity, FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Criminal Investigations Calvin Shivers and DHS assistant secretary Elizabeth Neumann.
Democratic committee members have said they would press those members of Trump’s cabinet on their “budgets and allocations of personnel, data collection practices, and strategic plans” to address threats from white supremacists.

Greene County BBCF Community Associates launch shoe drive to raise funds for community grants

BBCF Community Associates L to R: Mollie Rowe, John Zippert, Miriam Leftwich and Carol Zippert

Eutaw, Al 2019 – Greene County Community Associates (GCCA) of the Black Belt Community Foundation are conducting a shoe drive fundraiser starting May 20, 2019 thru July 20, 2019 to raise funds to support community local level grants to be distributed in Greene County next year.
GCCA will earn funds based on the total weight of the pairs of gently worn, used and new shoes collected, as Funds2Orgs will issue a check for the collected shoes. Those dollars will come back to benefit Greene County organizations through the foundation’s community grants program. Anyone can help by donating gently worn, used and new shoes to GCCA members or at the Greene County Democrat Office – 206 Prairie Avenue, Eutaw – our primary collection point..
All donated shoes will then be redistributed throughout the Funds2Orgs network of micro-enterprise (small business) partners. Funds2Orgs works with micro-entrepreneurs in helping them create, maintain and grow small businesses in developing countries where economic opportunity and jobs are limited. Proceeds from the sales of the shoes collected in shoe drive fundraisers are used to feed, clothe and house their families. One budding entrepreneur in Haiti even earned enough to send to her son to law school.
“We are excited about our shoe drive,” said Miriam L. Leftwich, GCCA County Coordinator. “We know that most people have extra shoes in their closets they would like to donate to us. By doing so, we raise money for BBCF Community Grants, and we have the chance to help families in developing nations who need economic opportunities. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
By donating gently worn, used and new shoes to the Greene County Community Associates, the shoes will be given a second chance and make a difference in people’s lives around the world.
The Greene County Community Associates ask you to encourage others to donate shoes to this worthwhile cause.
Contact any member of Greene County Community Associates: Miriam Leftwich, Rodney Pham, Mollie Rowe, Geraldine Walton, Carol Zippert, John Zippert, Johnni Strode Morning, Andrea Perry. Nancy Cole, Valerie Watkins, Darlene Robinson or Johnny Williams.
The primary collection point at the Greene County Democrat will be open on Mondays from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM; Tuesday- Thursdays from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM; and Fridays from 8:30 to Noon. Special arrangements for shoe drop-offs can be made by calling the Democrat at 205-372-3373.
You may also contact any member of the BBCF Greene County Community Associates, including Miriam L. Leftwich, County Coordinator at 205-496-2070 or by email at Leftwicm@bellsouth.net, for more information on the shoe drive.

ANSC Spring Convention features workshops on voting issues

The Alabama New South Coalition (ANSC) Spring Convention featured workshops on a variety of voting issues.
This was in keeping with the convention theme that Every Issue Is A Voting Issue.
In the morning, prior to lunch, there were three workshops. The first was on Education with Dr. Daniel Boyd, State Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and former Lowndes County Superintendent of Education and Dr. Carol P. Zippert, Greene County School Board member and Chair of the Greene County ANSC Chapter.
Dr. Zippert mentioned her concerns with the recently passed Alabama Literacy Act, which requires that third graders not reading on a third grade level, not be promoted to the next grade, but held back until their reading meets the proper standard. Dr. Zippert expressed concerns about whether the state would provide resources for reading tutors, coaches and other support necessary for third graders to meet these goals.
Dr. Boyd commented on his work at the State Department of Education, saying, “Education is based on three pillars – the school, the home and the community – all three are important to the full development of the child. In some cases the schools will have to supplement what the parents can do and motivate the community to do more for the education of our young people.”
The second workshop was on Medicare Expansion and its critical impact on health care for people, hospitals, especially small rural hospitals and the general welfare and economic development of the state. John Zippert, who is the current ANSC President and Chair of the Greene County Health System reflected on the importance of expanding Medicaid to provide insurance coverage for 300,000 working poor Alabamians who currently lack health care insurance coverage.
Presdelane Harris, Organizing Director for Alabama Arise pointed out that despite claims by Governor Ivey and legislative leaders that funds were unavailable for Medicaid expansion, there was a source to fund Medicaid Expansion, prison reform and taking the sales tax off groceries. This would require Alabama, which is one of a small number of states that allows the deduction of Federal taxes paid from State income taxes, to end this deduction, which mostly benefits the richest taxpayers.
Harris said closing this tax loophole would generate over $700 million a year in new revenues for the state of Alabama, which would pay for Medicaid Expansion ($168 million first year, decreasing thereafter), prison reform and allow for taking the state sales tax off groceries.
Martha Morgan reported on the work of ANSC, SOS, Poor Peoples Campaign and other organizations rallying each week at the Legislature to urge the adoption of Medicaid Expansion. Zippert suggested that ANSC chapters and other groups may need to meet with their state legislative delegations to educate them and advocate with them on eliminating this regressive tax deduction to allow for progressive changes.
The third workshop was on voting rights. The presenters included Faya Rose Toure of Selma, Robert Avery of Gadsden and Jessica Barker of Huntsville. They spoke on a variety of concerns to register, educate and prepare voters for the 2020 elections, the Presidential Primary on March 3 and the general election on November 3, 2020. The group is planning a “Freedom Ride to Revive Section 5 of the VRA” from August 3 to 7, 2019 to push for restoration of the Voting Rights Act and ending voter suppression tactics across the nation.
At the luncheon in place of a guest speaker, twenty ANSC members spoke, each for a minute, about the voting issue that most concerned them. These issues included: gerrymandering, police misconduct, climate change, voter apathy, substance abuse, waste water treatment, involvement of young people and many others. This was a very spirited discussion.
After lunch, ANSC members held Congressional District meetings to elect members to the ANSC Board and to discuss local priorities.

