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Press Releases

Rev. Al Sharpton & NAN, Along with National Leaders, to Intensify the Effort To Protect Voting Rights

Feb 28, 2012

Rachel Noerdlinger

/ rachel@noerdlingermedia.com

REV. AL SHARPTON & NAN, ALONG WITH NATIONAL LEADERS, TO INTENSIFY THE EFFORT TO PROTECT VOTING RIGHTS—–

REV. SHARPTON & MARCHERS WILL WALK FROM SELMA TO MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA, MARCH 4-9 & SHARPTON WILL CAMP WITH MARCHERS NIGHTLY TO EMPHASIZE THE CRITICAL STATE OF VOTER SUPPRESSION– WITHOUT A STATE ISSUED ID YOU CAN’T VOTE!

National Action Network (NAN) and partnering civil rights organizations, labor unions, activists and everyday citizens are making the historic march this week from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Marchers started at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Sunday, March 4th and are walking 11-miles daily while staying in the communal campsite of Macedonia Ministries along Route 80. Daily rallies have taken place with themes including voter rights, workers’ rights and immigrant rights and the 6-day march will conclude at the Alabama State Capitol on Friday, March 9th. After the state of Alabama passed the most draconian anti-immigration legislation, and at least 34 states now have voter ID laws on the books, we must take immediate action if we hope to preserve any notion of progress. The march, heading eastbound on U.S. 80 from Selma toward Montgomery will continue each day this week until Friday, when marchers are scheduled to reach Montgomery for a rally on the State House steps. The march aims to protest Alabama’s immigration law and the state’s new voter identification law, which goes into effect in 2014.

Partnering with National Action Network are The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the NAACP, the National Organization for Women (NOW), the National Urban League (NUL), SCLC (Southern Christian leadership Conference), The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and Communications Workers of America (CWA).

The Selma to Montgomery March consisted of three different marches in 1965 that marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights movement. Beaten with billy clubs and attacked with tear gas, it was the third march which lasted five days that made it to Montgomery after soldiers from the Army, members of the Alabama National Guard (under federal command), FBI agents and federal marshals eventually protected the demonstrators. It was because of these marches, and the national and international attention they garnered that Congress rushed to enact legislation that would protect voting for all Americans. It was called the Voting Rights Act, and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed it into law later that year on August 6, 1965.

Almost 50 years after this historic legislation was enacted that we now find ourselves under attack yet again. After countless sacrifices — including many people of all races that literally gave their lives for equality — we are watching the very gains we achieved being slowly and covertly stripped away. It’s important to remember that NAN’s Selma to Montgomery March next week isn’t about the past, however — it’s about the future. Our children’s future and the future of this very nation. Without any validation, individual states are passing these strict voter ID laws that are clearly designed to disenfranchise the poor, people of color, the elderly and young folks. Instead of allowing utility bills and other items that were used for years as appropriate forms of ID for voting, supporters of these new laws would like nothing more than to discourage people from participating. Rather than making the process easier and open to all, they are working diligently on finding new ways to suppress the vote.

The state of Alabama is where the civil rights movement found its heart. Today, when voter ID laws have crept into dozens of states, and one of the toughest and most reprehensible anti-immigration bills passed in Alabama, NAN will gather once again in the deep South and march. Say no to voter suppression and anti-immigration laws. Let’s remind the world once again what’s at stake here. It’s time to go back to the future:

NAN is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the nation, with chapters around the country.  NAN works extensively to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes a standard of decency for all people regardless of race or sex, social justice for all communities, and improvement of race relations.  Through the years NAN has served as a megaphone for the voiceless and an advocate for those in need.  This past year we have focused heavily on the issues of education and non-violence, particularly in the youth community.

