Selma Attorney Faya Rose Toure arrested for removing a campaign sign illegally placed in front of Tabernacle Baptist Church

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Toure Remains in Jail Protesting the Unjust and Illegal Actions of the City of Selma Against Her and Other Selma Residents

Editors Note: We are printing this press release as it was received from Senator Hank Sanders concerning the unjust arrest of his wife, and the unjustifiable $2,000 cash bond imposed by the City of Selma for her release. We are also pleased to report that Jimmy Nunn, Black candidate for Probate Judge of Dallas County, was successful in winning the Democratic nomination in yesterday’s runoff election by a vote of 6,305 to 4,635 for his opponent Nicolas D. Switzer.

Statement of Senator Hank Sanders, Toure’s Attorney and Husband

Montgomery, AL –Several weeks ago, someone called our law office multiple times and threatened to kill Faya Rose Toure. The same person also called the Z105.3 FM radio station and threatened to kill Faya Rose. Complaints were made to Selma’s Chief of Police, and Faya has not heard anything back from the police in dealing with the death threats against her.
But on July 16th, the Selma Police Department had someone follow Faya Rose in an unmarked city vehicle. Prior to this, Faya Rose had complained on multiple occasions to Selma city officials that they were discriminatory in their removal of campaign signs on public right of ways. They were leaving the signs of White candidates on the right of ways while removing the signs of Black candidates placed in the same areas. Toure told them that if they continued to discriminate in enforcement of the law, she would then remove the signs left on public right of ways. The City of Selma has an ordinance that holds that political signs cannot be on public right of ways.
On Monday, July 16th, Faya Rose was driving by Tabernacle Baptist Church with our 11-year-old granddaughter, and there was a sign right in front of the Church on a public right of way. She stopped the car, got out and removed the sign. A Tabernacle Church Deacon thanked her for removing the sign. He said they had objected to the sign’s being there to no avail, but because it was on public right of way they had not removed it.

Tabernacle Baptist Church is a very historic church and was central and critical to the Voting Rights Movement of the 1960s. Tabernacle was the site of the first mass meetings for Voting Rights during the Movement during times when mass meetings meant great risk, including the risk of death, for all involved.
As Faya Rose left Tabernacle, someone in an unmarked vehicle began to follow her, and, when he turned on flashing lights, Toure decided not to stop until she was in a location where other people were. When she stopped, she was in front of the campaign office of the African American candidate for probate judge, Jimmy Nunn, who is now Probate Judge-elect for Dallas County.
Because she had ensured that the “Vote or Die” campaign was in no way affiliated with any individual’s campaign, Faya decided to move her car and circled the block to an area where more people were. She pulled into a parking spot at the corner of Selma Avenue and Broad Street. Eventually, nine or so policemen came in masse to arrest her, one 73-year-old Black woman.
Because she had our 11-year-old granddaughter with her, she asked them if she could call someone to come and pick her up. The police refused, and they left our 11-year-old granddaughter alone downtown with people she did not know. Faya also told the police that her wrist had been broken and was still painful, so she asked them to put the handcuffs on in front of her instead of behind her so her injury would not be aggravated. Instead, they went ahead and put the handcuffs on behind her back and then forcefully tightened them.
The police report states she was arrested for shoplifting in the fourth degree for removing a sign illegally placed on a public right of way in front of Tabernacle Baptist Church. When I learned of her arrest, I went the site of her arrest and got our granddaughter, who was crying, and comforted her and made sure she was safe. Our car was still there, so I asked the police if I could move it to our law office. They said it was evidence and refused to allow me to move it. However, they did not take it to the police station but had a tow truck come to move it to a tow yard, where one of my daughters immediately went and paid $150 to get it.
I then went to the city jail to see Faya Rose as her attorney as well as her husband. The police refused to allow me to see her or talk to her. The police asked me several times if I was going to make the $2,000 cash bond for her. I told them: “I don’t know. You will not let me meet with her.”
Later, she briefly appeared and asked me to go find the witnesses at Tabernacle Baptist Church who had thanked her for removing the sign. The police subsequently moved her to the Dallas County Jail, where she has spent the last two nights and where she remains right now. She has refused to post an unjust $2,000 cash bond for an unjust and illegal arrest. She was and is protesting her own situation as well as the unconstitutional, much more outrageous bond conditions that others in Selma and Dallas County have endured for years. She also was and is protesting the fact the police prohibited her from calling anyone to take care of her 11-year-old child whom the police just left on the street corner.
All of this reminds me of the arrest of the Selma City Councilman, who has disagreed with the Mayor on various occasions, for allegedly urinating in the street, which he has denied. There is a pattern of the city police department targeting individuals. Faya Rose’s arrest was not an isolated incident. I also believe the timing of it – the day before the Run-off Election for the Democratic Primary – was not coincidental. Throughout this election the city has selectively enforced its laws regarding political signs against Black candidates while ignoring them as to White candidates. Moreover, the City has the manpower to send nine or so policemen to arrest one 73-year-old Black woman while murders go unsolved and while death threats are completely ignored.
I saw Faya Rose this morning, and she was encouraged by Jimmy Nunn’s election and the support she has received from so many people. She remains in jail protesting the unjust and illegal practices done to her and to many others by the City of Selma. Faya hopes her circumstances will bring attention and change to the injustices that have been ongoing in the city.

