A historical marker for Emmett Till has been vandalized, less than a year after receiving bullet holes in October. The marker, which contained information on and pictures of Till, was erected in honor of the black teenager who was kidnapped and lynched in 1955. The Associated Press reports that according to Allan Hammons, whose public relations firm constructed the marker, someone scratched it with a blunt tool in May and now the vinyl panels have been peeled off the back.
“Who knows what motivates people to do this?” Hammons told AP. “Vandals have been around since the beginning of time.”
The metal marker was unveiled in 2011 as a part of the Mississippi Freedom Trail, a series of state-funded markers at significant civil rights site to highlight the state’s African-American history. The murder of Till further inspired the Civil Rights Movement after Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, held an open-casket funeral for her son in Chicago. She wanted to show how her 14-year-old son had been abused while visiting the Mississippi Delta.
The marker stands within yards of the infamous Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market, where white shopkeeper Carolyn Bryant alleged that Till whistled at her. The teenager was later kidnapped, beaten and killed for allegedly offending Bryant. The 21-year-old’s husband, Roy Bryant, and brother-in-law, J.W. Milan, were acquitted by a white jury in the case of Tull. NBC News reports the two later confessed to the killing in a paid interview with Look magazine. IN 2008, Carolyn Bryant, now Carolyn Donham, revealed to Duke University scholar Timothy B. Tyson that she falsely testified against Till. According to Hammons, the Freedom Trail marker cost more than $8,000 and repairs will cost at least $500.
It s a cultural thing. We want to keep the Finnish culture alive, said Anja Rissanen, a former manager at the Ontario Finnish Resthome Association (OFRA) and current resident.
On Friday, the rest home held its annual Juhannus Celebration. Juhannus is Finland s midsummer festival and is one of the country’s biggest events of the year. In Canada, Finnish immigrants and their descendants continue the tradition and at OFRA the celebrations have been held since 1991, the year Rissanen took on the job of planning activities for residents.
Rissanen moved from Porvvo, Finland to Sault Ste. Marie at the age of 19 in 1966. She came here to live with her grandparents and to check it out for five years but she ended up meeting her husband and having two boys and has been here ever since
In 1986, after her children left home, Rissanen got a job as an overnight security guard at OFRA. She worked her way up and in 1991 she took on the beefy role having to manage support services, activities, and environmental services.
Anja Rissanen inside her new apartment at the Ontario Finnish Resthome’s new Uusi Koti complex. Jeff Klassen/SooToday
That year she decided to hold the home’s first Juhhanus festival. Around 300 people from both the rest home and the greater Sault area attended.
It was big. Because it was the first one . . . we kind of wanted it to be not just for us but for the community also, said Rissanen. Back then, the Finnish community was more pronounced in the Sault and at the rest home.
In 1971, the rest home was built by Finnish Canadians who wanted a place for those of Finnish and Estonian descent. By 1991, the rest home was around 40 per cent Finnish and Estonian and in 2017 it s closer to 20 per cent estimated Rissanen. At the first OFRA Juhannus Celebration they had a parade, music, food, and, they crowned a Juhannus queen from the rest home s residents.
It s basically the same thing today. Every year until her retirement in 2010, Rissanen was the one who crowned the Juhannus Queen. In 2016, The Ontario Finnish Resthome Association opened a new senior s apartment complex called Ussi Koti and Rissanen was quick to move in.
It was fitting that this year, Rissanen was crowned Juhannus Queen of Uusi Koti.
I always thought, when I was working here, that (I would retire here), said Rissanen. My life is still here. I know everybody (and) I love residents and dealing with them. It was a very natural move moving here,” she said. The weather was warm and sunny for the 2017 Juhannus Celebration. The event also coincided with a formal grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of Uusi Koti.
This year the event included a version of the somewhat kooky Finnish sport of wife carrying although it was customized for young children and involved them running a pretty easy obstacle course holding dolls and throwing water balloons.
Music was provided by the travelling folk group Sound an Echo who performed with violin and guitar classic Finnish songs along with their own compositions.
OTTAWA Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to assuage public fears and political complaints Tuesday that the Liberal government s decision to allow the Chinese takeover of a Canadian satellite technology company would compromise national security at home and abroad. Hytera Communications Co. Ltd. is set to take over Norsat International Inc., which manufactures radio transceivers and radio systems used by the American military and Canada s NATO partners. The private Chinese firm first made a bid for the Vancouver-based technology company in 2016, triggering a review under federal law to ensure Canadian interests weren t harmed in the foreign takeover.
It was only earlier this month that the results of the review were made public when the company said it had been informed that a formal security review wouldn t be required. Trudeau said an initial government review of the takeover, required under the Investment Canada Act, unearthed no significant national security concerns and didn t require any further reviews. The national security agencies involved in the review recommended the deal to be allowed to proceed, he said.
The review they did was adequate to give them confidence that there was no risk to national security. Therefore, their recommendation to the minister was to allow it to proceed. So we did.
Trudeau insisted that his government would never approve any foreign takeover if there is even a hint of concern that it would harm national security.
We would not move forward with approving investments under the Investment Canada Act if we were not assured and comfortable that there is no risk to national security, period, he told a news conference.
It doesn t matter what country it s from, it doesn t matter what deal it is, if there s a risk to national security, we won t move forward. The deal has been the focus of a debate over national security risks and the federal government s willingness to approve a Chinese takeover of a Canadian technology company. It also comes as the Liberals and China pursue exploratory free trade talks; Canadian government is aiming at opening up the Chinese market to domestic producers in the face of Donald Trump s America First policy on trade.
The ongoing dialogue included an agreement last week where the two countries agreed not to engage in state-sponsored hacking of each other s trade secrets and business information. Opposition MPs have repeatedly raised concerns about the Norsat takeover, there is unease among congressional representatives in the United States about allowing the Chinese firm to have access to sensitive defence technology. The Globe and Mail reported Monday that the U.S. Department of Defence is reviewing all its business dealings with Norsat as a result of the deal.
Norsat makes satellite communications systems used for national security and defence purposes. It has a number of government customers in both Canada and internationally, including the Canadian Coast Guard and the Pentagon. Trudeau said Canadian security agencies consulted American officials as part of their preliminary security screen. Last week, Norsat security holders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the takeover bid. The deal is still subject to approval by the B.C. Supreme Court as well as other regulatory approvals and certain other closing conditions. Norsat was scheduled to apply Tuesday for a final court order to approve the deal.