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Sun Jun 19, 2016, 12:23 PM

 

Election/Voting Reform Vigil: This TUESDAY in NYC.

11-3pm. In front of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand Manhattan office bldg. Commemorate anniversary of murder of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner (June 21, 1964.) who were assassinated in Mississippi while working on securing voting rights for Mississippi citizens.

Some of us have been lobbying Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand to back voting rights reforms in the present day: (Democracy for All Amendment, Voter Empowerment Act, etc. etc.) We hope to heighten public awareness and interest.

Vigil is at 780 Third Ave ( near East 48th Street.) 11 am to 3 pm, this TUESDAY.
Come if you can. For all or part of the 4 hours. It's IMPORTANT.

Media Contact:
[email protected]

For Immediate Release:

New York, N.Y. – Activists are memorializing three civil rights field workers who were abducted and brutally murdered by the Ku Klux Klan on June 21, 1964 for educating and registering African Americans to vote during what was then known as Freedom Summer.
Participants will stand vigil outside of Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Manhattan office building to engage the public about the anniversary of the murders and to advocate for campaign finance and voting rights reforms in honor of the slain activists.

The deaths, originally reported as disappearances, made national headlines in 1964 as the search for the bodies of Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney continued until August. When the bodies were finally discovered, they had all been shot. Chaney had been severely beaten prior to being murdered.

News of the murders hit especially hard within New York’s Jewish community: Goodman was born and raised on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and Schwerner was native to Pelham, New York. Both grew up in Jewish homes. Chaney was an African American who resided in Meridian, Mississippi. All were in their early twenties at the time of the murders.

As a result of the formidable traction of the Civil Rights Movement and spurred by the events of Freedom Summer of 1964, Congress passed and President Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Sadly, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, once viewed as a testament to Americans of conscience who lost their lives in the struggle for racial justice and voting rights, many of the protections the law once guaranteed were gutted by the Supreme Court in the 2013 decision in Shelby v. Holder.

Those joining in the vigil for Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner hope to inspire their fellow citizens to take action by calling on their elected officials to pass legislation that re-establishes the protections of the Voting Rights Act and guarantees the integrity of the vote by modernizing our election system, augmenting voter registration, facilitating voter access, and implementing a publicly financed campaign system that will elevate the power of individual votes over the influence of money in politics.

“It is important that we honor Freedom Summer and the events of 1964 by continuing to work for justice, equality, and voting rights today. That is why The Andrew Goodman Foundation honors Andrew’s legacy through our Vote Everywhere Program by making young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy,” said David Goodman, Andrew Goodman’s brother and President of The Andrew Goodman Foundation.

“Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner were visionaries who put humanity and justice above the status quo and challenged Congress to open its eyes to the inequalities it had fostered – as we must do today,” said Laura Barmack, a vigil organizer. “Wherever people seek redress for grievous wrongs, the names of these three men will be honored and cherished,” she said, characterizing the civil rights and voting rights struggle as one continuous arc: “The beginning of this struggle is as old as the human race and the end is not in sight.”

The vigil seeks to promote systemic changes to the law that will rededicate Americans to the search for social justice, voting integrity, and civil rights justice that is the proud heritage of the Civil Rights Movement. The vigil is open to the public and participants may assemble outside 780 Third Avenue on June 21 between the hours of 11am and 3pm.

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