Tonight we also celebrate and rejoice at the freedom experienced by millions of people when ancient slavery was replaced for many by a form of feudalism that gave some rights and entitlements to peasants who worked the land for all powerful land owners; and the freedom experienced by millions of people when feudal arrangements were replaced by capitalist societies which gave legal rights to people that may have been violated in practice but nevertheless were real advances. We can celebrate also the victories of freedom achieved, 11 11 however limited, when the U.S. freed itself from English domination, when the French Revolution overthrew the ruthless monarchy of the past, and when subsequent revolutions in Europe allowed the Jews to come out of the ghettoes and become equal citizens with Christians in the last half of the 19th century. We can celebrate the ending of slavery in the U.S., partial and flawed, as the subsequent segregation was, the victories of feminist and LGBTQ movements in the past 100 years. We also celebrate the victories working class people who managed through unions and political organizing to secure an 8 hour day and a minimum wage and some safety and health regulations for many workplaces, even as we recognize that these same victories may have to be fought for again as many of the gains of the past are fast being dismantled by the Trump/Pence Administration. We also celebrate the victories of national liberation struggles in South and Central America, Africa and Asia in the 20th century overcoming colonial and imperial regimes. We celebrate the victory to end Apartheid in South Africa, the victory to end British rule over much of Ireland and India, the victory of the Vietnamese people to overcome the harsh regimes created by the French and then by the U.S. We can celebrate the freeing of serfs in Russia and the overthrow of the rule of the Czars, the overthrow of the feudal realities in China and the partial liberation of over a billion people there, including huge advances in the status of women from the days less than a hundred years ago when many had their feet tied together so that they could not escape oppressive family situations. And yet, in every case, including our own liberation from Egypt, when we look carefully we see that what followed often had new and different forms of oppression, but also new possibilities for future struggles to overthrow those new forms of oppression. We invite you, the people at our Seder, to now call out other liberation struggles like those of our own people, that you want to honor tonight, even though we all know that every struggle has been only partial, and that the struggle for liberation must continue everywhere on our planet including in our own country and in our own hearts and souls. Call out the struggles of peoples or nations that we should be honoring.
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