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Joint | August 18, 2015 | Press Room | Press Conference: Representative Hall

Full MP3 Audio File

Alright, well good morning everyone. I appreciate you coming this morning to hear about some things happening here in North Carolina as well across the South East and the United States and we're talking about Americas journey for justice. A lot of people have different concepts about what justice is and how their journey and struggle is. It's always accomplished through effort an sacrifice and the efforts of the North Carolina NWSAP as well as the National NWSP in this effort continues for many years now this struggle is renewed. The focus is renewed and we have to do our part North Carolina and so right now I may have the, right raven william J Barber who is the President of the sub branches here in the State of North Carolina to talks to us America's journey for justice and the portion of it that will take place here in North Carolina as well as the overall effort. So I appreciate all the folks who turned out from the NWCP and across the state, and certainly I hope this information will give us an opportunity to continue this journey for justice in America. Reinburger[sp?]. Thank you so much D. Hall and welcome this morning to members of the media. Let me first just say that one of our cases, Ms. Stella Adams who was arrested and along with the Tillis 15 for attempting to talk to the Speaker of the House when he was Speaker of the House, and they were summarily unconstitutionally arrested, her case was just dismissed this morning at some point the legislators who are in the majority currently in this house are going to learn that this is the people's house and that when we come the constitution gives us a right to instruct our legislators and that when you arrest people in the people's house and you run from them and won't meet with them, it's you who are  in violation of the war and not the people. This morning you'll hear from me, you will hear from Reverend Laws Michelle Executive Director, Reverend Curtis Gatewood who will be serving as the coordinator for the American Journey for Justice in North Carolina and Mrs, [xx] Andrea Wayne with the communications workers of America who will be an attorney who will be hosting along with the seven coalition as well as the advancement project, a special teaching around border suppression and border rights. Let me also thank representive Marshall who shared this morning and who doing the time in Winston [xx] was more than brilliant in his telling of the story and what's featured recently along with Miss Rosenel O'Neal in a major artical that New York times did on the undoing of America and we've actually sent to the media that story online as a part of our press release let me also this morning honour the legacy of Mr. Julian Born Mr. Chairman. He was Fredrick Douglas of our time who said, those who say race is history, have it wrong, history is race, said Mr. Burn[sp?] and who told us in the speech last year that those who want to believe that 250 years of slavery, and 100 years of legalized Jim Crow have all been wiped out by 50 years of reluctant and modest implementation of laws to address historic and unprecedented American racism are sadly mistaken. Mr. Bones was a founder of the Student Nonviolent coordinating committee, he was a deep and passionate supporter of The Forward Together Movement from the very beginning. He often gave me counsel and allowed me the

privilege of working with him and then making the motion, he allowed to make the motion in NWACP support for our LGBT citizens. He was a part of that Student Non Sneakers as we call and lead the effort to inaugurate Freedom Summer that to Selma and then lead to the passage of the Voting Rights Act 50 years and 12 days ago August 6, 1965. It's because of this history, members of the media and North Carolinians and so much more and because of the extreme regressivism that we're seeing today, the NWACP, where I'm a member along with Miss Karen Coleman[sp?] of the national board where I served as Chair of the Political Action and Legislative Committee along with our President attorney Cornell Brooks have engaged since August 1 an 880-mile journey for justice from Selma to Dc declaring this thing; number one our vote and our lives at schools and our jobs matter. This journey is direct action through solving states Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia all the way to DC. It is a journey to call for the Congress to seize for more than two year non action and political filibuster on fixing and restoring section four and section five of the Voting Rights Act. It was a journey to pass criminal justice reform that will stop police violence against unarmed black people, it is a journey to pass legislation that will fully support public education, our schools, our students, and our teachers. It is a journey to pass legislation that will address poverty and call for raising the minimum wage to a living wage as advocated by raise up 15. This journey will end in DC where there would be massive advocacy and lobbing on fixing the Voting Rights Act, and we're in conversation, I've been talking a long with others with clergy nationwide about the possibility of more Monday type Action in the halls of Congress, especially around the denial of Congress to fix the Voting Rights Act. It's time for America to take a fresh journey for freedom. Now in North Carolina the journey will focus on voting rights, it will focus on voting rights here and we would journey up highway 1 and 401 through Eastern, Southeastern North Carolina and the Pedma[sp?]. Why? Because that's where most of the 40 voting rights pre-clearance counties were prior to [xx], but is also, also where there has never been an African American on the Eastern District of the Federal Court. I want you to hear while we're walking the Eastern District Federal Court looks like the Civil Rights Movement never happened and it is where Senator Burr is blocking a qualified black female from being approved by the senate. President Obama recommendation for [xx] and senator Bur will not [xx] the bruclette[sp?] which means today the Eastern District through which we will walk looks as though there was never a mark from to my government. Why this focus the right to vote is the cornerstone of American democracy, the free exercise of the franchise were voting is essential to the preservation, and protection of every other constitutional right. If you're concerned about health care, you have to be concerned about voting, if you're concerned criminal