Thousands attend Bridge Crossing Commemoration and Jubilee in Selma

Special to the Democrat by: John Zippert,  Co-Publisher

 

Pictured above : 21st Century Youth join thousands in Commemorative March over Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma at the 53rd Anniversary of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March on Sunday, March 4, 2018. Shown L to R: Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Senator Kamala Harris, Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Senator Doug Jones brought greetings at the Unity Breakfast; Rev. William Barber of the Poor’s People Campaign with Rev. Liz Theoharris at the Commemorative March in Selma.; Jamia Jackson, Greene County High Senior, brought greetings at the Unity Breakfast on behalf of 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement.

 

The Bridge Crossing Jubilee lived up to its billing as the largest continuing commemoration of civil rights activities in the nation. More than 20,000 people marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to celebrate the 53rd. anniversary of the 1965 ‘Bloody Sunday March’ which crystallized the voting rights movement and led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
Faya Rose Toure, major organizer of the Jubilee said, “We did not come just to celebrate but to rededicate ourselves to the struggle for voting rights, civil rights and human rights in 2018 in our nation.

We need to revitalize Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which the U. S. Supreme Count ruled unconstitutional. We need to reverse the many steps taken by states to roll back voting rights and institute voter suppression. We need to redirect the national agenda to be more concerned about Black, Brown and poor people.”
Every one of the more than forty events that made up the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, were crowded with people who came to learn from history and to make new history going forward. All of the mass meetings, breakfasts, panels, dinners, the street festival and other activities were well attended.
Rev. William Barber Jr., and his staff with the ‘Poor Peoples Campaign – A National Moral Revival’ participated in a number of events and used the Jubilee to recruit participants in the revival of the Poor People Campaign. The group is planning forty days of massive civil disobedience, around the issues of poverty, beginning on Mother’s Day, May 13 and continuing into June, to refocus the nation’s attention on the problems and issues facing poor people in our country.
At a mass meeting on Saturday evening at First Baptist Church, Rev. Barber pointed out that due to racialized gerrymandering, Republicans controlled 23 states with 46 U. S. Senators and 170 electoral votes.
“They have a good start to win any national election and they put up extremist candidates who win by cheating through gerrymandering and suppressing the vote. There was no discussion by Republicans or Democrats in the 2016 Presidential campaign of voter suppression, the need to restore Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act or the continuing problems of persistent poverty in urban and rural areas. The Poor Peoples Campaign is designed to bring these issues forward into the national consciousness for discussion and resolution,” said Barber.
At the Martin and Coretta Scott King Unity Breakfast on Sunday, at Wallace Community College many speakers discussed the importance of reviving and revitalizing the Voting Rights Act to prevent voter suppression.
Senator Kamala Harris of California was the breakfast keynote speaker. She is also considered a possible Democratic candidate for President in 2020. Harris said that the people who marched in Selma in 1965 were “patriots fighting for the ideals of the America we love. They laid the foundation for us to follow. Selma laid a blueprint when they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge and paved the way for the bridges we must build to the future.
“We must address adversity and inequalities of our time. We need inspiration from the DACA children, from reports that show continuing problems of home-ownership, employment and poverty in America, and actions of the NRA promoting gun violence among our children. We must fight for justice and against injustice in each generation. Do not despair – roll up our sleeves and go to work,” she said.
Senator Doug Jones in his talk said that the lessons of Selma, show the best of America. “We must continue to work for stronger public education for all of our children, health care for all people, keeping our rural hospitals open and other steps that will unify our people.” Congresswoman Terry Sewell of Alabama made similar comments.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California called for the impeachment of President Trump in her remarks. “ I come to Selma, almost every year for the Jubilee, it keeps me grounded. I will not be intimidated by the person in the White House. It is clear from what he says and what he does that he has a mental illness and is unstable. He mocked a disabled journalist, he called Carly Fiorina ugly, he said to grab women by their private parts. He is unfit to be President by temperament and policy. Get ready for Impeachment No. 45,” she shouted.
Rev. Jesse Jackson said that we cannot allow voter suppression and voter apathy to hold us back. “We must register every high school student, when they turn 18; we must register the 4 million Black voters in the South who are still unregistered; we must get the 2.5 million Black voters in the South, who are registered but did not vote in the last election to wake up and vote.”
More on the Bridge Crossing Jubilee events and program next week.