School Board finalizes new superintendent’s contract

Dr. Corey Jones, new superintendent Greene County School System finalizes employment contract with School Board Members Kashaya Cockrell; Carrie Dancy; Dr. Jones; Attorney Hank Sanders; Board President Leo Branch and Board Vice President Dr. Carol P. Zippert

The Greene County Board of Education met in a special session, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, to finalize the contract for employment of Dr. Corey Jones, the superintendent-select for Greene County School System. Dr. Jones’ employment is for a three year term commencing July1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2022.
The official document states that this contract “… shall remain in full force and effect unless modified by mutual consent of the school board and the superintendent or unless terminated as provided in the contract under the Termination” heading.
The school board must also notify the superintendent in writing on or before June 30, 2021, (one year prior to his contract ending) whether or not it intends to renew the contract for an additional term commencing July 1, 2022. Likewise, if the superintendent intends not to seek another contract with the school district, he must give the board written notice of his decision no later than one calendar year prior to expiration of this contract.The superintendent serves as Secretary of the Board and as educational leader of the district “…as required by the laws of the State of Alabama and the lawful policies and directives of the board. The superintendent’s duties shall include those duties as set forth in Alabama law, and Greene County Board of Education Policy.”
The contract states that no later than October 1, 2019 the superintendent shall develop and submit to the board in writing proposed school system goals and objectives. “The Strategic Plan should be addressed in the superintendent’s goals and objectives along with the proposed means of measuring such accomplishments.”
Beginning June 1, 2020 and for each year of this contract thereafter, the school board shall evaluate and assess in writing the performance of the superintendent using an instrument selected by the board.
Dr. Jones will receive a salary of $102,000 annually and will be entitled to state pay raises afforded certified personnel in the appropriate tier. Other benefits available to the superintendent include health and related benefits; retirement benefits; life and disability insurance; vacation time; sick leave; professional growth experiences; professional membership in related fields; technology and related support; business expense allowance; and access to an automobile for personal and professional use.

Newswire : Arab autocrats funding violent crackdown in Sudan

Sudan’s military junta turns guns on civilian protestors

June 3, 2019 (GIN) – The hopeful path to peace in Sudan evaporated almost overnight as members of Sudan’s military junta suddenly cocked their rifles and aimed them at a sit-down demonstration by hundreds of civilians.

Over 30 Sudanese peaceful protestors preparing for the Muslim ritual Eid al Fitr – Festival of Breaking the Fast – lost their lives in an instant. Audio from civilian radios posted online captured the sounds of crying, shouting, and nonstop gunfire.

The question on everyone’s lips has been: What changed? What unleashed this deadly assault on quietly seated pro-democracy demonstrators?

Some analysts suspect the influence of ‘outside agitators’ – namely the autocratic leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – who had tried to maintain ousted president Omar al-Bashir in power but, failing that, would fuel a counter-coup under the leadership of Sudan’s restive military junta.

These countries had faced their own “Arab Spring” years back and were unwilling to see another pro-democracy movement rise in this major center of influence, reports Simon Tisdall of The Guardian news.

Only a week before, negotiations appeared to be nearing a settlement between Sudan’s ruling military junta and the civilian leaders of a movement that was now numbering in the thousands. But the talks stalled over a core demand that civilians assume immediate leadership of the country until elections could be held.

The Sudanese military leaders turned to their allies in the anti-democratic governments of Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia and help was forthcoming.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman promised $3 billion in aid, Tisdall reported, while the powerful Emirati crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed, vowed to help “preserve Sudan’s security and stability”.

Al-Sisi, who publicly pledged to honor the “will of the Sudanese people”, is believed to playing both sides of the struggle, seeing Egyptian interests in the Nile water disputes as a possible outcome for backing the generals.

Egypt has already given the Sudanese junta significant assistance. The African Union, which Egypt currently chairs, set a 15-day deadline for the military to hand over power when Bashir fell. The deadline was extended to three months, however, when al-Sisi intervened.

While some in Sudan’s pro-democracy movement had anticipated foreign meddling, the brutality of the attack leveled at civilians with tear gas and live rounds of ammunition were shocking.

“This is a critical point in our revolution. The military council has chosen escalation and confrontation … Now the situation is us or them; there is no other way,” said Mohammed Yousef al-Mustafa, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which has spearheaded the protests.

Meanwhile Washington, while publicly urging dialogue, has shown little interest in supporting Sudan’s democratic renaissance.

Similarly, Britain, the former colonial power, appears uncaring and unengaged.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, one of the main pro-reform groups, has called on Sudanese people to take part in “total civil disobedience” to topple the military council and for people for take to the streets to protest.

Amnesty International has called on the UN Security Council to consider imposing sanctions on members of the Transitional Military Council (TMC).

The TMC “has completely destroyed the trust of the Sudanese people and crushed the people’s hope for a new era of respect for human rights and respect for the right to protest without fear,” they said.

Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, condemned violence and reports of excessive use of force by Sudanese security forces on civilians. He urged all parties “to act with utmost restraint”.

And on Twitter, a tweet signed Mehairy J. Blige read: “We are trying to overthrow one government but instead we are facing four. Our own and the gulf “allies” funding and organizing these massacres.”