PR: Selma-to-Washington DC Caravan Leads Call to Restore the 1965 Voting Rights Act

SELMA-50thmainThe Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee, commemorating the 49th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma-to-Montgomery marches in 1965, kicks off a yearlong voter education and registration campaign in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 decision that dismantled a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The Saving OurSelves (S.O.S.) Movement for Justice and Democracy, a regional association of 40 organizations and activists, organized the Marching to Selma’s 50th: 50 Cities/ 50 Cars/ 50 Voters At A Time campaign that begins on Monday, March 10 with “The Caravan for Democracy: From the State Capitols to the Nation’s Capitol ” following culminating activities on Sunday, March 9, after the annual pilgrimage across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

S.O.S. organizers and activists say there is nothing to celebrate if the unequivocal right to vote, without voter suppression tactics, is not fully restored, in honor of those who were jailed, beaten, tear-gassed and killed to win voting rights for all citizens. The Marching to the 50th’s two-fold campaign includes: 1.) bringing attention to increased voter suppression that resulted from the Supreme Court’s 2013 dismantling of the Voting Rights Act; and 2.) organizing participation in a massive voter registration effort that will result in at least one million new voters nationwide by March 2015, the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery marches.

The Caravan for Democracy will stop for rallies at state capitols in Montgomery AL, Atlanta GA, Columbia SC. Raleigh NC and Richmond VA. Participants can join the caravan from these cities along the way, as well as those who travel from other cities and states, to converge in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, March 12, at the U.S. Supreme Court and then march to the U.S. Capitol.  The march will culminate in a rally that protests the Supreme Court’s adverse decision on voting rights and urges Congress to fully restore the Voting Rights Act.

When the S.O.S. caravan stops for a rally in Raleigh, NC, Rev. William Barber II is expected to speak. Rev. Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, has led thousands of people in protest on Mondays at his state’s capitol. The multiracial, multi-issue “Moral Monday Movement” has rallied against North Carolina’s draconian voter ID law and other extreme reforms of ultra-conservative policies that are undermining public education and blocking the expansion of Medicaid, among other issues. Hundreds have been arrested in acts of civil disobedience.

Rev. Barber will lead a workshop about the Moral Monday Movement during the 49th Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma.

The D.C. rally marks the beginning of Marching to the 50th’s yearlong voter registration drives around the country. Organizations and individuals committed to social justice in every city and state are asked to participate by registering at least 50 voters each in order to reach the one-million-new-voters goal by March 2015.

For more details about the campaign, visit www.sosmovement.net/marching-to-the-50th/ or text “selmajubilee” to 72727. For media interviews, contact Vickii Howell at 205.566.3131 or email vickii.howell@gmail.com.

For more information about the Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma and related events at www.bcjubilee.org/,  or contact Connie Tucker, admin@bridgecrossingjubilee.org.

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