Bridge Crossing Jubilee to be this weekend in Selma, Alabama

The 53rd commemoration of the “Bloody Sunday Selma-to-Montgomery March for Voting Rights” will take place in Selma from Thursday, March 1 to Sunday, March 4, 2018. This will also be the 25th anniversary of the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, featuring over 40 events to celebrate voting rights and plan for future actions to maintain and expand voting rights.
The theme of this year’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee is Many More Bridges to Cross. Most of the events being held over the four-day period are free to the public.
The initial event is the Old Fashioned Mass Meeting at Tabernacle Baptist Church on Broad Street from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Thursday, March 1, 2018. Bishop Staccato Powell of AME Zion Church is the main speaker. Tabernacle is the site of the first mass meetings of the Selma Voting Rights Struggle more than half a century ago. The Miss Jubilee Pageant for youth is also that same evening from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the School of Discovery.
On Friday, March 2, 2018, there is an Educational Summit to deal with major issues facing the education of young people, a Mock Trial on an important issue and a special rally for the “Poor People’s Campaign – A National Moral Revival” featuring Rev. William Barber. The Jubilee Golf Tournament begins early Friday morning and the day ends with a “Stomp Out the Vote” Step Show.

On Saturday, March 3, 2018, there will be a parade, the Foot Soldiers Breakfast, to honor pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement, an Intergenerational Summit, with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the Jubilee Street Festival, to be held on Water Street close to the bridge, and the Freedom Flame Awards Banquet.
On Saturday there will also be two major workshops on “Human Rights Violation is a Devastation to Our Nation” and “What Democracy Looks Like and Making Democracy Work for US”. Many speakers including Cornel West, Ruby Sales, Raymond Winbush, Anthony Browder and others will participate. These workshops will be held at the Dallas County Courthouse.
Sunday, March 4, 2018, will begin at 7:30AM with the Martin and Coretta Scott King Unity Breakfast at Wallace Community College. Kamala Harris, U. S. Senator from California will be the keynote speaker for the breakfast. She will be joined by new Alabama U. S. Senator Doug Jones, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Rev. Jesse Jackson and many others. After breakfast, marchers are encouraged to join church services around Selma.
At 1:30 PM Sunday, there will be a pre-march rally at the Browns Chapel Church, followed by a re-enactment of the historic Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March starting at 2:30 PM. Thousands are expected to attend and follow the original march route across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. A post-march rally and other activities will be held later that afternoon.
Faya Rose Toure, organizer of the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee said, “We invite everyone who supports and celebrates the right to vote to come to this largest annual continuing Civil Rights Celebration, but we also must rededicate ourselves to working on the next necessary steps to carry the movement for voting rights, civil rights and human rights forward!”
Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders said: “Tens of thousands come to Selma every year to be a part of these events. There is something for everyone of all ages and all backgrounds. See you in Selma!”
For more information and a detailed schedule of all events, check the website: www.BridgeCrossingJubilee.com.

