[sixties-l] Fwd: SNCC Demands Federal Voting Rights Investigation

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: 12/04/00

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    >--------- Forwarded Message ---------
    >Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
    >Contact: Mendy Samstein, 607-263-2476 or msamstein@aol.com
    >For Immediate Release
    >December 3, 2000
    >Dozens of civil rights activists who worked in the South in
    >the 1960s for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
    >today called for an official investigation into evidence
    >that thousands of blacks were denied the right to vote
    >in the 2000 presidential election.
    >In a collective statement, the activists, who were many
    >times beaten and arrested while helping black citizens to
    >register and vote, wrote: "We still mourn the colleagues
    >and friends who lost their lives in the struggle. What is
    >at stake here is precisely what we fought for in the Sixties
    >- the right of everyone to vote and for everyone's vote to
    >be counted."
    >Among the signatories of the statement is Julian Bond, a
    >longtime SNCC activist and now chairman of the NAACP.
    >The statement cites accumulating evidence that a
    >disproportionate number of blacks weren't permitted to
    >vote because their names were not listed on voter lists,
    >or because the polls closed while they were waiting on
    >line; and that a disproportionate number of blacks voted
    >in precincts with antiquated equipment so that their votes
    >were not counted. Especially disturbing to these civil
    >rights workers, many of whom in the 1960s experienced abuse
    >and intimidation firsthand, was the odd coincidence of a
    >roadblock set up by state police near a black Tallahassee
    >This statement concludes with a demand for a federal
    >investigation and a national call that the exclusion
    >of black voters must never happen again.
    >The SNCC statement was also endorsed by 300 participants in
    >attendance on Dec. 2 at the Southern Human Rights Conference,
    >as well as the Southern Regional Council and the American
    >Friends Service Committee.
    >Mendy Samstein, a SNCC veteran of Jackson and McComb,
    >Mississippi, said: "It's encouraging that the Justice
    >Department is apparently starting an inquiry in Florida.
    >We want a full-fledged Justice Department investigation into
    >the many charges of voting exclusion. Mindful of the courage
    >shown by journalists in the Deep South during the 1960s, we
    >also hope that the press will vigorously investigate these
    >For further information: Mendy Samstein, 607-263-2476 or
    >The full statement and list of signers follow:
    >As activists in the 1960s struggle of black Americans to
    >achieve voting rights, we believe that far more is at stake
    >in Florida than choosing whether George Bush or Al Gore
    >is to be our next president. In the sixties we fought to
    >overcome a century of systematic and brutal disenfranchisement.
    >Our cry was One Man, One Vote, a cry that resonated throughout
    >this country because it appealed to the basic American sense
    >of justice and fairness.
    >Today we need to remember the importance of that concept and
    >the sacrifices that were made to ensure its realization. We
    >still mourn the colleagues and friends who lost their lives
    >in the struggle. What is at stake here is precisely what we
    >fought for in the sixties-the right of everyone to vote and
    >for everyone's vote to be counted. One Citizen, One Vote!
    >Substantial evidence is accumulating that many people were
    >denied the right to vote. Was it just a coincidence that a
    >State Police roadblock was set up near a predominately black
    >precinct in Tallahassee that stopped voters going to the
    >polls? We know that thousands of ballots were not counted in
    >Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties because machine counts
    >of hand ballots are grossly inaccurate - despite all the
    >hysterical Republican drumbeat to the contrary. We have
    >increasing documentation of thousands of registered voters
    >being turned away because their names were not listed or
    >because their polls closed while they were waiting on line.
    >These are voting injustices that must not be ignored.
    >We are horrified at the prospect that in the year 2000,
    >we Americans would resign ourselves to the results of an
    >election achieved by questionable and undemocratic means. We
    >urge all Americans who believe in the sacredness of honest
    >elections to support the legal battle for a full and fair
    >counting of the votes in Florida and to demand a Justice
    >Department investigation into incidents of voter
    >irregularities. We must not let this happen again!
    >Sandra Adickes
    >Elaine Baker
    >Frances M. Beal
    >Debbie Amis Bell
    >James Bond
    >Julian Bond
    >Joan Browning
    >Ron Carver
    >Charlie Cobb
    >Nancy Cooper Samstein
    >Connie Curry
    >Dave Dennis
    >Betty Garman
    >Ira Grupper
    >Gene Guerrero
    >Ed Hamlett
    >Bruce Hartford
    >Casey Hayden
    >Faith S. Holsaert
    >Matt Jones
    >Marsha R. Joyner
    >Mary King
    >Dorie Ladner Churnet
    >Joyce Ladner
    >Julius Lester
    >Fred Mangrum
    >Sheila Michael
    >Mike Miller
    >Linda Moses Dehnad
    >Penny Patch
    >Bill Perlman
    >Martha Prescod
    >Judy Richardson
    >Wally Roberts
    >Howard Romaine
    >Dinky Romilly
    >Mendy Samstein
    >Cleve Sellers
    >Judy D. Simmons
    >Nancy Stearns
    >Marsha Steinberg
    >Barbara Summers
    >Susan Thrasher
    >Maria Varela
    >Penny Weaver
    >Carl Imiola Young
    >Dorothy M. Zellner
    >Zoya Zeman
    >Mitchell Zimmerman

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