Sunday, February 24, 2008



I received this very important message and article from writer/activist Amiri Baraka today on the white Texas authorities trying to keep black citizens from voting in the upcoming March 4 Democratic Party primary in Texas!

This reveals for the zillionth time just how lowdown, dirty, vicious, and RACIST this country IS (like always)...Imagine: Centuries later they're STILL trying to keep African American citizens from voting....and we all thought SLAVERY WAS OVER...So what's changed, you ask?--Clearly NOT A DAMN THING. Which is precisely why MASS protest, grassroots organizing, and direct political action like that initiated and carried out by these courageous black college students in Texas is SO NECESSARY...We all seriously need to emulate their commitment and let any lingering feelings of smugness, indifference, and cynicism go...


This is what I figured...


Subj: [BRC-REP] Thousands of Black Students march in Prairie View, Texas for voting rights

Thousands march in Prairie View for voting rights

Houston Chronicle
February 20, 2008

Prairie View Student Voting March 1

Chantea Cooper, seated, reads campaign literature as
she and other Prairie View A&M University students wait
to vote after a 2½-hour march to the Waller County
Courthouse in Hempstead on Tuesday.

Prairie View Student Voting March-2

PRAIRIE VIEW — More than 1,000 Prairie View A&M University students and
supporters marched seven miles to the polls on Tuesday to protest the
lack of an early voting place on campus for the March 4 election.

Students, local leaders, civil rights activists and elected officials
walked from the campus to the Waller County Courthouse in Hempstead
carrying "Register to Vote" signs. The majority wore black shirts with
the slogan, "It is 2008. We will vote!"

Following After the march, some students stood in a long line to cast
their ballots on the first day of early voting, while others filled out
new voter registration cards in a building across from the courthouse.
Early voting ended at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, and some waited for five
hours to vote.

Freshman Brittney Veasey, who was voting for the first time, said she
took the 2 1/2 -hour journey because she believes her vote will make a

"I feel like we're making history today," she said. "Instead of making it
inconvenient, students should be encouraged to vote."

Last week, under pressure from federal authorities, Waller County
officials added three temporary polling places for early voting, ditching
plans to open only one voting site in advance of the March 4 primary.

The Justice Department questioned the county's original decision to cut
early-voting sites from a half dozen throughout the county to one in
Hempstead. Officials said the county could not afford equipment or staff
to operate the additional sites.

Following an emergency meeting last week, the county submitted a revamped
proposal to the Justice Department that included one more day of early
voting on Thursday at the three new polling sites. Federal officials have
60 days to review and approve the plan, but have not raised any

Debra Mergel, the county's attorney, said one of the added polling places
about a mile from the campus will have early voting from 8 a.m. to 5
p.m., Thursday through Saturday.

Mergel defended the county's decision to have the polling place at a
nearby community center rather than on campus.

"It is in a county-owned building that we have always used," she said.

Some students had not learned about the added voting site near the
campus, but Mergel said the county advertised it in the local media.

On Election Day, students can vote on campus in the University Alumni

Christina Sanders, who helped organize the march and is a member of Black
Youth Vote! Texas, said the county made concessions only after the
Justice Department intervened and students complained.

She said the march was necessary to send a message to local officials
that a lack of a voting place on campus "is unacceptable."

The school has about 8,000 students, and officials estimate there are
3,000 registered voters among them.

State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, called it a "gross injustice"
that the county did not seek input from the minority community prior to
before establishing polling sites. He said the county has a turbulent
history of thwarting Prairie View students' attempts to vote.

The controversy over voting came to a head in 2004 when students marched
from the campus to the courthouse after former Waller County District
Attorney Oliver Kitzman declared them ineligible to vote, claiming they
did not meet state residency standards.

Meanwhile, the county is being investigated by the Texas Attorney
General's Office based on complaints by local black leaders following
after the November 2006 general election. Those allegations stem from
voting machine failures, inadequate staffing and long delays for voting