Rev. William Barber questions the Biblical basis of Roy Moore’s extremist Christian views and urges Alabamians ‘to vote like never before in Dec. 12 Special Election’

 

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Rev. William Barber speaking at Mass Meeting in Birmingham.
Faya Rose Toure holds “Vote Or Die” sign in background.

Rev. William Barber II was in Birmingham, Alabama this weekend to conduct training for people interested in joining the ‘Poor Peoples Campaign – A National Call for Moral Revival’.
Barber took time out of a busy schedule preparing for a season of protest activities in 2018 to recognize the unfinished work of Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1968 Poor Peoples Campaign, to join local religious leaders in denouncing Senate candidate Roy Moore’s extremist religious views and “unbearable hypocrisy”.

Over 100 Alabama pastors, half from mainline Protestant denominations, have signed a letter stating that Moore is “not fit for public office”. Rev. Barber signed and endorsed the letter at a press conference at Tabernacle Baptist Church in the Smithville neighborhood of Birmingham in the shadows of Legion Field.
“We have been concerned about Roy Moore’s policy positions long before his recent transgressions endangering Alabama’s young children, came to light” said Barber. “We ask Moore and others who share his views to show us the Scriptures, where it says that we need more tax cuts for the wealthy! There is nothing Christian about Moore’s beliefs and his twisted view of Christianity. He is preaching a gospel of lies and greed that is not what Jesus and the Bible are all about.”
“Moore wants to go to the U. S. Senate to vote against the Affordable Care Act and we know that thousands of Alabamians have been denied coverage and hundreds will die because they do not have health insurance. If the Bible teaches anything about Jesus, it shows he was a man who provided free health care. Ask if he charged any of the lepers or invalids for healing and caring for them,” said Barber.
Moore’s position against living wages, his support for discrimination against Muslims and homosexual people, his opposition to public education, all show that he is opposed to justice and well being for poor people in Alabama.
“There are two thousand verses in the Bible, New and Old Testament, that speak about loving and caring for the poor, treating your neighbor as you want to be treated, having mercy for the poor, sick and oppressed; how can people like Moore stand for public policy decisions that oppose all of these basic tenants of the Bible,” said Barber.
“My advice to people in Alabama, Black and White, is that you get out and vote like you never have before to defeat the views and policies of a man like Roy Moore,” said Rev. Barber.

Poor Peoples Campaign

Rev. Barber, who previously served as the head of the NAACP in North Carolina, is the primary lecturer of the Repairers of the Breach, which has joined forces with the Kairos Center at the Riverside Church in New York City to develop the ‘Poor Peoples Campaign-A National Call for Moral Revival’.
“This will not be a 50 year commemoration of the original Poor Peoples Campaign of 1968, but a re-engagement and a re-consecration of the campaign to bring justice and a moral revival to the people of our nation,” said Rev. Barber.
“Our campaign is organized around five; major themes, 1. Ending and confronting systemic racism, especially as manifested in the suppression of voting rights; 2. Ending poverty; 3. Stopping the endless war economy; 4. Ending ecological disasters and their effects on people and communities; and 5 Creating a new morality and concern for all people.
“We are planning to recruit 1,000 people in Alabama and in each of 25 states and the District of Columbia, who are willing to commit civil disobedience, around a common set of demands, over a forty (40) day period next Spring from Mother’s Day – May 13 until June 21, 2018, in state capitals and Washington, D. C. The campaign will come out of community study and political education around the issues, which concern poor, low income and working people,” said Barber.
All of the details of the campaign have not been worked out yet and will flow organically in a movement way from the participants, issues and circumstances of the struggle as it unfolds in communities and states from the bottom-up.
At a Mass Meeting on Sunday night at Tabernacle Baptist Church, over 300 pledge cards were collected from people agreeing to support the Poor Peoples Campaign including 138 people who say they are ready to commit civil disobedience in support of a national moral revival.
Persons interested in joining the campaign can contact: www.poorpeoplescampaign.org to get more information and sign a pledge card on line.

