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Historian Connects the Magna Carta and Today’s Black Lives Matter Movement

As the Magna Carta turns 800 years old today, democracy for all is still treasured.

The Magna Carta turns 800 years old today. Known as the “Great Charter,” it is widely considered the foundation of parliamentary democracy, human rights and the supremacy of the law over the crown. As dignitaries including the queen of England and Prime Minister David Cameron commemorate the sealing of the historic text, we go to Lincoln Castle in England, where the finest originals of the Magna Carta and the charters of English liberty are kept in a lockstone vault, and speak with people’s historian Peter Linebaugh, author of “The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberty and Subsistence for All.” He is attending the event to draw connections between the Magna Carta and the Black Lives Matter movement.

— Democracy Now!

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • “We can’t rely on the Queen, the Prime Minister and people of their ilk to bring us this knowledge (Charter of the Forest | Commons)” Interesting, still-significant, little-known facts on the Magna Carta. Even after a Supreme Court decision clearly pointing out that Guantanamo prisoners are being held in violation of their rights, after many months dozens remain there while judges do nothing to rectify/resolve the obvious human rights violations.

    • I could have been more clear, Jerry. Should have said something like, “The concept of democracy is still treasured, and yearned for by all.”

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