Tag Archives: Voting Rights Act

On “Bloody Sunday” March 1965 600 civil rights marchers took to US Rte 80 ~ In Memory


 

 

 

The Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights ended three weeks–and three events–that represented the political and emotional peak of the modern civil rights movement. On “Bloody Sunday,” March 7, 1965, some 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80. They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas and drove them back into Selma. Two days later on March 9, Martin Luther King, Jr., led a “symbolic” march to the bridge. Then civil rights leaders sought court protection for a third, full-scale march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery. Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., weighed the right of mobility against the right to march and ruled in favor of the demonstrators. “The law is clear that the right to petition one’s government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups…,” said Judge Johnson, “and these rights may be exercised by marching, even along public highways.” On Sunday, March 21, about 3,200 marchers set out for Montgomery, walking 12 miles a day and sleeping in fields. By the time they reached the capitol on Thursday, March 25, they were 25,000-strong. Less than five months after the last of the three marches, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965–the best possible redress of grievances.

The Selma-to-Montgomery March, National Historic Trail & All-American Road is one of the subjects of an online lesson plan, The Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March: Shaking the Conscience of the Nation, produced by Teaching with Historic Places, a program that offers classroom-ready lesson plans on places listed in the National Register of Historic Places. To learn more, visit the Teaching with Historic Places home page.

In 1996 the Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail was created by Congress under the National Trails System Act of 1968. Like other “historic” trails covered in the legislation, the Alabama trail is an original route of national significance in American history. An inter-agency panel of experts recommended, and the Secretary of Transportation designated the trail an “All-American Road”–a road that has national significance, cannot be replicated, and is a destination unto itself. This designation is the highest tribute a road can receive under the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Program, created by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991.

Civil Rights Groups Expect Swell of Support ~Black History Month


          The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gestures during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. Some at the National Urban League conference have called for another such march in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict and the Supreme Court's decision on the Voting Rights Act.
Leaders at the National Urban League convention say recent Voting

Rights Act decision and Trayvon Martin case have galvanized many

By Elizabeth Flock

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gestures during his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. Some at the National Urban League conference have called for another such march in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict and the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act.

PHILADELPHIA – The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington was intended to be a look back on the historic march of 1963 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech during the height of the civil rights movement.

But the recent Supreme Court decision that struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act coupled with the “not guilty” verdict in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin has lent new urgency and more participants to the anniversary event, according to groups involved.

[PHOTOS: Joe Biden Leads Re-enactment of Voting Rights March]

In Philadelphia, where the National Urban League is holding its annual conference on Thursday and Friday, president Marc Morial says that both the conference and march have changed in focus and in tenor because of “what’s happened in the last 30 days.”

“The Voting Rights Act decision [and] the Trayvon Martin tragedy [have] created a different mood among the people who are here. It’s a different kind of focus in their hearts and minds,” he says. “It’s a different enthusiasm.”

Some of that emotion, he says, has shown itself in the form of renewed distrust in the criminal justice system. Several panels at the conference also expressed frustration with the Supreme Court. And in a speech at the conference Thursday morning, Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, was greeted by frustrated cheers when she told the crowd she’d better see them at the 50th anniversary march next month.

[READ: Holder Says Texas Must Get Pre-Approval Before Changing Voting Laws]

But Morial hopes those frustrations can be channeled into calls for action at the march: for a congressional fix to the Voting Rights Act, a hard look at the criminal justice system after the Trayvon Martin case and a plan for dealing with the lack of employment in minority communities.

The National Urban League is just one of some two dozen civil and human rights groups involved in the event. Five participating groups took part in the original 1963 march, but many more are new, including Rev. Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network, which has 40 chapters across the country, the National Council of Churches, which includes 100,000 local congregations, and the National Park Service.

“There were 250,000 people in 1963,” says Morial. “It remains to be seen this time… [But] these recent events have been encouragement for more people to attend.”

