FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
We Do Not Concede Coalition Contacts (www.donotconcede.com)
Zack Kaldveer, Communications Coordinator, 510-938-2664
Sheri Myers, Volunteer Coordinator, 310-801-1819
Kat L'Estrange, Director, 541-510-5646
DISENFRANCHISED OHIO VOTERS MOBILIZING FOR HISTORIC CIVIL RIGHTS, PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTEST BUS TRIP FROM COLUMBUS TO WASHINGTON, DC
Freedom Winter riders to confront legislators with personal tales of Jim Crow-like civil rights violations, voter intimidation and suppression suffered in Ohio on election day
U.S. (December 31, 2004) - National grassroots, pro-democracy organizations have joined in defense of fundamental democratic principles with massive rallies planned in both Columbus, Ohio on January 3 and in Washington, DC on January 6 to express concern and outrage over election day snafus which made it difficult, if not impossible, for many to vote in Ohio on November 2. Bridging these two events is the ‘Get Up On The Bus/Freedom Winter' campaign sponsored by We Do Not Concede. In a reprise of the Freedom Summer civil rights campaign of 1964, the disenfranchised voters of Ohio will board a bus and/or caravan to Washington, DC on the morning of January 5.
"Just as Rosa Parks made a stand by claiming her seat at the front of the bus over 40 years ago," says Columbus civic leader Rev. Bill Moss, "we're traveling to DC on board the Freedom Winter bus ride to make a stand for our constitutionally-protected right to vote that was denied so many of us in Ohio."
The Get Up On The Bus campaign seeks to lobby Congress for support of the petition to challenge Ohio's electors put before the joint session on January 6. Rep. Conyers, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, appealed to the Senate on December 30 urging them to "debate and highlight the problems in Ohio which disenfranchised innumerable voters."
"We want our political leaders to have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the disenfranchised Ohio voters to hear directly from them what really happened on Election Day in urban districts in Ohio, and answer their request for equality and equal rights," says Kat L'Estrange, We Do Not Concede. "We're going to ask them directly to support Rep. Conyers and contest the Ohio vote."
We Do Not Concede is engaged in a major fundraising effort to help cover the costs of this unprecedented civil rights event to ensure all the riders can afford to go to Washington and have their voices heard. The goal is to raise $10,000 by January 3, 2005. To help with this effort, hip-hop artist, Wil B. has released a new single, "Get Up On The Bus," available online soon.
The bus will depart from Faith Ministries Church, 2747 Agler Road, Columbus, before dawn on January 5 arriving in Washington DC for a 1 o'clock press conference in the Zenger Room at the National Press Club, 529 14th St NW, 13th floor. After the press conference, the Ohio riders
will visit the Senate offices to tell their stories of disenfranchisement. The group plans to meet up with participants of the "Save Our Votes" March from Baltimore to Washington, DC at Cherry Hill Park the evening of January 5, and again on the morning of January 6 to march from Lafayette Park to the Defend Democracy Rally, Upper Senate Park at noon.
Organizations who support the Freedom Winter bus ride are encouraged to mobilize their members as quickly as possible to join in the caravan. Volunteers are welcome along every step of this history journey. Media inquires, please contact Zack Kaldveer, 510-938-2664. For all other inquiries or to get involved, please contact Kat L'Estrange, 541-510-5646 or Sheri Myers, 310-801-1819, or visit www.donotconcede.com.
We Do Not Concede Coalition Contacts/Itinerary January 3-6, 2005
Kat L'Estrange, coordinator
Sheri Myers, volunteers
Zack Kaldveer, communications
Jonathan Simon, analysis, media/DC
10:00 - Rainbow PUSH Press Conference
2:00 - 4:00 Rainbow PUSH Pro-Democracy Rally
Capitol Theater, 77 High Street, downtown..)
(across from Ohio State House)
We Do Not Concede Coalition Cafe Night
Screenings of Columbus Voter Fraud Footage and
performance by Wil b - Hip Hop Artist
(depending on theatre availability, this event may take place 1/04/05)
4:00 - 8:00 THE SEND-OFF TO DC
aft. Volunteers Invited to Create Banners
Assemble Care Packages for the
"Freedom Winter "
Evan Davis' home: 71 West Como
7:00 - 10:00 "Freedom Winter" Launch Party
p.m. (place TBD)
1/05/05 WEDNESDAY - BUS RIDE
4:30 a.m. Meet at Faith Ministries Church
2747 Agler Road Columbus 43224
5:00 a.m. BUS LEAVES for DC
PLANNED STOP - 7 a.m. (time and place TBA)
BRUNCH STOP: Cumberland, Maryland
10 a.m. (Place TBA)
1:00 p.m. "Freedom Winter" Ohio Bus Riders
Press conference - Zenger Room
National Press Club
529 14th St., NW, 13th Floor
Washington, DC 20045
2-3:00 p.m. Ohio Riders Visit Senate Offices
EVENING- Dinner and Tent Revival Meeting at the Cherry
Hill Park with "Save Our Votes March"
OVERNIGHT - STAY - HOTEL TBD
11:00 a.m. March from Lafayette Park (?) to
Upper Senate Park with Save Our Votes marchers
12:00 p.m. Defend Democracy Rally, Upper Senate Park
4:00 p.m. "Freedom Winter" Bus departs for Columbus.
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