For Immediate Release
NAACP National Leaders Appear in Court For Voting Rights Sit-In Thursday
ROANOKE, VA - NAACP National President and CEO Cornell William Brooks and NAACP Youth & College Division Director Stephen Green are scheduled to answer charges in a southwest Virginia courthouse tomorrow over their refusal to leave a Congressman’s office during a Voting Rights protest last month.
Brooks, an attorney and minister who has led the national civil rights organization since 2014, and Green were both charged with trespassing Aug. 8 by Roanoke city police after holding a six-hour sit-in protest at the district office of Congressman Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
For two years, the NAACP and others have called on Goodlatte and congressional leaders to hold a hearing on legislation restoring protections from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were eliminated under the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby v. Holder ruling.
In that same time, numerous states have passed restrictive and discriminatory laws to make it more difficult for African-American, young, old and poor voters to cast ballots, which the NAACP has challenged in federal court while calling for congressional action.
In July and August, courts have ordered Texas, Wisconsin, North Carolina and other states to cancel new election laws that targeted African-Americans and others through polling changes and strict ID requirements. Last week, the Supreme Court denied a request by North Carolina to impose the restrictions in the Nov. 8 presidential election.
Members of the Roanoke NAACP chapter joined Brooks and Green for their protest last month in Goodlatte’s office, and are scheduled to attend the hearing in support tomorrow.
Thursday, September 8
9 a.m. EST
Roanoke City Courthouse
315 Church Ave SW
Roanoke VA 24016
Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots–based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.