SOS attempts citizens arrest of Gov. Ivey for failure to expand Medicaid; visits Montgomery schools named for Confederate officials to advocate end of symbols of white supremacy

SOS leaders stand at Pedestal for statue in front of Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery. The statue was toppled last week during protest. SOS is uring the School Board to change the name of the school.

Montgomery, AL – The Save OurSelves Movement for Justice and Democracy held an Alabama State Capitol press conference, at noon on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, to conduct a symbolic citizens’ arrest of Gov. Kay Ivey for her continual refusal to expand Medicaid, which has caused the needless deaths of thousands of Alabamians as a direct result of her refusing to take action, which she can do with the stroke of a pen, to expand Medicaid.
The press conference was followed by a Caravan for Life to Montgomery’s Robert E. Lee High School and Jefferson Davis High School to draw attention to the murder of Blacks due to White supremacy and policy brutality and to focus attention on the ongoing need to remove Confederate monuments from public property. SOS said its activities are also in support of the memory of George Floyd and the need for immediate reforms in criminal justice reform throughout the State of Alabama, to prevent police brutality and murder of unarmed Black people. SOS leaders who spoke on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol building brought with them a warrant, handcuffs and a ball and chain to effectuate the arrest of the Governor. The State Capitol was locked and an extra barricade had been installed at the top of the steps to prevent the SOS leaders from presenting their warrant.
Community Advocate Karen Jones said: “We are thankful that Gov. Ivey has health insurance provided by the State of Alabama that helped ensure her recovery from lung cancer. We ask that the Governor afford the citizens of Alabama the same right to life she clings to so strongly. “Actions speak louder than words, Governor, and your continued actions and inactions during your time as Governor have led to the needless murders of thousands of Alabamians by your refusal to expand Medicaid and save lives. Which is it, Gov. Ivey? Are you pro-life or just pro-your-life? Expand Medicaid NOW, and save Alabama lives!”Chair of the Greene County Health Systems John Zippert said: “Rural hospitals save lives. They do everything they possibly can to save every possible life. Yet they have been dying at unconscionable rates due to Gov. Ivey’s failure to expand Medicaid. We are asking Gov. Ivey to do everything she can to help rural and other hospitals in Alabama survive by expanding Medicaid. That is why we are here today to again issue a symbolic citizens’ arrest warrant on Governor Ivey, which we also did on May 21, 2019 – more than a year ago – for her violation of 13A-5-40(10), Code of Alabama 1975.”
SOS Direct Action Committee Chair Faya Rose Toure said: “We, as citizens of Alabama, charge Governor Ivey with the intentional refusal to expand Medicaid and conspiracy with others to block Medicaid expansion, knowingly leading to the murder of thousands of Alabamians and the destruction of Alabama’s rural health care system. Too many Black Alabamians are being killed because the Governor has continually refused to expand Medicaid, which she can do with a stroke of her pen today.”
World Conference of Mayors Founder Johnny Ford said: “The Governor’s criminal failure to expand Medicaid is just one of many egregious actions taking place in Alabama that are leading to the senseless murder of Black human beings in our state. What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is not unique to Minnesota. Black people all over this country have been wrongfully murdered by police – both men and women – due to the systemic racism in the justice system and centuries of White supremacy in Alabama and America. This must end now. No more Blacks should die due to government actions that include failure to expand Medicaid and murder by police brutality.”
Youth Advocate Alecha Irby said: “The world watched in horror as the life drained out of George Floyd over eight minutes and 46 seconds. Tragically, all Black people including young Black people know we are at great risk of being murdered or enduring physical harm at the hands of the police. We have grown up surrounded by treasonous Confederate monuments that perpetuate and push and deadly culture of White supremacy all over this state and nation. It is long overdue for the monuments of treason to come down. They don’t belong on public property.”
Law Professor Emerita Martha Morgan said: “Being an attorney and an educator, I have seen the deadly and dangerous effects of White supremacy on our justice system, our educational systems, and our state and national culture. Monuments and other glorifications of treasonous confederate action in this nation should not be standing today on public ground. If they are truly to become part of our history, we must put them in places of history rather on public property or in honor of their actions in secession from and declaration of war upon the United States of America.”
Attorney and former State Senator Hank Sanders said: “The loss of Black lives has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, where Blacks are dying at a rate of three times that of Whites in Alabama and the U.S. We are having to fight for our lives on the lack of health care front, on the pandemic front, on the police brutality front, and on the White supremacy front. Death is coming at us from so many different directions. Change must happen now.”
SOS went by Caravan to the two high schools named for Confederate officials. At Robert E. Lee High School, SOS leaders stood for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in front of the empty pedestal where Lee’s statue had been toppled last week by youth leaders. At Jefferson Davis High School school security prevented the group from demonstrating on school grounds. A short ceremony was held on the sidewalk to urge the Montgomery School Board to change the names of the schools named for Confederates who fought against the United States.

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