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What US black radio makes of this moment

The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has reignited the conversation about racial equality around the world.

BBC World Service has been listening in to some of what is being said on black-owned radio stations across the United States.

As part of a series called Black America Speaks, listeners have been on a virtual road trip across the US from Philadelphia to Los Angeles via Chicago and Houston.

Across the US, 13% of the population identifies as being black, yet only 1.6% of commercial radio stations in the country are black-owned, according to the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.

Radio stations WURD, KCOH, KJLH and WVON worked with the BBC OS radio team to share the black experience of life in the US during this time of change.

Houston, Texas

One block away from the Third Ward district where George Floyd grew up is Houston’s KCOH radio.

The historic KCOH studio has a “looking glass window” that allows people on the street to watch the activity inside while broadcasters and guests are on air.

Fourteen-year-old Dre Barnes went into the studio with his mum Latarsha and told host Jerri P Beasley that the video of Mr Floyd’s killing felt like it was “happening to me in real time” and that he felt “hunted” by the police because of his skin colour.

Every day, Dre said, “I make myself educated and present a safe demeanour.”

Even at the age of 14 he says he thinks about how to behave if he has an encounter with the police.

“Try to make it seem like I’m not aggressive – like a statistic. Make sure they feel safe and I feel safe at the exact same time, when that moment happens. I want to comply with whatever they are saying, make sure I’m not being difficult and just try to make their job and my job easier so there can be no aggression. And if anything does happen, God forbid, you can’t even say ‘my hand twitched in the wrong direction.”’

Latarsha is mother to four black sons.

“I pray first and prepare my son second. It takes your breath away knowing that education and respect is not enough, that the colour of their skin overrides everything in certain situations. As an African-American parent you cannot 100% prepare them for everything.”

When asked for a solution to racial inequality, Dre said: “Worldwide understanding is what we all need. Make sure your voice is heard wherever you are and what’s happening. We must not be quiet or scared. Let them know you have a passion and a fiery spirit – and you won’t let anything get in the way, whether it’s a baton or pepper spray. We’ve got to make sure it doesn’t go away.”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

WURD in Philadelphia is the only black-owned and operated talk radio station in Pennsylvania.

Solomon Jones is the presenter of WURD’s breakfast show Wake up with WURD.

“George Floyd was the match, but the powder keg was already there. Our people are talking about the conditions that existed prior to this that made this possible to happen.”

Reverend Barclay called in to the live programme.

“This is our moment and I believe we have to take advantage because it might be the last train home. We need to be authentically black in all the places we occupy, the boardroom or the pulpit. We have to be careful we don’t display just our anger in this moment but clearly identify, in our minds at least, what success is going to look like.”

WURD’s CEO Sara Lomax Reese chaired the conversation and asked her team of presenters about where they saw the line between their need for journalistic objectivity and activism.

Solomon Jones said: “I was black before I was anything else, a journalist, a radio host, before they told me I had to be even-handed! My family worked hard in order to get through the discrimination they faced when they moved from South Carolina and put me in a position where I could actually communicate our history, our needs and wants. For me to be anything other than an activist for my people would be a waste of everything they have gone through. I am a black man first and everything else flows from that.”

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago radio station WVON was originally known as The Voice of the Negro in the third largest city in the US.

Host Perri Small said “We have our own George Floyd, we have Laquan Macdonald” – a teenager who was murdered by a police officer in 2014.

Alongside a discussion about a series of shootings in the city that weekend, the WVON breakfast show discussed how NBA stars are soon to have social justice statements printed on their jerseys.

Breakfast show guest, attorney Ernest B Fenton said:

“It’s ridiculous, because it’s not enough. Symbolism doesn’t work for black people. The real deal is, we should shut it down. We need to control our labour in the NBA, the NFL, entertainment, black lawyers like me – we should shut the court system down.”

Los Angeles, California

In 1992, Los Angeles saw widespread rioting after the acquittal of four police officers who were captured on video beating Rodney King after stopping his car.

Claims of police brutality against black people are now often being supported by mobile phone video footage.

KJLH radio is owned by music legend Stevie Wonder.