justice form or economic sustainability of poverty, well or environmental justice, you have to be concerned, and fight for free exercise of the franchise, but instead of embracing this important principle of inclusion, too many have recently sort to make it harder for Afro-Americans especially black and other menages to vote. Today, the United States is experiencing an assault on voting rights that is historic in its scope and its intensity, the attempt to a bridge the right to vote, we are seeing we have not seen the 19th century. That is why when I was in Selmar, and spoke there twice during the 50th anniversary, a number of us when we got to the top of the bridge where the people had been beaten 50 years ago, we were there with this going to another for a moment we turned around, and walked backwards to symbolize that we are actually seeing people attempt to take us backwards across the bridge, rather than forward. Following the U. S supreme court's devastating decision on June 25th shall become a decision that invalidated core protections in the voting rights act, particularly section 5 that require pre-clearance, 15 states mostly in the south have launched a tax on voting rights and they did it in advance is the 2014 election, 21 states have implemented some type a voter suppression law or policy that is directly targeted at black Americans and others who have been historically denied equal justice. And there are currently 113 voters oppression proposals pending in 33 states. The voter's right act was signed in 1965 President Linda Johnson said it was a victory greater than any other victory ever won on any battlefield. And he said that on the same day that was the anniversary of dropping the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. And he said the VRA was greater than any other battle, the American revolution he said any other battle; World War 1, World War 2, any other battle. But almost 40 years later, on June 25th 2013, the June 25th, the same day that in 1773, slaves in Massachusetts first partitioned a state legislator in America for freedom. On June 25th a day that had once represented a tremendous day in the struggle for liberation it became a day that would go down using Rosebell's word as a day infinite, five supreme court judges despite an extensive record proving discrimination that was voted on by 98 senators in 2006 dismantle the voting rights and said to Southern legislators lead by extremists like ours now your state does not have to worry about voting laws a new season is opened to roll back and suppress the right to vote, since the days of the construction in the late 1800 when Soven Dicksy[sp?] passed laws that would abridge the rights to newly free blacks and undermine their power, we have not seen an attack on voting rights like we've seen today. In August of 2013 house bill 589 the master bought a suppression bill was pushed through this general assembly without debate, signed by the governor of this state they use political power to desecrate the voting rights act and desecrate and to desecrate and to stop and dis-construct all of the the advances we have made in this state to overcome barriers, this means we're in a season where the graves of Martin, [xx] James Leed, Jamie Lee Jackson and a white woman name [xx] who was killed one hour after the March from Selma to Montgomery in it are being desecrated. We now because we know justice robbed us who has been on a life long cruise said the roll backs of a rights law was wrong, he was wrong when he said our county has changed meaning about that change of the that we no longer need voting right protection he was wrong when he said that while America was once consumed by the kind of provessive fragrant that's brave and rapid discrimination that

could justify a fully operational voting rights. Our nation now has officially fixed this racism problem that the full form act can no longer exist, he was wrong and one writer said it like this, the constitution doesn't give the supreme court power to decide how much racism is enough racism. To permit so called extraordinary measures intended to correct it, to the contrary the constitution provides this, that the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude and the congress  I have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation and just as Ginberg[sp?]  was right in her descent when she said to undo the voting rights act is like removing your umbrella in a rain storm because you're not getting wet. She said it is wrong and is a form of hubris and it dismisses all of the sacrifices from bloody Sunday to now. So that's why we journey, August 29 through September the 7th, into the state on 29th down the Rockingham on the 29th at 7:30 P. M. Our youth will have a cultural teaching at Southern Middle School in Aberdeen, North Carolina on the 31st, and Miss Wayne will talk about this. We will have a voting rights teaching and a  polling memorial discharged on September 1st. We will have simultaneous press conferences all over this state every where there is a congregational or a US representative senators office, and we would be delivering letters demanding that the senate act on the body rights amendments acts, there's in the senate now [xx] Patrick Leahy that would restore the protection of the voting rights act and then in September the 3rd right here in Raleigh we will do a leg of the march and we will rally right from the Governor's Office, our National President will join us that day. That will be one day after we go back to the Supreme Court to address the issues of redisricting because it's play in court. The media hadn't talked enough about this. The Supreme Court of the United States sent the redistricting decision of the North Carolina Supreme Court back to them and said you did not ask the right questions about race when you made this decision. The Supreme Court who we're often critical of sent it back and said we're not considering this because you did not do your job and asked the right questions around race which means that this current legislation is actually unconstitutionally constituted because the very district lines do not meet the standards of the constitution, and now our Supreme Court has to do that again. Let me call on now Reverend Michele Lows to have some critical comments then Reverend [xx] Gatewood[sp?] then Miss [xx] Andre Wang, then we would take questions from the media. Thank you Reverend Barbara and members of the media. I've been asked to talk briefly about how we're mobilizing our state conference, first I would like to state that the North Carolina conference of the NWACP is the second largest state conference in the country and the largest in the South. Our roots are deep in North Carolina and our reach is wide, and we have mobilized and are continuing to mobilize our state conference branches that exist currently in 91 of the 100 counties in North Carolina, we're perhaps among the top largest organizations in North Carolina in terms of membership as Reverend Barbara mentioned we will our journey of the American Journey for Justice will constitute going up US one and 401 touching Richman, Scotland, Moore Cumberland, Harnett, Wake, Franklin and Warren County. We have our state branches along those routes getting ready to meet as well as to walk I would also like to state that not only are we mobilizing our state conference branches around the American Journey for Justice, but we're ever so mindful of the year that lies ahead in 2016, and so we're also mobilizing a strong

