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New York Protest to Bring Voting Rights Issue to United Nations December 10
More Than 175 Community, Labor and Faith Organizations Join Coalition to Stop Voter Suppression Efforts Nationwide
WASHINGTON - December 7 - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), America’s largest civil rights organization, and 1199SEIU, the largest healthcare workers union, have been joined by more than 175 endorsing groups for a major demonstration to denounce efforts to suppress the right to vote.
Stand for Freedom, a voting rights march and rally, will mark United Nations Human Rights Day on Saturday, December 10. Organizers project that tens of thousands will participate in the New York City protest.
The protest has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, the ACLU, 350.org, the NYC Immigration Coalition, the United Federation of Teachers and all of the major labor unions in NYC, and scores of community groups.
The march will begin at the Midtown office of Koch Industries. The new voting laws originated from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative network of corporate executives and elected officials, heavily funded by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.
On December 5, the NAACP and NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund released a report on new laws restricting ballot access. The report, Defending Democracy: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America, argues that a coordinated assault on minorities' voting rights is underway in numerous state legislatures.
NAACP President Ben Jealous delivered a copy of the report to Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez. Jealous announced that the NAACP will send its report to other federal agencies, secretaries of state and attorneys general in the 50 states, congressional committees and the United Nations. The NAACP holds special status with the UN that allows it to make presentations to its Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Jealous will be speaking at the UN Rally, along with 1199SEIU President George Gresham, New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman, and others.
The breadth of support reflects the impact of voter rights suppression on a diverse range of constituencies. Laws that curtail early and Sunday voting, require producing special photo IDs before voting, and obstruct voter registration, affect minority, immigrant, low income, senior, student, disabled, ex-offender, and younger voters.
Of the 14 states that passed restrictive voting measures in 2011, four had experienced the largest growth in black population in the past decade (Florida, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina), while three had the highest growth rates in their Latino communities (South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee), according to the study.
“When you look at the democratic revolutions across the globe, many of those [are] directly inspired by the black voting rights struggle here,” Jealous said. “Any tear in the fabric of human rights protection here causes a great hole in the fabric of human rights protection anywhere else.”
Saturday, December 10 - Defend the Right to Vote! Stand for Freedom against the campaign to suppress voting rights. December 10, UN Human Rights Day, will be celebrated with a public demand that voting rights must be protected from state-by-state legislative attack. March from the Koch Bros. offices (61 St. & Madison Ave., NYC) at 11:30am to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at the UN (47 St. & 2nd Ave.) for rally at 12:30 pm. Initiated by NAACP and 1199SEIU, endorsed by more than 175 community, labor and faith groups. For more information: www.stand4freedom.org