Host Dominique DiPrima said: “People think of Tinsel Town, beaches and Hollywood and ‘Straight Outta Compton’ but I don’t think people really give Los Angeles the credit it deserves for the long-term activism we have as a core tradition.”

Eddie from LA called into Dominique’s Front Page morning show.

He wanted to look ahead to this year’s elections and how Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden should approach the debate to resolving conflict on race relations: “Biden needs to be clear about the idea of reparations; we need a clear vision of what we want. What does it mean? Free education, medicine, some housing thing?”

Many schools and universities across the US have campus police forces.

After weeks of protests, the Los Angeles Board of Education decided to reduce its police force on school campuses by 35%.

Amara Abdullah said: “I’ve had multiple bad experiences with school police and it’s another sign that when we fight we win. People need to get involved when they can, there’s social media – there’s not just one way to organise.”

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Judge orders suspension of Dakota Access Pipeline

The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline has been ordered to suspend production by a US judge, amid concerns over its environmental impact.

The order is a major win for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has led the fight against the pipeline.

The ruling demands the pipeline is emptied within 30 days so another environmental review can take place.

Separately, the Supreme Court blocked another controversial oil pipeline from continuing construction.

Judges sided with environmental groups, requiring the Keystone XL Pipeline – which would stretch from the Canadian province of Alberta to Texas in the southern US – to undergo an arduous review before construction can resume.

Both projects were backed by US President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election after they were blocked by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

What is the Dakota Access Pipeline?

The $3.7bn (£2.8bn) 1,200 mile-(1,900km) long pipeline, completed in 2017, can transport some 570,000 barrels of crude oil a day across four states, from North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois, where it can be shipped to refineries.

Supporters of the pipeline, owned by Energy Transfer, argue it provides a more cost-effective, efficient means of transporting crude, rather than shipping barrels by train.

But the Standing Rock Sioux and their supporters argued the project – which passed just north of the tribe’s reservation – would contaminate drinking water and damage sacred burial sites.

What did the judge say?

Federal judge James E Boasberg, sitting at the District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled that the construction of the pipeline had fallen short of environmental standards.

It therefore needed to undergo a more thorough environmental review than had been conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers before it could be allowed to continue working, he said. The process is expected to take 13 months, according to the Financial Times.

“Given the seriousness of the Corps’ Nepa (National Environmental Policy Act) error, the impossibility of a simple fix, the fact that Dakota Access did assume much of its economic risk knowingly, and the potential harm each day the pipeline operates, the Court is forced to conclude that the flow of oil must cease,” Judge Boasberg’s ruling concluded.

What has the response been?

Chairman Mike Faith, of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said it was a “historic day” for all those who had fought the pipeline.

“This pipeline should have never been built here,” he said. “We told them that from the beginning.”

But Energy Transfer said it did not believe the ruling was “supported by the law or the facts of the case”.

Spokeswoman Lisa Coleman told news agency AFP they believed “Judge Boasberg has exceeded his authority in ordering the shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been safely operating for more than three years”.

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Coronavirus: Up to a third of Britons ‘wouldn’t use a vaccine for COVID-19’

A third of Britons have said they are either unsure or definitely wouldn’t use a vaccine for coronavirus, a poll has found.

The survey, conducted on behalf of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), coincides with the release of a report by the same group into the spread of anti-vaccine misinformation online.

The poll found that members of the public who relied on social media more than traditional platforms for information were less likely to say they would get vaccinated.

The survey spoke to 1,663 people in Britain, with 6% saying they definitely wouldn’t get vaccinated.

But a further 10% said they would “probably not” while another 15% said they did not know, taking the numbers of those who may not get vaccinated against the deadly disease up to almost a third of those surveyed.

A total of 69% were likely to use a vaccine after 38% said they “definitely” would and another 31% declared they “probably” would.

With scientists predicting that more than three-quarters of the population would need to be vaccinated in order to have success in suppressing coronavirus, the findings could represent a threat to the ability to contain COVID-19.

CCDH said its polling results come amid a dramatic rise in the popularity of anti-vaccine social media pages and channels, with 7.7 million more social media users following such accounts since the outbreak of coronavirus.