For more detailed information please visit www.nationalactionnetwork.net

 


Tentative Schedule for the 47th Anniversary of the Reenactment of the Selma to Montgomery March

 

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Day Date Event Time Place
Sunday 

Mar 

4th

MLK & Coretta King  Breakfast 7:15 

am

Wallace Community College
Sunday Mar 4th Pre-March Rally 1:30 pm Brown Chapel AME Church
Sunday Mar 4th March Begins 2:30 pm Brown Chapel AME Church
Sunday Mar 4th Ceremony-Inductions into the Voting Rights Hall of Fame 3:00 pm Across the Edmund Pettus Bridge-Voting Rights Park
Sunday Mar4th Monument Dedication 3:30 pm Voting Rights Memorial Park
Sunday Mar 4th Begin Selma to Montg. March Mile marker 87.3 Plantation Inn App. 2 miles 4:00pm Hwy. 80, Across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Mile Marker 85
Sunday Mar 4th End march for the day 5:30 pm At the Plantation/Economy Inn 2322 US Hwy 80

Tentative Schedule for the 47th Anniversary of the Reenactment of the Selma to Montgomery March

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Day Date Event Time Place
Monday Mar 5th March Start 9:00 am Mile Marker 88
Monday Mar 5th Rest Stop 10:30 am Mile Marker 91 Chevron Gas Station
Monday Mar 5th Rest Stop 12:15 pm Lunch Southside High School Mile Marker 96
Monday Mar 5th March Resumes 1:00 pm
Monday Mar 5th Rest Stop 2:00 pm Mile Marker 98
Monday Mar 5th March ends for the day 3:00 pm Mile Marker 100 Care Office Benton, AL
Monday Mar 5th Rally 6:00-8:00 pm Tabernacle Baptist Church- 1431 Broad Street Selma, AL 36701

Tentative Schedule for the 47th Anniversary of the Reenactment of the Selma to Montgomery March

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Day Date Event Time Place
Tuesday Mar 6th Bus leave for marching starting point Mile Marker 100 9:00 am Care Office Benton,AL
Tuesday Mar 6th Rest Stop 10:30 am Mile Marker 102 Shell Gas Station
Tuesday Mar 6th Rest Stop 12:15 pm Lunch Interpreter Center Mile Marker 106
Tuesday Mar 6th March Resumes 1:00 pm
Tuesday Mar 6th Rest Stop 2:00 pm Mile Marker 108
Tuesday Mar 6th March Ends 3:00 pm Mile Marker 111 Viola Liusso Monument
Tuesday Mar 6th Rally 6:00 pm-8:00pm First Baptist Church- 709 Dr. Martin Luther King Street Selma, AL 36701

Tentative Schedule for the 47th Anniversary of the Reenactment of the Selma to Montgomery March

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Day Date Event Time Place
Wednesday Mar 7th March Starts 9:00 am Mile Marker 111 Viola Liusso  Monument
Wednesday Mar 7th Rest Stop 10:30am Mile Marker 114 BP Gas Station Lowndesboro
Wednesday Mar 7th Rest Stop 12:15 pm Lunch Canaan Hills Primitive Bapt. Church Mile Marker 116
Wednesday Mar 7th March Resumes 1:00 pm
Wednesday Mar 7th Rest Stop 2:00 pm Mile Marker 118
Wednesday Mar 7th March Ends 3:00 pm Mile Marker 120 Just inside Montgomery County Line
Wednesday Mar 7th Rally 6:00pm-8:00pm Jackson-Steele Community Center- 590 Lowndes County Road 23 White Hall, AL 36040

Tentative Schedule for the 47th Anniversary of the Reenactment of the Selma to Montgomery March

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Day Date Event Time Place
Thursday Mar 8th March Starts 9:00 am Mile Marker 120
Thursday Mar 8th Rest Stop 10:30 am Mile Marker 123
Thursday Mar 8th Rest Stop 12:15 pm Lunch Mile Marker 126 Citgo Gas Station
Thursday Mar 8th March Resumes 1:00pm
Thursday Mar 8th Rest Stop 2:00 pm Mile Marker 128 Fire Station M.P.D. Take Over Security
Thursday Mar 8th March Ends 3:00 pm Saint Jude
Thursday Mar 8th Rally 6:00pm-8:00pm St. Jude’s Educational Institute- 2080 West Fairview Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104

Tentative Schedule for the 47th Anniversary of the Reenactment of the Selma to Montgomery March