Vote Or Die Campaign moving across state : ANSC Convention discusses youth involvement in voting and creating excitement in the build-up to Dec. 12 election

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Youth involvement panel at ANSC Convention includes William Scott, Moderator and panelists (l to R) Jasmine Walker, Jamia Jackson, Terri Wiggins and Azali Fortier

The Alabama New South Coalition met for its Fall Convention at the Montgomery Windcreek Casino on Saturday, November 2, 2017. The convention was well attended with over 200 delegates from twenty active chapters around the state.
The ANSC Convention was dedicated to creating interest and excitement in the December 12, Special Election for the U. S. Senate seat, vacated by Jeff Sessions. Democrat Doug Jones is running against Republican Roy Moore in a contest with state and national implications that is five weeks away.

The ANSC Convention featured a panel on youth involvement in politics and voting, a play about counteracting voter apathy, a report from county chapters on activities in the ‘Vote Or Die Campaign’ and luncheon speeches from two 2018 gubernatorial hopefuls – Sue Bell Cobb and Walt Maddox- and introduction of other candidates for next year.
The youth panel spoke about ways to motivate voters 18 to 40 to more actively participate in elections by utilizing social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach out to millennials on issues of concern to them. William Scott, panel moderator said he was working as the webmaster for the Vote Or Die Campaign Facebook account and for members and chapters to mail in reports and photos of activities that they want posted to this Facebook account.
Several ANSC chapters gave short reports on their work in the ‘Vote Or Die Campaign’ across the state.
• Sam Walker from Dallas County reported that they meet once a week on Thursdays and hold rallies holding ‘Vote Or Die’ signs as human billboards at the bridge in Selma and other sites around the city. We ask motorists to honk their horns in support of the campaign.
• Billy Billingsley of Gadsden is using voter lists from several organizations to do phone banking and door to door canvassing.
• Rebecca Marion of Tallapoosa County said her group was busy putting out Vote Or Die signs and canvassing for absentee voters.
• John Harris of Lee County said his chapter was meeting with ministers to help get out the vote. The chapter is also going into the jail, visiting barbershops, and going door-to-door for registration and absentee ballots.
• Esther Brown said her Project Hope death row prisoners were contacting family and friends to urge them to register and vote in this upcoming Special Election.
• Herman Mixon and Beulah Toney of Madison County reported on efforts to register people at community centers and A & M University. They are using social media to reach and motivate high school and college youth.
• Matilda Hamilton of Tallapoosa County had registered 153 new voters through the school system and was participating in rallies together with Lee County.
• Gus Townes reported that Montgomery County was working on voter registration; also focusing on ex-felons and working with churches to reach and register 1,000 new voters before the November 27, 2017 closing date before the Special Election.
• Rev. Hugh Morris from Talladega County said ANSC, ADC, NAACP, fraternities and sororities were working together to canvas, register and turn out voters. Michael Scales, ANSC Talladega County Chapter President said they were working with Talladega College, pastors and others on the campaign.
• Everett Wess of Jefferson County said the ANSC Chapter was partnering with other groups, had participated in the tailgating leading up to the Magic City Classic football game and other community gatherings to register voters and spread the ‘Vote Or Die Campaign’.
• Carol P. Zippert reported for Greene County that 50 high school students were registered and assisted with proper photo ID’s. A large community meeting was held to explore community issues like the future of the hospital and healthcare, recreational programs for youth and voting. U. S. Senate Candidate Doug Jones listened to the discussion and made remarks at the end. Greene County is now concentrating on absentee ballots and walk-in early voters for the next four weeks.
• A Macon County representative spoke on involving Tuskegee University Students in doing voter registration and canvassing leading up to the special election.
• Senator Hank Sanders reported that he has cut radio and TV ads promoting the importance of voting that are available to be sent to stations around the state. He said he participated in human billboards in Selma to promote the “Vote Or Die Campaign’.
Faya Rose Toure and a group from Selma and other counties did a role-play skit about voter apathy and reasons people give for not voting and how to counteract those concerns. The play was well received by ANSC members.
At the closing luncheon, ANSC members heard from two Democratic candidates who are planning to run in the June 2018 primary. Sue Bell Cobb, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said she proposes an Alabama lottery to generate funds for childcare, K-12 public education and closing the gap between Pell Grants and the cost of college tuition.
Walt Maddox, Mayor of Tuscaloosa said he was running for Governor, “to build a brighter future for Alabama and make Alabama a better state for everyone.” He highlighted his record of rebuilding Tuscaloosa after the April 2011 tornadoes and making it the ninth fastest growing city in America.
Rev. Will Boyd of Florence announced that he was planning to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2018. Audri Scott Williams indicated that she was running for U. S. House of Representatives for District 2 against incumbent Martha Roby. Everett Wess stated he was running for Jefferson County Probate Judge – Place 1.

