Those of us who fought to empower the disenfranchised in the 1960s, we veterans of the Southern Civil Rights Movement are now called upon to defend everything we have won.
We now have the opportunity to join, at its inception, the 99% Spring Movement to train 100,000 people in economic literacy as well as the history and practice of non-violent direct action during the week of April 9-14, 2012.
This ambitious project is being called 99% Spring in tribute to our own Mississippi Summer. We can provide leadership, legitimacy and history…but also immediacy. The SNCC project in Mississippi is the map of how to involve large numbers of people indirect action to hold the power structure accountable and to change the politics in America.
This includes the need to prevent foreclosures, put the banks on trial, protect the rights of women, the voting rights of minorities and immigrants, and protect our Social Security and Medicaid programs.
It would have been good to have an army of protestors outside of the Virginia legislature this past week when new voter ID legislation was enacted, a throwback to the poll tax and illegitimate voter registration tests. Similar Republican sponsored attacks on voting eligibility, intended to disenfranchise minorities are pending in legislatures across the country.
In the 1960s and again today there is a need to create a core of organizers who, once empowered, can choose their own targets and create their own structures. There is no group more qualified than us to make this happen. We changed America once and we can do it again.
How do we involve our communities, schools, HBCUs, fraternities and sororities, churches, unions and fellow activists? How can we give this movement leadership?