Another roadblock for the Eastern District? Posted to NC Policy Watch on 9/19/2013 by Sharon McCloskey Reposted to SCSJ with permission Print This Article When President Obama nominated Jennifer May-Parker as U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina back in late June, civil rights advocates hailed that choice as historic — and […]
SCSJ is a proud partner of FADE (Fostering Alternative Drug Enforcement), a local coalition of community members exploring the impact of the War on Drugs in Durham. On Monday, September 16, FADE held a rally in downtown Durham to “bring the collective voices of community members together to call attention and seek solutions to a […]
Parents, Community Groups Challenge General Assembly’s Illegal Redistricting of Wake County School Board
August 22, 2013 Parents, Community Groups Challenge General Assembly’s Illegal Redistricting of Wake County School Board Contact: Anita Earls, Anita@southerncoalition.org; 919-323-3380 x 115 WAKE COUNTY, NC – Today the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, on behalf of thirteen Wake County citizens and two community organizations, filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging Senate Bill […]
Today SCSJ filed an appeal with the North Carolina State Board of Elections challenging the Pasquotank County elections board’s decision barring Elizabeth City State University student Montravias King from running for city council due to his residence in a college dormitory. Read the Pasquotank appeal press release here. On her August 19, 2013 show, Rachel […]
Pasquotank Candidate and SCSJ client Montravias King is doing a phone interview on Rachel Maddow tonight! The Pasquotank County Board of Elections on Tuesday barred Elizabeth City State University senior Montravias King from running for city council, ruling his on-campus address couldn’t be used to establish local residency. Following the decision, the head of the […]
It has been a busy week for Voting Rights. On July 22, 2013 SCSJ and partner agencies including the North Carolina NAACP announced plans to appeal a state court ruling that allows racially gerrymandered voting districts. On the same day, SCSJ Executive Director Anita Earls spoke about the importance of both court challenges and […]
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice represented several statewide nonpartisan groups seeking to overturn racially packed voting districts in North Carolina through a series of cases known as Dickson v. Rucho and NAACP v. NC. On July 8, 2013, a three-judge panel in North Carolina state court unanimously rejected all challenges to the 2011 redistricting plans for […]
On July 3, 2013 SCSJ represented the Texas NAACP, joined by other intervenors, in asking the three-judge panel in the Texas redistricting preclearance case for leave to amend their pleadings to add a bail-in claim under section 3 of the Voting Rights Act. If successful, this could cause the entire state of Texas to […]
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Shelby County ruling, SCSJ has been a popular source for expertise on the Voting Rights Act. Below is a sampling of our media coverage, ranging from Executive Director Anita Earls’ appearance on WRAL’s On the Record to interviews with SCSJ staff attorneys in the LA Times and […]
Click here to support SCSJ’s work! This week one of SCSJ’s redistricting cases made a real difference in the lives of women across the State of Texas. SCSJ represents the Texas NAACP in redistricting litigation that, among other things, successfully kept Texas from fragmenting the minority populations in Texas Senate District 10, the district that […]
Analysis of the Supreme Court Decision in Shelby v. Holder The Supreme Court today struck a blow to efforts to protect voters from racial discrimination in voting. In a 5-4 decision, the Court today invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (the “coverage formula”), which determines which parts of the country are […]
SCSJ, representing the NAACP, League of Women Voters, Democracy NC, A. Philip Randolph Institute and individual voters from around the state, presented evidence of why the state’s legislative and congressional redistricting plans violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Candidates elected by coalitions of African-American and white voters […]
City Council protesters plead guilty to trespassing
TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2010 (Updated 11:19 am)
GREENSBORO — Five people who were arrested while protesting at a City Council meeting in May pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree trespassing in Guilford County District Court.
The defendants were Cherell Brown, Wesley Morris, Clarence Bradley Hunt II, Carlyle Phillips and Jonathan Johnson.
District Court Judge Wendy Enochs entered a prayer for judgment continued, which means there is no conviction on record.
The five were represented by Becky Jaffe, a staff attorney for the Durham-based Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
The protesters, from a group called the Spirit of the Sit-In Movement Initiative, took over the council dais during a break in the May 4 council meeting. The group was protesting what they called a “subculture of corruption” in the police department.
The protesters did not disperse as requested and were arrested. They were each charged with one count of trespassing.
More than 30 community leaders and friends attended the trial, wrote the Rev. Nelson Johnson in a statement Monday.
The presence of the supporters was “both encouraging and reaffirming,” said Brown, one of the five protesters, in the statement.
“The consequences we face in response to our act of civil disobedience pales in comparison to the injustices that our community, our family, is facing everyday due to a fragmented and corrupt system,” she said.
On Friday June 25, SCSJ staff attorney Christopher Brook, SCSJ organizer Rebecca Fontaine, and Moore County, North Carolina community activist Maurice Holland headed up a panel discussion at the US Social Forum in Detroit, Michigan.
The panel, entitled Law and Organizing Partnerships that Build Worker and Community Power, focused on the community lawyering model that allows communities to respond to their needs with the legal and organizing support of organizations like SCSJ. Brook, Fontaine, and Holland discussed the background of community lawyering as well as the benefits and pitfalls associated with the model. They also led a spirited discussion of successful community efforts by African-American communities in Moore County to obtain the sewer, water, and police protection resources they deserved.