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Day Date Event Time Place
Friday Mar 9th March Starts 9:00 am Saint Jude- Travel the Historic Selma to Montgomery March Route
Friday Mar 9th Rest Stop 10:30am
Friday Mar 9th Arrive at State Capitol 12:00 noon State Capitol
Friday Mar 9th Rally 12:00 noon Steps of the Alabama State Capitol- 600 Dexter Avenue Montgomery, AL 36130
Friday Mar 9th Rally 6:00pm-8:00pm Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church- 454 Dexter Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104


MAP OF ROUTE:

http://www.nps.gov/pwr/customcf/apps/maps/showmap.cfm?alphacode=semo&parkname=Selma%20To%20Montgomery%20National%20Historic%20Trail


Back to the Future: All Roads Lead to Selma, Alabama

Posted: 02/29/2012

By Reverend Al Sharpton

Huffington Post

Last night, we watched Willard Mitt Romney give another lackluster speech following his victory in Arizona and extremely slim win in Michigan. Once again devoid of passion, it was as if he was reading someone else’s words without any clear vision of what his platform would be in office. At the same time, you had Rick ‘I don’t believe in higher education’ Santorum give his own speech as if he didn’t lose yesterday. And whether it was Romney or Santorum speaking, it’s important to note that neither mentioned the other by name last night, indicating therefore that they’re in it for the long haul. The truth is, it really doesn’t matter who becomes the eventual GOP nominee because all of the contenders and the Republican Party as a whole have proved that they would indeed like to take the country back — back to a time when systematic maneuvers suppressed the votes of people of color and the marginalized. While they try to regress us back, we must do something today for the sake of our collective future.

From March 4-9th, my organization, National Action Network, will partner with congressional leaders, activists and everyday citizens as we once again make the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. We will begin at the Edmund Pettus Bridge this Sunday, march at least 10 miles per day, stay in tents along Route 80, convene rallies and teach-ins along the way, and finally gather in front of the Alabama State Capitol on Friday, March 9th. After the state of Alabama passed the most draconian anti-immigration legislation, and at least 31 states now have voter ID laws on the books, we must take immediate action if we hope to preserve any notion of progress.

The Selma to Montgomery March consisted of three different marches in 1965 that marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights movement. Beaten with billy clubs and attacked with tear gas, it was the third march which lasted five days that made it to Montgomery after soldiers from the Army, members of the Alabama National Guard (under federal command), FBI agents and federal marshals eventually protected the demonstrators. It was because of these marches, and the national and international attention they garnered that Congress rushed to enact legislation that would protect voting for all Americans. It was called the Voting Rights Act, and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed it into law later that year on August 6, 1965.

It’s amazing that almost 50 years after this historic legislation was enacted that we now find ourselves under attack yet again. After countless sacrifices — including many people of all races that literally gave their lives for equality — we are watching the very gains we achieved being slowly and covertly stripped away. It’s important to remember that our Selma to Montgomery March next week isn’t about the past, however — it’s about the future. Your future, my future, our children’s future and the future of this very nation. Without any validation, individual states are passing these strict voter ID laws that are clearly designed to disenfranchise the poor, people of color, the elderly and young folks. Instead of allowing utility bills and other items that were used for years as appropriate forms of ID for voting, supporters of these new laws would like nothing more than to discourage people from participating. Rather than making the process easier and open to all, they are working diligently on finding new ways to suppress the vote.

The state of Alabama is where the civil rights movement found its heart. Today, when voter ID laws have crept into dozens of states, and one of the toughest and most reprehensible anti-immigration bills passed in Alabama, we will gather once again in the deep South and march. Congressman John Lewis, who helped lead the march in ’65 will join us, as will leaders from across the country. To learn how to participate in the Selma to Montgomery March, please visit nationalactionnetwork.net.

Whether you march along this historic route with us, or help organize buses, or participate in any fashion, make sure you do something. We have fought far too long and sacrificed far too much to allow anyone to repeal justice. Say no to voter suppression and anti-immigration laws. Let’s remind the world once again what’s at stake here. It’s time to go back to the future: all roads lead to Selma on Sunday.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-al-sharpton/selma-civil-rights-march_b_1311150.html