“Vote or Die Campaign” picks up steam statewide

 

The Alabama New South Coalition and the SOS Coalition for Justice and Democracy are sponsoring a statewide effort to register voters, educate voters and turnout voters for the December 12, 2017 Special Election for the U. S. Senate.
The Senate race pits Democratic candidate, Doug Jones, against
Republican Roy Moore. A recent poll by Fox News shows the race tied with each candidate at 42% and the remaining 15% undecided. This will be a very close race that will likely be decided by turnout on Election Day.
Faya Rose Toure who is heading up the efforts said, “We are trying to excite voters about the importance of voting in this special election. We are hoping to motivate people about the importance of their one vote in this election and letting them know that they have a lot to lose if they do not turnout and cast their vote on December 12, 2017.”
She continued, stating our campaign is telling people that if they don’t vote they may die because health care will be taken away by Congress. One recent vote on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act was defeated by one Senator’s vote.
We are telling people that they will risk jobs at livable wages and an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour if they do not vote.
We are saying you need to vote to stop police brutality and shooting unarmed Black and Brown people or you may die.
We are saying that we need affordable college educations without overwhelming student debt or our young people will die from lack of opportunity.

“We are trying to shock people to know that they have a lot to lose and much to gain by voting. Whether you say ‘Vote or Die’ or ‘Vote and Stay Alive’, we need you to vote,” said Toure.
ANSC chapters around the state are holding voter registration rallies, doing door-to-door canvassing, participating in homecoming parades and taking other steps to get the message to people that they need to register and prepare to turnout to vote December 12 in the Special Election.
This weekend, the Birmingham ANSC will be holding a voter registration drive as part of the Magic City Classic Football game between Alabama A&M University and Alabama State University at Legion Field in Birmingham. The chapter will have a table near Gate 3A near the stadium.
Greene County ANSC chapter is planning a community meeting next Monday, October 30, 2017 to discuss community problems as they relate to voting and help people to prepare for absentee balloting and preparing to turnout for the Special Election which is now less than 50 days away.
Today, Greene County ANSC Chapter together with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Greene County High School faculty registered 28 young people who are 18 or will turn 18 before Election Day. This is in addition to 23 students previously registered this school year.
Sumter County ANSC registered 49 young people in the Sumter Central High School last week.
In Selma, the Dallas County ANSC assisted by other groups holds up ‘Vote or Die’ campaign signs, during the evening rush-hour traffic period. The group is meeting weekly on Thursdays to develop strategies to increase voter turnout.
In Huntsville, the ANSC chapter assisted by other groups has registered over one hundred new voters by visiting community centers, churches and housing developments.
Statewide, a thousand ‘Vote or Die’ yard signs and 100,000 voter cards have been distributed. Radio messages concerning the importance of one vote are available from ANSC and SOS. Contact Ms. Shelley Fearson at the ANSC State Office in Montgomery at 334-262-0932 or at alabamanewsouth@aol.com for more information.

‘voter fraud is a lie, voter suppression is alive’ Rev. Barber: “We want full restoration of the Voting Rights Act now!”