The research group’s poll was carried out by YouGov between 24 and 25 June

The UK lost its measles-free status last year due to experiencing a fall in the number of parents ensuring their children were vaccinated.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at the time that the UK was “suddenly going in the wrong direction” and that “people have been listening to that superstitious mumbo jumbo on the internet, all that anti-vax stuff”.

In its new report, titled The Anti-Vax Industry, the CCDH suggests the total following for anti-vax advocates and groups online is up to 57 million across both the US and UK.

It analysed more than 400 anti-vax Facebook groups and pages, YouTube channels, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The study found they were publishing false conspiracy theories, including that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had created the coronavirus pandemic, that vaccines cause COVID-19, and that tests for the coronavirus vaccine had caused women to become infertile.

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Boohoo accused of 'slavery' as Leicester factory workers paid £3.50 an hour

The online fashion giant Boohoo is reeling after facing ‘modern slavery’ accusations suggesting that staff at one of its factories in Leicester were paid as little as £3.50 an hour.

The company has said it will investigate alleged illegal practices at a supplier in the East Midlands city, after reports that staff were being paid less than minimum wage to work in poor conditions.

On Sunday, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he had ‘quite significant concerns’ about employment practices at clothing factories in Leicester following a Sunday Times report, which comes in the wake of the city being put on a local lockdown amid a surge in coronavirus cases. An undercover reporter alleged mispractice on the factory floor and claimed to have been told that pay would be decided based on ‘how you work’.

The fast-fashion retailer told investors on Monday that it will end relationships with any supplier it finds to have broken its code of conduct.

But market analysts at Liberum said they believe the response from Boohoo ‘does not go far enough’.

The brokerage said: ‘The statement only really speaks of investigating the particular factory in question and raises the question of how many other breaches management is potentially unaware of.

‘The rest of the statement speaks of procedures and checks that management has already put in place, which if the allegations are true, have clearly not been robust enough to stop significant breaches happening.

‘With an investigation requested by the Home Secretary into the matter, we think Boohoo had an opportunity to show leadership and get ahead of these allegations, and this statement will do little to convince stakeholders.’

Shares in Boohoo sank this morning following the report which said the factory — displaying the Jaswal Fashions signage — was also operating last week during the local lockdown without additional health measures in place.

Allegations were also made that workers making clothes for Boohoo brand Nasty Gal were operating without social distancing measures in place.

The findings have prompted an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA), with the allegations labelled ‘appalling’ by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Ms Patel also said: ‘I will not tolerate sick criminals forcing innocent people into slave labour and a life of exploitation.

‘Let this be a warning to those who are exploiting people in sweatshops like these for their own commercial gain.

‘This is just the start. What you are doing is illegal, it will not be tolerated and we are coming after you.’

The NCA said it had attended ‘a number’ of business premises with other agencies, including Leicestershire police which said it undertaken ‘routine visits’ at nine locations.

In a statement, it explained: ‘Within the last few days NCA officers, along with Leicestershire Police and other partner agencies, attended a number of business premises in Leicester area to assess concerns of modern slavery and human trafficking.’

The Health and Safety Executive is also investigating the claims.

In a statement to the stock market, Boohoo had said: ’We will not hesitate to immediately terminate relationships with any supplier who is found not to be acting within both the letter and spirit of our supplier code of conduct.

‘This includes very clear expectations on transparency about second tier suppliers.’

It said it was ‘very grateful’ for the Sunday Times for highlighting the alleged conditions at the factory, saying these were ‘totally unacceptable and fall woefully short of any standards acceptable in any workplace’.

Nasty Gal told the Sunday Times that the company would investigate the claims but said the factory are not a ‘direct supplier’.

Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that Boohoo cleared old stock and brought in a new line at a speed that ‘astonished industry insiders and supply chain experts’. 

Mr Hancock told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme that ‘very significant fines’ can be handed out, or businesses shut down, if employment laws and Government workplace safety guidance were found to have been breached.

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Algeria buries remains of anti-colonial fighters after 150 years

The skulls of 24 combatants laid to rest after being repatriated from France where they were kept in a Parisian museum.

Algeria buried the remains of 24 resistance fighters returned from Paris after more than a century and a half as it marked the 58th anniversary of its independence from France.

The skulls of the fighters – shot and decapitated in the early years of the French occupation – were laid to rest on Sunday during an emotional ceremony at El Alia cemetery.