GO TV as well as voter education efforts in North Carolina. I am along with our team are exited about our partners partners as well as our moral movement partners and I will ask reverend [xx] to talk of the mobilization beyond the reach of the North Carolina in HHCP. My main point simply is we are a strong and mighty State conference and we are  and we're putting all of our boots on the ground and particularly around those counties that I mentioned to make this a very successful leg of the American journey for justice and we're excited and glad to be a part of it.  Dr. Barbra our reverend laws. Not only did North Carolina HHCP as you've heard, we gracefully had to learn this at one of the largest state conferences in the nation second honor to New York, but in a state of North Carolina thanks to leaders like [xx] Obama [xx] we're known across the nation historic thousands on John street H, K and J, and the larger for together more movement but that's it. The national NWCPE and others across the state, anticipate North Carolina plane a major inspirational and exemplary role in this timely journey because of great people like our coalition partners such as prominent labor organization, you'll hear from one later. Democracy non-part and civic organization like the Democracy in North Carolina, organizations dealing with environment, environmental justice organizations, women organizations, women's rights, LGBTQ, religious church organizations, anti-death penalty organizations, organisations representing black lives, brown lives, poor lives and all the lives which seemed to not have mattered for generations due to institutional classicism and racism all will be coming together to say our votes matter, our schools matter, our jobs matter, our children matter. So what we're going to do is we're going to be talking with the various leaders in these organizations, we're networking a long the route of these, you've heard the Count that are being laid out, we're connected with our organizations who have actual chapters in some of those routes. We will be working as part of what we will call local teams or organizing teams coming up the [xx], and they will also be working together with the local branches, and if you want to sign up, you can go to our website, naacpnc.org, you can call our office at 9196824700, you can ask for the American Journey for Justice coalition coordinator, or you can ask for one of our field's secretary and will be more than happy to work with you. We also have a youth compound which will be led by brother Tyler Swanson, it'll also be a part of the mobilization team. We're thankful for the support that we're receiving, our phones are ringing off the hook. Our website is basically on fire, and we're thankful to our leadership, and we're thankful to our all of our partners. Thank you representative [xx] Toba Andrea Wayne who would be coordinating this major teaching on August the 31st around Voting, expression of voter rights across the country here in. Good morning, and thank you for having me. My name of Toba Rang, I am the director of Democracy Programs at the communications markers of America. And CWA 100, 000 strong American workers has been so proud to work with the NAACP and our other partners from [xx] all the way to Washington DC September, and we're particularly honored to be working with Rev. Barbra and all of our fans here in North Carolina in particular. As you all know North Carolina has been quite the epicenter of the voting rights battle over the past decade. It has really represented in some ways the best of times, and the worst of times in recent memory. You may not know that actually given good voter laws and mobilization and enthusiasm around the campaign in 2008, North Caroline stood as a emblem of working great in voting in having the biggest increase in voter turn-out in the entire country having good laws in the books, and people caring about the elections. It was right after that when you saw that kind of turn out especially among the African American that you saw the backlash, and you saw the voters suppression bills. They went one after the

