By Special to the Daily World
Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta), president of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, joined members of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus recently for a news conference to demand justice for the Quitman 10 + 2.
United in their support, they gathered with members of GABEO, the NAACP and Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda to raise awareness for those who have experienced voter suppression and have been disenfranchised.
The GLBC will use all available resources to make sure those involved receive a fair trial and are reinstated to the job they were elected to do.
Three school board members and nine Brooks County residents were indicted on Nov. 22, 2011, on multiple counts of alleged unlawful possession of ballots.
The three suspended board members, who have not been convicted of any wrongdoing, were removed from their position on Jan.10, 2012, by an executive order from Gov. Nathan Deal.
During the news conference Tyrone Brooks said the indictments were “systematic of what is happening across America. This is the tip of the iceberg, voter suppression, voter intimidation, voter ID, cutting early voting, and anything they can do to tamper down the vote leading into the 2012 election.”
A statement issued by the GLBC stated: “Under the protection of the Constitution, citizens of the United States are assumed innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. We have yet to receive any explanation as to why these board members were removed from their position before their case has been brought before a judge.”
Participants in the news conference included several members of the Quitman 10, Sen. Emmanuel Jones, chair, GLBC; Dr. Joseph Echols Lowery, chair and convener, GCPA; and Kevin Miles, regional director NAACP.
The Quitman 10 will host the annual GABEO Winter Conference when the organization meets in Quitman, Ga., Feb. 24-26. The conference is open to the public.
The next event will be April 7 at noon – commemoration of the 44th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and annual march on the Moore’s Ford Bridge, 1st African Baptist Church, 130 Tyler St., Monroe, Ga., 30655 (corner of Main Street and Hwy. 11)
GABEO meets with the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda every Tuesday, at noon, SCLC Women, 328 Auburn Ave. at Hilliard Street, Atlanta.