By: John Zippert,  Co-Publisher

Amid the celebration and commemoration at this weekend’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma, Alabama, celebrating the 52nd anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday March” in 1965, there was a demand for “Full Restoration of the Voting Rights Act” by Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina Repairers of the Breach and Forward Together Movement. Rev. Barber’s demand was echoed by other speakers and was the central issue in many of the workshops and programs of the Jubilee.
In addition to the workshops, there was a parade, golf tournament, dinners, a unity breakfast, street festival, and the march reenactment on Sunday afternoon. Ten thousand or more marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge behind a host of local and national leaders, including: Rev. Jesse Jackson of PUSH, Charles Steele of SCLC, Rev. Barber, Faya Rose Toure, Senator Hank Sanders, Rev. Mark Thompson of Sirius 127 Radio and many others. The Masons of Alabama turned out in force and in uniform, to participate in the march.
The weekend culminated in Monday’s “Slow-Ride from Selma to Montgomery” with a caravan of 35 vehicles including a Greene County School bus, carrying the members of the Eutaw High Ninth Grade Academy. The caravan was met by local Montgomery leaders for a rally on the steps of the State Capitol.
Prior to the re-enactment march, Attorney Faya Rose Toure pointed out that the Edmund Pettus Bridge was named for an Alabama Klu Klux Klan leader and that the name should be changed to honor Ms. Amelia Boyton Robinson and the Voting Rights Foot-soldiers who won the 1965 VRA.
Rev. William Barber spoke many times, as ketnote for the Sunday morning breakfast, at Brown’s Chapel Church before the march reenactment, on a national radio broadcast from the Dallas County Courthouse on Sunday evening and at the rally at the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery at the end of the slow-ride.

Rev. Barber made similar points in each speech. At the breakfast, we invoked the martyrs of the civil and voting rights movement – Dr. King, Jimmie Lee Jackson, Jonathan Daniels, James Reid, Viola Luizzo, and un-named others, whose blood he said was crying out to people today to continue the work of restoring the Voting Rights Act, fighting voter suppression in all its forms, and building a more beloved community involving Blacks, Whites, Latinos and all religious faiths.
He said he had come to Selma, ”not for the nostalgia of history but to listen for the ‘blood’ that was shed and soaked into the concrete of the bridge and the wooden pews of the churches.” Barber said that America was headed by an egotistical narsisistic man, “but this is not the first time that a racist was in the White House. Steve Bannon is not the first white Supremacist to be in high places. Trump is not the first President to hold these views. Many of his predacessors felt the same way.”
“On June 25, 2013”, Barber said, “the U. S. Supreme Court in the Holder vs. Shelby County case, overturned Section 4 and nullified Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Within an hour of the destruction of pre-clearence of voting changes in the Shelby decision, Texas approved a voter ID law and other changes; two months later, North Carolina passed voter suppression laws.
Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and other Southern states also passed voter ID and other voter suppression measures. Voter fraud is a lie, voter suppression is alive.”
“Twenty-one states adopted 47 regressive voting changes within a year of the Shelby decision, The 2016 Presidential election was the first in half a century without the protection of the Voting Rights Act.
868 fewer polling places were allowed in Black and Brown communities around the nation. In the 25 Presidential debates, both Republican and Democratic, no mention was made of the issue of voter suppression in our communities,” said Rev. Barber.
“Long before Russia interfered in our elections, voter suppression had hacked and distorted the system,” said Barber. He pointed out that in Wisconsin 300,000 voters were disenfranchised due to the voter ID requirements and Trump defeated Hillary by 20,000 votes in that state.
Senator Hank Sanders spoke to the problems of voter suppression, voter ID, Legislative gerrymandering in Alabama, Packing and stacking Black voters in majority Black districts. He also recounted the history of now Attorney General Jeff Sessions role in initiating voter suppression in Alabama with voter fraud trials of civil rights activists.
Rev. Barber said, “ the 11 former Confederate states have 171 electoral votes, you only need 99 more to have the 270 needed to win the electoral college. These states have 26 U. S. senators, the extremists need only 25 more Senators to control the Senate which they are doing now. They have the House of Representatives, statehouses, county courthouses, we have work to do to fully restore the Voting Rights Act.”
As part of the evening radio broadcast and rally at the Dallas County Courthouse, Rev. Barber displayed maps, which showed the concentration of poverty, child poverty, low wages-right-to-work states, states that did not expand Medicaid, overlapped with the states that adopted new voter suppression measures. Most of these maps showed concentration of these problems in the rural South. Rev. Barber also displayed a map of states and areas with a concentration of protestant Evangelical Christians and once again the overlap was clear. He called this a “mis-teaching of faith and a false interpretation of the Bible”.
At the rally in Montgomery, speaker after speaker blasted the voter suppression, racial gerrymandering and limits to voting by the people. Rev. Barber said, ”We must get ready for a 100 days of disruption and civil disobedience in our state houses and in Congress to work for full restoration of the Voting Rights Act. Different state organizations should be preparing to go to Washington, D. C. and non-violently disrupt the process qnd win back our full voting rights.