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Looking Back, Moving Forward

Dear Supporter,

If you saw the Academy-award-winning film “Selma” you got a glimpse of what happened during that series of marches in Alabama half a century ago.

John Lewis at original march "Bloody Sunday" Steny Hoyer, John Lewis, Harry Reid,
Jim Clyburn - 48th Anniversary

Sadly, though five decades have passed, the arc of justice seems not to have budged. It is stuck today in a moral freeze frame where violations of the rule of law and outright brutality toward communities of color are being conveniently excused – or denied altogether – buried in pages of legal documents aimed at masking some very ugly truths.

We need your help – to send PDAction volunteers and staff to Selma next month to get the word out, and to produce flyers and other materials they’ll need when they join fellow activists for the 50th Anniversary of the historic Marches that became a pivotal moment in civil rights history.

Can you donate just $25 to help us reach our goal of $5,000 by March 1? (If not, we’ll happily take any contribution.)

The exciting thing is: if we exceed our goal – and raise just $7,000 – we will be able to also pay for a billboard–and really attract attention to our work!

PDAction volunteers and staff plan to join faith leaders and others retracing the 1965 steps of Civil Rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; former SNCC leader and current Congressman John Lewis, and countless brave individuals who marched through the streets of Selma and across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. That year,  it took 3 tries for a group of everyday citizens—teachers, students, ministers, homemakers and the elderly—to finish a peaceful walk for civil rights, without anyone being attacked by police or fellow citizens.  

While we don’t anticipate being hit with bully clubs or pepper spray this time around, we know that the attitudes that inspire that behavior still exist. We don’t have to look back very far to recall Ferguson, or the Detroit water shutoffs last summer. And it was just 3 years ago this week that George Zimmerman fatally shot unarmed teen Trayvon Martin in Florida—and got away with it.

Our volunteer workers plan to use the Selma March—and the attention it will draw—to mobilize.  We want to see Doctor King’s “dream” fully realized; to put an end to “selective prosecution;” to repeal laws created to keep people from voting; and to work hand-in-hand with people of all races to build stable households and stronger communities. We want the coming generation of children to have a fighting chance at a better life—without anyone having to actually fight or die in the process.

Bigotry has historically thrived by disguising its ugly side: once it hid beneath bed sheets – when an
“invisible empire” turned a simple household item into a symbol of terror; today it buries its hatred in coded rhetoric and legal jargon.    

Jim Crow has evolved into ALEC Crow – a well-dressed, Harvard-educated incarnation with even less mercy than the original. Too polite to utter the “N” word, ALEC Crow hides behind the fine print of “voter ID” laws; in the minds of judges who mete out draconian sentences for minor crimes; in the increased militarization of our police and in the rapid growth of “for profit” private prisons—a legal form of 21st century slavery supported by states with school-to-prison pipelines that guarantee prison owners a return on their investmentby making sure prosecutors have high conviction rates at any cost.

He lives on in heartless cuts to the SNAP program and preschool education, and in fewer student loans and PELL grants, virtually ensuring that many working poor will have no chance at a better life, or of ever breaking the cycle once they get arrested for what have come to be called “crimes of poverty.”

Because of ALEC Crow and his exploitation machine, something as simple as not paying a traffic ticket on time can get you beaten and thrown in jail.

Help us as take on the corporate forces that have worked to hide injustice in the rule of law—do it for all of us, and for our children. Give whatever you can—we promise it will be money well spent.

In Gratitude,

Andrea Miller
Executive Director

People Demanding Action is a 501(c)(4) federal nonprofit civic action organization. We do not give money to candidates or political campaigns and our small (and dedicated) staff ensures that your contributions go a long way. We embrace transparency. Our mission statement, campaigns, and profiles of our board members and executive staff can be found at: http://www.PeopleDemandingAction.org

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