other, after 2008, culminating in the master voting bill that and acted one voter suppression measure after another. Including voter ID, cut back on early voting, cutting down same day voting etc. We want to talk about that these things. I would say also that in the best of times, the story also to include the Moral Monday movement. North Carolina is also leading the way in fighting back against these restricting voting laws, and really showing us an example of what the people can do in response to this kinds of measures and stands as an inspiration to the rest of the country. We're going to take an opportunity to have a discussion about these issues on August 31st in the evening at [xx] church. I will be facilitating it, but we will be having a number of speakers just to lead the discussion and including Bob Paul from democracy North Carolina who will talk to us about how we got to this place especially in North Carolina. How do we get from having this great turn out, just a few years ago to now having votes suppression unlike any place else in the country. We will be having the great litigators who fought in the court for us in North Carolina who we'll talk about litigation stands the arguments they made how they weer able to demonstrate the laws that have been put in place right after Shelby decision are racially discriminatory we hope to also have some of their clients who took the brave step of telling their stories about how they were actually disenfranchised during the last elections because of this law.  We will also of course be joined by the Reverend Barber to put it all together for us as to what we do next regardless of the come over the litigations and what happens in court. We have a lot of work to do and he's going to lead us as always in telling us what our next steps are and giving us our matching orders. I hope that many of you will join us at that pitch in. Thank you. I can tell you what's going to happen, we're going to win because justice is always win. That's right. They get knocked down but ultimately justice is going to win, always has always will. Let me say that all of our events are open, people can join us from around the state if you believe in voting rights and civil rights and justice and higher wages. You can join us at any point on  the match, walk portions of the match the whole day. We he also wants you to know our teachings are open both in Aberdeen and then on 31st. The rally September 3rd is open to everyone to come and join us, please join us at this big Voting Rights Rally September the 3rd right in front of the Governor's office. Two last things, and I'll take question, we are building a base of watchers, It's about somewhere between 107 to 200 miles across the state. So our goal is to have a base group of matchers that will walk the whole 170, that means they'll walk portions of at least 172 to 200 people from North Carolina. We're building that now across the state will be made up of all different kinds of the people coming together. So this is a journey, the massive turnout for the match will be when we get to Washington DC. I also want you to know, thank you so much, that we get some interesting racist hateful emails. Things like this is why I open carry because of organizations like NAACP. The NAACP are the worst terrorists organization in the world. [XX] we've had enough of your stuff. So we have been in touch with federal and state law enforcement and there will be, the Highway Patrol has agreed that they're going to provide full coverage of this match from day one all the way through. They will help patrol them with us, not really driving but they will be with us. To me that's kind of sad and sick that in America you have to have police protection years later after I'm thinking about what Bob Selma and others went through, and after Selma you got to have police protection to walk on public roads simply because you want everybody to vote but this legislature has helped stir up, and I say that without biting my tongue by creating a climate for state to protect the Confederate Flags after Charleston. All the the lies we've been told about voting for. We got one email they said that NWCP wants fraudulent voters. People know that isn't true but

you stir up this kind of and the kings and four girls were killed in Burghiham as he preached his [xx] sometimes life is hard as steel, but then he said you want to know who killed this girl, you said every politician that has[ [xx] in this constituency to stir a breed of hatred and [xx] of racism. He said every preacher that has stayed behind their glass stained windows and refused to get engage in the course of justice we're on a journey because its time for this country and southern legislatures like ours to get off the low road of injustice and make our way back to higher ground, and so we will journey beginning August 29th through September 7th here in North Carolina. Are there any questions from members of the media. Yes sir. Everywhere you Yes sir early on you mentioned the dismissal or the I think dismissal of the case. That makes 960 something. I'm not sure you know who her attorney was or who might have more details on that? Scott Holmes. Attorney Scott Holmes. Yeah, he's been leading us but what's so serious about that in the context of this journey. As I said think about this, we're fighting for voting rights, for living wages for public education, healthcare for all people, protection for the LGBT community, environmental justice and criminal justice reform and we get death threats. And we get locked up in our General Assembly. Think about that for a minute. Think about that. We're fighting to uphold what the constitution says, we hold this truth our constitution, state before you even get to the federal, we h old  this truth to be self evident in all persons are created equally down by their creator. We're serving [xx] rights among which are life limited enjoyment of the fruit of their own labor and pursuit of happiness. All political power comes from the people and its to be used only for the good of the whole. That's what the people in here swore to uphold, and when you come here, just do what constitution, say whet you swore on the bible, you get locked up. you get locked up for praying, you get locked up for saying before repeating the preamble to the constitution louder then they would like to hear it. You get locked up for saying pay people the living wage, you get locked up for trying to have an appointment with the speaker of the House who is now senator and you're just sitting in the office, and we want to talk to you about why you aren't expanding Medicaid. Particularly I'd say he has a woman dying sick with cervical cancer who would be covered, and then when you decide to just walk, 50 years after Voting Rights Act you have to call the Highway Patrol, the SBI, and the FBI, just to walk down the public road and stand up for what America says we're all about, but nothing is going to deter us. Nothing, because we have come too far to turn back now. Any other? Thank you so much, God bless you.