The panel, attended by representatives from the US Department of Labor, like-minded community organizations, community activists, and law students, offered an opportunity for panelists and attendees to learn more about what has worked in community lawyering, and problems confronted by similarly situated communities.
Brook, Fontaine, and Holland, as well an SCSJ delegation, were able to attend the Social Forum due to financial support from individuals like you. To allow us to continue making a difference in communities that are changing the world please click here to give.
Written by Lauren Traugott-Campbell, Organizing Intern
My Friday morning began about 10 blocks from Detroit’s JP Morgan Chase headquarters. Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) and Moratorium NOW called for a march and rally and were met with the enthusiasm of hundreds of activists chanting “Bail out the people, not the banks!” and waving red flags that read “Hasta la Victoria!” Energized by the presence of local percussion band, Cakalak Thunder, we descended upon Chase’s skyscraper.
Members of FLOC condemned Chase’s investments in Reynolds American, one of the US’ biggest tobacco corporations which profits from the exploitation of tobacco field workers’, and threatened them with a boycott set to begin in the fall. Moratorium NOW also spoke to their demand that Chase Bank immediately stops all foreclosures, evictions and utility shutoffs in Detroit.
Looking around at the empty homes throughout the city coupled with hearing testimonies about the working conditions in the NC tobacco fields, the reality of Chase’s priorities became painfully clear and the reason for the union of these two groups’ seemingly different demands was evident.
I then spent my afternoon at Oakland Sister Circle’s workshop entitled “Addressing Misogyny and Counter-Organizing in the Movement.” This was space for activists to share and react to the ways in which patriarchy manifests in the social justice sphere, even despite men’s & queers’ good intentions and feminist labels. Discussion centered on the reality that the personal is political and the need for restorative justice infrastructure within organizations. I left with a copy of their powerful magazine entitled “Undefeated” and a better understanding of the way patriarchy and other forms of oppression can manifest, even in the movement.
After the workshops were over, I had the opportunity to see some of Detroit’s artwork. We headed out to see the Heidelberg Project, an outdoor art project that spans across vacant lots and foreclosed homes in Detroit’s East Side. Tyree Guyton started the project 24 years ago and has since filled it with discarded objects ranging from stuffed animals to shopping carts. The withstanding presence of ovens filled with shoes instead of food and the plethora of junk that inhabits these homes instead of people emphasized the priority that capitalism places on things instead of people.
Our art sightings continued as we visited the Detroit Institute of Art Museum and marveled at Diego Rivera’s mural that sprawled across all four walls of the room. The piece, funded by Henry Ford, depicts the dichotomy of the auto-industry with its images of workers and bosses along with other themes that plague the city of Detroit and the US at large.
I left Detroit with new skills, new visions, new connections and a rejuvenated commitment to fighting for social justice in the South.
Have you wondered why the Social Forum is being held in Detroit? Many people at the forum, including much of the SCSJ delegation, have never visited Detroit and they got the chance to learn about the city’s significance on Wednesday. At the evening plenary, we all learned why Detroit is known as the “City of Resistance.”
Grace Boggs, Detroit’s renowned anti-racism and civil rights community activist fervently detailed the history of political and racial struggle in Detroit, which led to the coining of the term. She explained that Detroit, in the midst of the economic crisis with its car industry, was selected to be the host because of the opportunity it presents to “create something new and something different.”
She, along with former Black Panther members, talked about the many national movements that began in Detroit, including the Shrine, the Freedom Now Party, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Nation of Islam.
In the second part of the plenary, we learned about Detroit’s role as a “border city” and how “secure” the U.S. and Canadian border has become since September 11. While the U.S.-Mexico border cities contain stories of harassment against the Latin@ community, the American Muslim community as well as the Latin@ community, are simultaneously targeted here.
The first mosque in the U.S was founded Detroit in 1921 and the Nation of Islam was founded here in 1931. Since then, the Muslim community has commuted between Windsor, Canada and Detroit, MI for worship. Panelist Malik Yakini from the Counsel of American-Islamic Relations, explained that “every international issue facing the Arab world are local issues faced by the Islamic community in Detroit.” He communicated that their right to worship freely has been greatly affected.
The US Social Forum 2010 has begun! SCSJ is among the 1800 organizations in Detroit, MI attending the forum titled: Another World is Possible, Another US is Necessary, Another Detroit is Happening.
The week-long forum was launched with a march attended by over 13,000 diverse people. The atmosphere is full of a collective spirit ready for change.
The protesters are concerned about the shut-offs of Detroit’s city utilities against elderly, disabled, welfare, and low-income recipients who have fallen behind in paying their bills. They are seeking a moratorium to the shut-offs after at least 4 people died as a result of their effects.
The March ended at Cobo Hall with a celebration and dance from the Native Americans from Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
At the forum, every major issue concerning the US has a place to be considered. We are looking forward to an enlightening week! For more pictures, click here.
Join in an exciting, interactive workshop on how to successfully integrate legal and organizing strategies.
Activists from justice organizations in the Southeast share lessons and strategies from two victories: a campaign for access to public services within a rural African American community in North Carolina, and a guestworker rights campaign in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Bring your voice to the room as we share skills on combining strategies within and between movements to build grassroots power.