Paging the Brothers Koch: NAACP & Labor to March Tomorrow on NYC Koch Offices
From the AFL-CIO Now blog comes word of a major International Human Rights Day protest action against the Koch brothers' attempts to take curtail the voting rights of people of color, young people, the disabled and folks in other marginalized groups:
Voting rights are human rights. To bring that point home, a coalition of labor, civil rights and community organizations will celebrate Saturday, Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day, with a Stand for Freedom march and rally, beginning at the Manhattan headquarters of Koch Industries, and ending at the United Nations’ Dag Hammarskjold Plaza.
Where and when:
Saturday, Dec. 10
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Assemble 61st Street and Madison Avenue, Koch Industries New York City office.
11:30 a.m.: March from 61st Street and Madison Avenue to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at 47th Street and 2nd Avenue
12:30 p.m.: Rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, across from the United Nations building
Earlier this year, as anti-labor laws swept state legislatures dominated by Republicans backed by the billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch (who together own most of Koch Industries), some of these same legislatures passed laws designed to suppress voter turnout, especially targeting African Americans and immigrants.
Like the laws passed in Wisconsin and Michigan — and the one recently repealed by an Ohio ballot initiative – voter suppression measures are based on legislation modeled by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing think tank also funded by the Koch brothers.
According to the Stand For Freedom coalition which is sponsoring Saturday’s march:
This year, two-thirds of state legislatures have introduced laws that undermine the right to vote. Early voting and Sunday voting are under attack, photo ID requirements will introduce the first financial and document barrier to voting since the poll tax, and racially-motivated bans on ex-felons will wipe tens of thousands off the rolls.
This effort is unprecedented, it is coordinated, and it is targeted. African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, students, working women, seniors and immigrants of all colors will be disproportionately affected.
(See more here.)
This week, the NAACP, one of the march’s primary sponsors, along with SEIU Local 1199, issued a searing report with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, “Defending Democracy: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America.” From the report:
This assault — which is comprehensive in its reach and was launched in time to affect the 2012 elections — threatens to undermine the record levels of political participation witnessed during the historic 2008 Presidential Election, by blocking access to people of color, the poor, the elderly and the young.
The action, endorsed by the AFL-CIO, also is backed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); 350.org, the NYC Immigration Coalition, the United Federation of Teachers and all of the major labor unions in New York City, as well as the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE); AFSCME; Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 1081; CWA District 1; DC1707 Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA); Professional Staff Congress at the City University of New York; and RWDSU/UFCW Local 371.