Assassination: An Extreme form of Censorship

by MSO

Mohandas 'Mahatma' Gandhi: Leader of the Indian nationalist movement against British rule, Gandhi practiced a doctrine of non-violent protests to achieve political and social progress, however, on January 30, 1948, he was assassinated in Delhi by a Hindu fanatic.

“You know what’s interesting about assassinations,” Comedian George Carlin once said.”Well, not only does it change those popularity polls in a big hurry, but it’s also interesting to notice who it is we assassinate. Ya ever notice who it is we kill? It’s always people who’ve told us to live together in harmony and try to love one another. Jesus, Gandhi, Lincoln, John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Malcom X, John Lennon – they all said, “try to live together peacefully.” Bam! Right in the head! Apparently we’re not ready for that. Yeah, that’s difficult behavior for us. We’re too busy sitting around trying to think up ways to kill each other.”

For centuries assassinations have been considered the oldest form of power politics, dating as far back as the assassination of Julius Caesar. Defined as the sudden or secret act of deliberately killing someone of public or political recognition and often times for political reasoning, some assassinations can also be prompted by religious, ideological or military motives as well as for financial gain or a desire for notoriety by either lone gunmen or organized groups.

Whatever the reason may be, take a look at a condensed list of some of histories famous and well known assassinations;

Famous Assassinations

Julius Caesar: Politician and general of the late Roman republic – Caesar gained notoriety for extending the Roman empire and making himself a dictator of Rome. However, his success and ambition saw the alienation of republican senators who conspired and assassinated the dictator on the Ides of March in 44 BC.

Abraham Lincoln: Sixteenth president of the United States of America, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 which led to the freeing of all slaves in the USA. However, 5 days after the Civil war ended in 1865, Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending a play at Ford’s Theater.

John F. Kennedy: A strong advocate of social welfare and civil rights legislations John F. Kennedy was not only the youngest president elected into office, but he was also the youngest to die while in office when he was killed in his motorcade by an assassins bullet in 1963.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: A leader of the civil-rights movement in America and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 while in Memphis, Tenn. to support striking sanitation workers.

Malcolm X: Known as a controversial African-American Muslim minister, public speaker and human rights activist, Malcom X was assassinated while speaking at Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965 when three gunmen rushed the stage and shot the 39-year-old 15 times at close range.

Robert F. Kennedy: In 1968, younger brother of John F. Kennedy and running candidate for the US presidential elections Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed after delivering a speech to supports upon winning the California primary at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

John Lennon: A founding member of The Beatles, John Lennon began a solo career in the 70s, releasing his album Imagine, an ode to a world brought together by peace and harmony. However, after a brief hiatus from public attention, Lennon and wife Yoko Ono began work on a comeback album called Double Fantasy. While outside of the apartment building he and Ono resided, Lennon was shot and killed on December 8, 1980.

Anwar Sadat: Nobel Peace Prize winner and president of Egypt Anwar Sadat was assassinated on October 6, 1981 when Islamic fundamentalists opened fire on Sadat and his entourage as they attended an annual military parade celebrating the successful campaigns during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Yitzhak Rabin: Nobel Peace Prize winner and Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a gunman in central Tel Aviv after attending a rally on November 4, 1995.

Medgar Evers: Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People and a major figure in the civil rights movement, Medgar Evers was murdered on June 12, 1963 by white supremacist Byron de la Beckwith.

Aleksander Litvinenko: Former member of the Russian secret service and outspoken critic of Russia, Aleksander Litvinenko died on November 19, 2006 after a toxicology test showed that he was poisoned.

Franz Ferdinand: On June 28, 1914, Archduke of Austria and Prince of Hungary and Bohemia Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, setting into motion a series of diplomatic events that led to the outbreak of the first world war.

Lee Harvey Oswald: Said to be the lone gunman who assassinated President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald was shot to death by nightclub owner Jack Rudy as he was being escorted out of Dallas police headquarters in full view of television cameras.

Benazir Bhutto: On December 27, 2007 Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at a campaign rally in Rawalpindi after a gunman fired at her car before detonating a bomb, killing himself and more than 20 bystanders.

Grigoris Lambrakis: Greek politician, physician and member of the School of Medicine at the University of Athens, Grigoris Lambrakis marched alone from Marathon to Athens holding a banner with the peace symbol in 1963 after police banned the rally and demonstrators from participating. A member of parliament, he was protected by his parliamentary immunity and followed through with the demonstration making him a hero to the left party.

Believing him to be a communist and a danger to pro-America Greece, Lambrakis was murdered after giving a speech in Thessaloniki in 1963 when right-wing extremists struck him in the head with a club causing severe brain injuries.

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