Know Your Rights …


reblogged – Gotta wonder,  what has changed 8 years later

What does placing your signature on the Miranda Waiver Really Mean?

by jeanfandrews

Deaf suspects are asked routinely to sign the Miranda Warning Waiver affirming they waive their rights. What does this mean? For the police and detective this means that the deaf person understands the six statements of the Miranda and read it with comprehension. When they sign their name on the waiver, this means they waiver their rights to remain silent, seek an attorney before questioning and so on. However, the deaf person may sign their name and have a different view. A deaf defendant who may read at the third grade or below may not be able to read the Miranda. They may put their signature on the document simply to appear cooperative. How can the detective determine if the deaf person understands the Miranda Warning? One way is to have a sign language interpreter present. This rarely happens. Typically, police and detectives relay on written communication and lipreading which are rarely effective for deaf defendants whose primary language is American Sign Language (ASL). Two viewpoints–one from the detective or police and one from the deaf defendants. The police and detectives run the risk of having their interrogation and confessions of the defendant thrown out of court or suppressed if they fail to provide for a sign language interpreter. This is not only Federal law but is found in many state statutes as well. What is the answer? More education for detectives and police about the difficulties deaf adults have in comprehending the Miranda.

a message from Rashad Robinson – In Memory of NRBG


2020Supreme_Court_US_2009

“I didn’t want to be right, but sadly I am.”-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her first interview since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Right Act.1

In her dissent, Justice Ginsburg predicted a wave of attacks on our freedom to vote. States have rushed to implement discriminatory voting laws now that the VRA can no longer block them. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory — who by his own admission has not even read the bill yet — is about to sign the “most sweeping anti-voter law in decades,” eliminating same day registration, cutting back on early voting, implementing a strict Voter ID requirement that does not allow student IDs, and even ending a statewide civics class that pre-registered high school students.2

Fight back against right-wing attacks on our freedom to vote. Support a constitutional amendment at FreeToVote.org

Below is the email we sent the day the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. As I said on that day, “This is no ordinary campaign, but one that will require years of hard work to win.” Please join me and the more than 274,000 others in demanding a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the freedom to vote. Take the first step at FreeToVote.org.

Thanks and Peace,

–Rashad   August 2nd, 2013

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References

1. “Ginsburg Says Push for Voter ID Laws Predictable,” Associated Press, 7-26-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2843?t=5&akid=3057.1174326.MLufFl?

2. “North Carolina Passes the Country’s Worst Voter Suppression Law,” The Nation, 7-26-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2844?t=7&akid=3057.1174326.MLufFl

Rep. John Lewis Speaks Out against Voter Suppression legislation being brought to the floor of Congress – in 2012


May 10, 2012 by    

it is hard and difficult and almost unbelievable that any member, especially a member from the state of georgia, would come and offer such amendment. there’s a long history in our country, especially in the 11 states that are — of the old confederacy from virginia to texas, a discrim — of discrimination based on race. on color. maybe some of us need to study a little contemporary history dealing with the question of voting rights. just think, before the voting rights act of 1965, it was almost impossible for many people in the state of georgia, in alabama new york virginia, in texas, to register to vote, to participate in the democratic process. the state of mississippi, for example, had a black voting aged population of more than 450,000 and only about 16,000 were registered to vote. one county in alabama was more than 80% but not more than — but not a single registered african-american voter, people had to pass a literacy test. one man was asked to count the jelly beans in a jar. it’s shameful to come here tonight and say to the department of justice you must not use one penny, one cent, one dime, one dollar to carry out the mandate of section 5 of the voting rights act. we should be opening up the political process and letting all our citizens come in and participate. people died for the right to vote. friends of mine. colleagues of mine. speak out against this amendment. it doesn’t have a place. i yield to the chairman. this is — i agree with the chairman. this is not the place. i will not yield. i urge my colleagues to vote against this amendment.