NAACP Goes to UN to Defend Voting Rights

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is petitioning the UN over what it sees as a concerted effort to disenfranchise Black and Latino voters ahead of next year’s presidential election.
T he NAACP recently presented  evidence to the UN high commissioner on human rights of what it contends is a conscious attempt to “block the vote” on the part of state legislatures across the US. The organization also held a march Dec. 10  through the streets of New York City to defend voting.
 “It’s been more than a century since we’ve seen such a tidal wave of assaults on the right to vote. Historically, when voting rights are attacked, it’s done to facilitate attacks on other rights,” said NAACP President Benjamin Jealous in a statement.
“It is no mistake that the groups who are behind this are simultaneously attacking very basic women’s rights, environmental protections, labor rights, and educational access for working people and minorities. Voting rights attacks are the flip side of buying a democracy. First you buy all the leaders you can, and then you suppress as many votes as possible of the people who might object.”
The NACCP has produced a report alleges that there is a systemic effort to restrict the number of minority voters this election cycle, through new state measures such as stricter voter identification laws, tougher residency requirements and provisions that put limits on voting periods and restrictions on voting registration drives.
 “You can’t accomplish anything if you’re not prepared to fight,” said U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel speaking at the march. Rangel and other labor leaders and politicians said they wanted to roll back new voting rules passed in several states.
“Voting rights are being challenged all across the United States,” said Diane Sanders, 50, an organizer with 1199SEIU, the service employee’s international union and one of the nation’s largest unions. “People have died for the right to vote. We can’t just sit by and let our rights be taken from us.”

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