Coffins draped with the national flag were lowered into freshly dug graves in the Martyr’s Square of Algeria’s largest burial ground, alongside national heroes such as top revolt leader Emir Abdelkader.

An elite unit of the Republican Guard presented arms while a funeral march played in the background, an AFP news agency correspondent reported.

The skulls, once viewed as war trophies by French colonial officers, were flown into Algiers international airport on Friday and then moved to the Palace of Culture where they were placed on display.

The return of the skulls was the result of years of efforts by Algerian historians, and comes amid a growing global reckoning with the legacy of colonialism.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who took part in the ceremony, on Saturday said it was time to turn a page on years of frosty relations with France, calling on Paris to apologise for its colonial past.

“We have already had half-apologies. The next step is needed … we await it,” he told news channel France 24 in an interview.

An apology was necessary to “face the problem of memory that jeopardises many things in the relations between the two countries”, Tebboune said.

It would “make it possible to cool tensions and create a calmer atmosphere for economic and cultural relations”, especially for the more than six million Algerians who live in France, he added.

Long process

Despite stifling heat, a long queue formed outside the palace and some men and women, waiting to pay their respects, wept, according to footage broadcast by several television stations.

“I came as a fighter, as an invalid from the war of liberation, as a citizen who loves his country,” said Ali Zemlat.

The 85-year-old fought in the brutal 1954-1962 war that ended France’s 132 years of colonial rule in Algeria.

The 24 fought French colonial forces who occupied Algeria in 1830 and took part in an 1849 revolt. After they were decapitated, their skulls were taken to France as trophies.

In 2011, Algerian historian and researcher Ali Farid Belkadi discovered the skulls at the Museum of Man in Paris, across from the Eiffel Tower, and alerted Algerian authorities.

The researcher lobbied for years for their return and Algerias then-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, eventually launched the formal repatriation request.

French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to the repatriation in 2018 but bureaucratic obstacles resulted in the delay of their return.

“We have recovered part of our memory,historian Mohamed el-Korso told The Associated Press news agency. But the fight must continue until the recovery of all the remains of the resistance fighters, which number in the hundreds, and the archives of our revolution.

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Coronavirus: On the streets of Leicester, where lockdown remains and fear reigns

The streets around North Evington to the east of Leicester’s city centre certainly aren’t deserted, but many of those out and about are wearing face masks and trying to keep their distance.

The people we speak to say they’re doing their food shopping, which is permitted.

Most businesses are closed – but those selling essential supplies are open.

We see at least six police officers and community support officers walking around the streets reminding people of the coronavirus lockdown rules in the hour or so that we’re there.

A few days ago the authorities closed two businesses for breaching lockdown, and they’re assessing whether others have breached rules.

There’s a fine of anywhere between £100 and £3,200 for anyone caught breaking the rules.

I’m surprised to see a coffee shop open – but when I see inside, they’ve diversified to sell food.

It’s about “survival”, says Wahid, who runs it.

He’s surrounded by closed factories, so footfall is significantly down. If he’s lucky he’ll makes 30% of what he normally does. He tells me that his customers are “scared” of the virus.

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Thousands of drinkers hit pubs to celebrate 'Super Saturday' in England

Thousands of drinkers have hit the pubs in England as lockdown restrictions are eased on what has been named ‘Super Saturday’.

Pictures show large numbers of people gathering with pints in hand, as the country emerges from a three-month ‘national hibernation’.

Massive queues have been seen outside pubs all day long, with some punters reportedly waiting up to an hour to get inside.

Hundreds of drinkers in Soho, London were photographed filling the streets, after social distancing rules meant that only a limited number of people could fit inside boozers.

Images from cities including Norwich, Newcastle and Bristol also show the celebrations getting underway.

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While many people kept their distance in pictures, others appeared to be ignoring the government’s one-metre distancing rules.

Pubs are among the UK businesses hit the hardest during the coronavirus pandemic, with industry experts previously fearing thousands would not survive.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, has described the Covid-19 crisis as ‘devastating’ for the sector financially.







However, fears are rife that drunken behaviour could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases.

