Bay Area Organizes Sept. 7 Protest to Restore Voting Rights Act

Restore Section 5
Movement held its first meeting. Community members  Donna Clay-Conti (left) and
Ruth Mims-Jemerson were in attendance. Photo by Ken A. Epstein

Restore Section 5 Movement held its first meeting. Community members Donna Clay-Conti (left) and Ruth Mims-Jemerson were in attendance. Photo by Ken A. Epstein

The Bay Area Restore Section 5 Movement held its first East Bay meeting to organize an “in the streets” non-violent, voting rights demonstration to protest the Supreme Court’s recent decision that declared unconstitutional the “preclearance provisions” of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1966.

The new movement will hold a demonstration on Saturday, Sept. 7, 10 6 p.m. at San Francisco City Hall Plaza. The goal is to inspire activist, political, civil and religious leaders in other cities throughout the country to take similar actions.

The movement’s task forces will mobilize African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Labor, the LGBT community, students, women and seniors.

“ I think you would want to make this a national movement,” said attorney Donna Clay-Conti, speaking at the meeting “This has to be a nationwide effort. And we have to focus on those people in Congress who are up for reelection in 2014.”

A broad movement that has staying power is necessary, said Wil Ussery, who chaired the meeting, because “No single effort is going to change the mind of Congress.”

Voting rights for African Americans and Latinos are important to many groups because without the Black and Latino vote, Congress and the legislatures will become more conservative, which also will mean worse votes on issues impacting LBGTs, women, Asian Americans and students.

The Voting Rights Act is so important because “It is the strongest medicine we have to combat voting rights discrimination,” said Joanna Cuevas Ingram of Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, based in San Francisco.

The next meeting of the movement will be held July 16, 6 p.m. at Bethel A.M.E Church at 916 Laguna St. in San Francisco

The website for the organization is: Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 156797, San Francisco, CA 94115-6797.





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