WHY WE SUPPORT RESTORATION OF THE 1965 VOTING RIGHTS ACT AND ALABAMA DEMOCRATIC CONFERENCE RALLY MAY 16, 2014

29 Sep

 

By ALABAMA FISHERIES COOPERATIVE: A MULTI-CULTURAL FISHER & SEAFOOD WORKER-OWNED COOPERATIVE, P. O. Box 94, Coden, Alabama.

For more information contact Zack Carter, Organizer 334 224-3983; or Barbara Robbins, Organizer, 251 422-2941

Coden, Alabama – May 15, 2014.  Our multi-cultural cooperative salutes Alabama Democratic Conference rally today for voting rights. An injury to one person’s right to vote is an injury to everyone’s right to vote – be it at the polls or undermining the people’s referendums that approved racing tracks in Greene County or Macon County Alabama, and established jobs for hundreds of people. This need for solidarity is as true today, as it was in the past.

For example, in the 1890’s twice poor white and poor black farmers “reached across the color line” in Alabama to elect a populist governor who was ready to challenge the Robber Barons of the railroads that was fleecing all farmers. Twice the election was stolen from them. Then their right to vote was stolen by the 1901 Alabama Constitution: first African Americans’ vote was lost through the codification of Jim Crow amidst the shameful silence of most their previous white allies; several years later poor whites lost their vote to the poll tax. Neither group was able to vote again until the African American led Civil Rights Movement and one its most significant achievements, the 1965 Voting Rights Act which eliminated both racism and taxation at the polls.  (See the late Bailey Thompson’s “Century of Shame”, an award winning series editorials published by the Mobile Press in 1999.)

Our multi-cultural fisher and seafood worker cooperative wholeheartedly supports the Alabama Democratic Conference Voting Rights Rally today. We wholeheartedly support full restoration of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, as well as the local referendum votes that established local racing tracks.

We understand directly the need for solidarity to end voter suppression in any of its nefarious forms.  For example, one of our co-founders, Vietnamese American Minh Van Le, was unjustly removed from the ballot when he ran for City Council of Bayou La Batre in 2008. A spontaneous demonstration of nearly 100 people, of all colors – mostly high school students — assured that he was placed back on the ballot. We also were in touch with the U. S. Department of Justice whose intervention in Bayou La Batre was recorded in this USA Today editorial: “Why renew Voting Rights Act? Ala. town provides answer” http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2006-02-22-forum-voting-act_x.htm

Today we struggle with some of the same unscrupulous local politicians and elites who are now subverting a vote by the United States Congress that established a special FEMA fund to build affordable homes for 100 Katrina Survivor families in Bayou La Batre. They want to turn it into their own private cash cow. But we don’t struggle alone – for it is long time Civil Rights leaders who are joining at the front of the line with us, and joining our Solidarity Shrimp Boil next Thursday May 22 at Greater New Hope Baptist Church in Bayou La Batre ( See Saving OurSelves website article: http://sosmovement.net/2014/05/15/sos-members-rally-support-displaced-bayou-la-batre-mothers-safe-harbor/ .)

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