Boris Johnson urged the public to ‘not let the country down’ on Friday before pubs reopned at 6am this morning.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference yesterday, the prime minister said the public needed to focus on ‘supporting the livelihoods of businesses across country’ – but must do so ‘responsibly’.

He said: ‘Lockdown only succeeded in controlling the virus because everyone worked together, and we will only succeed in reopening if everyone works together again, because we are not out of the woods yet.

‘The virus is still with us and the spike in Leicester has shown that. If it starts running out of control again this government will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions.

‘Anyone who flouts social distancing and COVID-Secure rules is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal.







‘So as we take this next step, our biggest step yet, on the road to recovery, I urge the British people to do so safely.’

It comes as a new poll suggests more than half of voters think the hospitality sector has been reopened too soon.

The Opinium survey also claims that 73% of people expect a second outbreak of Covid-19 this year.

It states the Government’s disapproval rating is at 49% – with just 30% approving of its performance.

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Fourth of July 2020 food deals

Fireworks, pyrotechnic industry struggling before July Fourth

Five Alarm Fireworks Owner Cesar Benitez discusses business being down due to coronavirus, even during the busy Fourth of July season. FOX Business’ Jeff Flock with more.

If large Fourth of July barbecues are off the menu for your family due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are still food deals you can take advantage of to celebrate the national holiday.

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US CORONAVIRUS CASES HIT NEW SINGLE-DAY HIGH AHEAD OF FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND

(iStock)

Here are six establishments that are promoting money-saving deals for delivery and carryout or featuring temporary menu items.

CORONAVIRUS-PROMPTED JULY 4TH CANCELLATIONS LEAVE FIREWORKS DISPLAY COMPANIES 'ON LIFE SUPPORT'

Blaze Pizza: The “fast-fire’d” pizza chain and Postmates are offering free delivery on all orders that are $15 or more for the Fourth of July weekend.

Bonefish Grill: The seafood chain is offering its signature BFG Lobster and Shrimp Roll as either a single entrée or a $45 family bundle that serves up to four people on July 4 and July 5. Only carryout and delivery are available.

JULY 4TH TRAFFIC: DRIVERS ARE MOST, LEAST LIKELY TO TAKE LONG TRIPS FROM THESE CITIES

Krispy Kreme: The doughnut chain is offering four limited-edition treats with holiday themes through July 5 or as long as supplies last. They include the Patriotic Sprinkles Doughnut, Original Filled Freedom Ring Doughnut, Firework Doughnut and Strawberry Sparkler Doughnut. A Patriotic Dozen can be purchased for around $16.49, though the price can vary depending on the Krispy Kreme location.

Ruby Tuesday: The American-style chain is offering 15 percent off on Ruby TueGo orders, including catering orders that are $100 or more.

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The Cheesecake Factory: The American restaurant and cheesecake house is offering seven menu items for $20 until July 5. Customers will get two Happy Hour Double Cheeseburgers, two French fries, two beverages and one slice of OREO Dream Extreme Cheesecake.

Del Taco: The Mexican-inspired taco chain is offering free delivery through DoorDash for any Epic Beyond Burrito or meal order that’s made during the Fourth of July weekend.

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Trump orders creation of national heroes garden

US President Donald Trump has ordered the creation of a “National Garden of American Heroes” to defend what he calls “our great national story” against those who vandalise statues.

His executive order gives a new task force 60 days to present plans, including a location, for the garden.

He insists the new statues must be lifelike, “not abstract or modernist”.

A number of US statues have been pulled down since the police killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd in May.

Monuments linked to the slave-owning Confederacy during the Civil War in America have been especially targeted in the nationwide protests ignited by the death of Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

President Trump has defended Confederate symbols as a part of American heritage.

In a speech to mark Independence Day at Mount Rushmore, he condemned the anti-racism protesters who toppled statues.

He said America’s national heritage was being threatened – an emotive appeal for patriotism.

The garden – to be in a place of natural beauty near a city – is to be opened by 4 July 2026, Mr Trump’s executive order says. State authorities and civic organisations are invited to donate statues for it.

President Trump’s choice of historical figures to be commemorated in the garden is likely to be controversial.

The list of “historically significant” Americans includes predictably Founding Fathers like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but also frontiersman Davy Crockett, evangelical Christian preacher Billy Graham, Ronald Reagan and World War Two heroes Douglas MacArthur and George Patton.

There will also be statues of African American civil rights campaigners Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr.

Controversially, Mr Trump includes non-Americans who “made substantive historical contributions to the discovery, development, or independence of the future United States”.

So the garden can have statues of Christopher Columbus, Junipero Serra and the Marquis de Lafayette.

Columbus and the Spanish Catholic missionary Serra are far from heroic for Native Americans, because their “discoveries” led to the enslavement and exploitation of indigenous people by white colonists.

America’s early economic development also relied on slavery – which makes some of the traditional national heroes dubious for African Americans.

The Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat and military commander, led American troops in key battles against the British in the American Revolution.

What did President Trump say in his speech?

It was a highly symbolic setting for the speech: Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota, features the carved faces of four US presidents, two of whom – George Washington and Thomas Jefferson – were slave-owners.

It also stands on land that was taken from the indigenous Lakota Sioux by the US government in the 1800s.

President Trump railed against the “cancel culture” of those who toppled monuments during recent anti-racism protests.

He condemned those who targeted statues as “angry mobs”.

Mr Trump accused protesters of “a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children”. “We will not be silenced,” he said.

The president, who has been heavily criticised for his handling of the US coronavirus pandemic, made little reference to the disease that has now claimed almost 130,000 American lives.

The US recorded its largest single-day rise in coronavirus infections on Friday, bringing the total to more than 2.5 million – the most of any country.

Masks and social distancing were not mandatory at the Mount Rushmore event, despite warnings by health officials.

Native American groups criticised Mr Trump’s visit for posing a health risk, and for celebrating US independence in an area that is sacred to them.

Many Native Americans do not celebrate Independence Day because they associate it with the colonisation of their tribal homelands and the loss of their cultural freedoms.

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France returns remains of Algerian anti-colonial fighters

The return of the skulls of 24 resistance fighters comes amid a growing global reckoning with the legacy of colonialism.

Algeria has received the skulls of 24 resistance fighters decapitated during France’s colonial occupation of the North African country, and which had been stored for decades in a Paris museum.

The return of the skulls was the result of years of efforts by Algerian historians and comes amid a growing global reckoning with the legacy of colonialism.

“The valiant resistance fighters who refused the colonisation of their country by imperial France were displayed immorally for decades, like vulgar objects of antiquity, without respect for their dignity, their memory. That is the monstrous face of colonisation,” Algerian army chief Said Chengiha said in a speech on Friday.

“Algeria is living a special day today,” he said.

The 24 fought French colonial forces who occupied Algeria in 1830 and took part in an 1849 revolt. After they were decapitated, their skulls were taken to France as trophies.

In 2011, Algerian historian and researcher Ali Farid Belkadi discovered the skulls at the Museum of Man in Paris, across from the Eiffel Tower, and alerted Algerian authorities.

The researcher lobbied for years for their return, and Algeria’s then-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika eventually launched the formal repatriation request.

French President Emmanuel Macron agreed in 2018 but bureaucratic obstacles delayed the return until now.

In December 2019, Macron said “colonialism was a grave mistake” and called for turning the page on the past.

The remains will be on public display at the Palace of Culture in the capital on Saturday, and will then be buried in a special funeral east of Algiers on Sunday – the 58th anniversary of Algeria’s independence from France after a long and bloody war.

In tears, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune presided over Friday’s ceremony, alongside the heads of both houses of Parliament and top military officials.

Three MiG jets escorted the Algerian Ilyushin military plane carrying the remains.

The skulls were placed in coffins wrapped in the Algerian flag, and carried by soldiers across the tarmac as a military band played.

Among the remains were those of revolt leader Sheikh Bouzian, who was captured in 1849 by the French, shot and decapitated, and the skull of resistance leader Mohammed Lamjad ben Abdelmalek, also known as Cherif Boubaghla (the man with the mule).

Historians welcomed the return of the remains, but say they are just part of Algeria’s history that is still in French hands.

“We have recovered part of our memory,” historian Mohamed El Korso told The Associated Press news agency.

“But the fight must continue, until the recovery of all the remains of the resistance fighters, which number in the hundreds, and the archives of our revolution.”

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